Calling all corporate fashionistas! The interview outfit is part of what makes you stand out from the rest when you’re interviewing for a job. You might spend days thinking about what you’re going to wear. But did you know that there are key differences between what to wear in-person and when you’re interviewing via a videoconference?
In a virtual interview, your face is front and center. You’ll get more up-close and personal than you would if you were interviewing in-person. That’s a good thing, because you can easily make eye contact and there are fewer things about you and your wardrobe to distract the interviewer (like they won’t see you fidgeting). The most that an interviewer will be able to see is from your head down to your lower ribcage, but it’s often even less than that – just to the chest or collarbone. For this reason, you can concentrate on putting together the perfect outfit for your upper body. Here are the rules of video conferencing fashion:
Neckline: Don’t Go Too Low
Given that the interviewer can only see part of you, necklines are best kept as high as possible. Even a moderate neckline can show too much skin for being that close- up. There are two best bets for a modest neckline:
Mandarin collar with a small v-neck: the mandarin v-neck collar puts the focus on your face and not what’s below it. This collar frames your neck and chin nicely and in contract with standard collars, doesn’t go overboard with fabric or overshadow your features.
Medium round collar: choose a round collar that at most dips below the collarbone and is moderately wide. The bottom of the collar serves as a bottom frame for your face and neck. Having a slightly wide neckline shows some collarbone without being too revealing, which keeps you from looking boxed in by your clothes.
Sleeves: Cover Your Arms
Bare arms tend to be fleshy and add a sense of weight to the top of your body. On camera, that can be distracting. You’re in an interview, not at the beach. Sleeveless tops are an absolute no-no for virtual interviews. Your face and neckline should be the only bare skin showing on your screen. Any more than that cuts out visual contrast in the shot and can be distracting. We recommend covering your arms completely (or at least ¾ of the way).
Colors: Solid and Mild
Colors already look brighter on computer screens, so there’s no need to wear your boldest shades for the interview. Moderate colors like blues and greens look good on just about anyone. Also avoid colors that are too dark or too neutral, both of which will make you look washed out just like bright colors do. The colors you choose should complement your skin tone and add natural light to your complexion. Stick with just one solid color, or two at maximum. Prints can become a blur on camera and diminish your facial features.
Jewelry: Keep It Simple
For women, jewelry at an interview should always be small and simple. A set of small hoops and a small chain necklace is the go-to set. On a videoconference, it’s better to go with one or the other. Wearing both can make you look overly shiny because the jewelry will always be in easy to spot. This can be yet another distraction. Go for stud earrings or small hoops (just one pair), or a small pendant on a delicate chain. You can also go completely without jewelry, if you don’t want to bother with it.
Bottoms: Just Wear Some
The pants or skirt you wear on the bottom will likely never be seen by the interviewers. Make it match the rest of your outfit so that you feel like you’re dressed your best (no pajama pants), but there’s no need to spend a lot of time on it. The same goes for shoes: wear some, and keep it professional, but don’t stress out about it. Focus on the part that matters – above the waist – and you’ll be dressed for success.