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What to Wear for a Virtual Interview

Every interview requires professionalism in attitude and attire. Regardless of the setting, whether in-person or remote, you must dress the part to get the part. There isn't much difference between in-person interview attire and virtual interview attire.

That said, you may want to make some unique considerations when attending a remote interview versus an in-person meeting. Discover the differences so you can dress to impress.

What Is a Virtual Interview?

A virtual interview is an interview that takes place over a video conferencing tool like Zoom or Google Meet. Depending on the employer, the interviews may be called virtual or remote.

Virtual interviews are sometimes used instead of in-person interviews and usually cover the same information. For example, during an initial interview, an applicant and interviewer discuss the position and its roles, asking job-specific questions to determine the applicant's qualifications.

Virtual interviews offer more flexibility to candidates and potential employers. Applicants may also feel more comfortable and confident in their homes instead of conversing with a stranger in a strange environment.

What To Wear?

Your attire for virtual interview meetings matters more than you may know. The attention to detail you put into your clothing serves as a first impression for prospective employers. Your clothing during a virtual interview should resemble what you wear to an in-person meeting.

While people wear jeans, yoga pants, and baggy hoodies for remote work, you shouldn't wear these things for interviews or professional meetings.

All companies have unique corporate cultures. When interviewing for any company, the primary rule is to wear something that blends with the existing culture. A suit is likely best if you apply to a white-collar, professional firm. If you apply to a more laid-back tech company, casual dress may be more suitable.

The main things to remember are that fit and fabric are important. You want to wear a breathable fabric to help keep you cool, but you don't want to wear oversized clothing. Also, wear darker, solid colors because they appear better on camera. You can wear jewelry but don't overdo it and skip things that can catch a glare.

Finally, it should go without saying, but get fully dressed. Some people believe they can be professional up top and Saturday morning cartoons on the bottom. It doesn't take a deep dive into Google search to find horror stories of misaimed cameras. Dress the part and be confident.

What Not To Wear?

If you look at a virtual interview as a professional activity and dress accordingly, you should be OK. You want to research the corporate culture and wear things that will help you fit in.

That said, do not wear overly casual attire for an interview with a professional firm. Even for a more laid-back company, you may want to wear casual dress clothes to make an impression.

Also, you don't want to overdo it with the color palette. While some color is OK, it is best to keep things simple.

Some colors have negative connotations. For example, brown can signal that you're old-fashioned, red can signal defiance and hostility, and orange is just a no-go.

If you want to wear a bright color, consider wearing softer tones, such as pastels. For example, a neon banana is not your friend, but a soft sunrise is a shade of yellow that is not loud and intrusive.

How To Prepare for a Virtual Interview

The rules for remote meetings go beyond virtual interview clothes, but like attire, the rules for making a good impression are similar to in-person interviews. Some of the rules include:

  • Preparation

  • Showing up on time

  • Including a professional background

  • Staying focused and engaged

Whether attending a virtual or in-person interview, you must dress for success. Contact an interview coach for more tips and tricks for virtual interview success.


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