Do Your Hair Toss, Check Your Nails: Dressing for Virtual Interviews was originally published on Vault.
The great philosopher Lizzo once said sang “[w]oo girl, need to kick off your shoes. Got to take a deep breath, time to focus on you.” When it comes to dressing for an interview, the focus should be on you, not what you are wearing. The most reassuring thing about interviews being primarily virtual now is that the laws of dressing have not changed that much.
You should dress the same as you would in a face-to-face interview. It will help if you pretend that you are meeting with the interviewer in person so that you will feel prepared. Are you worried about what to wear? Wear something neutral and professional. Most interviewers discourage you from wearing bright colors or loud prints. Instead, try sticking with black, white, or navy blue. A great default outfit for both men and women is a button-down shirt with a blazer. You should always strive to wear a blazer for every interview because it is a symbol of professionalism and will help you feel confident. It is preferable to wear slacks so you will feel put together, but if you decide to wear something more comfortable (ahem, sweatpants), remember not to stand up during the interview.
If you want assistance with choosing what to wear, some retailers such as J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Kate Spade offer free styling. The personal shoppers will curate a look for you using the clothes available at these stores. An alternative to using a retailer is utilizing a clothing subscription service such as Stitchfix and Nordstrom’s Trunk Club. The stylists will talk to you to understand your needs before sending clothes based on your style. The best part is that you will only pay for what you want to keep. Contact the store, let them know what kind of interview you have, and let the stylists work their magic!
There is now an emphasis on your face since that is all the interviewer can see. Now is not the time to experiment with a new hairdo or makeup trick. Keep things simple. Your hair should be out of your face, and your makeup should be natural looking. Additionally, your accessories should also be simple. Sometimes a great pair of earrings or a necklace can pull an outfit together, but they should not be the center of attention.
Another thing to consider for the interview is how you hold yourself. Your body language will tell the interviewer more about yourself than your outfit will. You want to make sure that you sit up straight. Try putting a small pillow behind you for comfort and as a reminder not to slouch. Additionally, make sure that your laptop is on a raised platform, so you are not looking down. Remember that you should be in the center of the webcam’s frame. You will also want to do your interview somewhere well-lit so the interviewer can see you clearly. If you most likely have more virtual interviews, consider purchasing a ring light, so you do not have to worry about lighting.
When dressing for an interview, remember to take Lizzo’s advice and that you want to be “feelin’ good as hell.”