A job interview is a chance to make an impression on your would-be employer. But before a word comes out of your mouth, they’ll learn about your attitude toward the position from the clothes you’re wearing.
In the age of COVID-19, the interview format has changed considerably. The overwhelming majority of interviews are now performed remotely, over services like Zoom and Skype. While that might mean that you don’t need to worry about things like your choice of footwear or trousers, it still means that it’s important to look your best from the shoulders upward.
How can I look professional in a virtual interview?
Lockdown has limited our chances to visit the hairdresser. But if you have an important interview looming, then it might be time to book an appointment. Men should make the effort to tidy their beards, women might employ a tasteful amount of makeup, lipstick and jewellery. Diamonds are a popular choice, because they tend to be mature, classy, and elegant.
Before you sit down for the interview, it’s worth doing a test-run first. What details is your camera catching, or failing to catch? If you’re looking down into the lens, you might consider lifting it up a bit. No employer wants to look up your nose!
Should you make an effort if it’s over a video call?
Why, you might ask, should we bother making ourselves look professional if everyone understands that we’re working from home? Well, there are good reasons we have different standards of dress for work and home, and that we don’t turn up to the office in a dressing gown and slippers. Dressing professionally means sending a signal to others about our values. Basically, it’s a way of saying that you’re taking your position and responsibilities seriously.
Perhaps more importantly, it’ll put you in a more focused frame of mind, and actually change your behaviour. When actors want to get into a role, they often find that it’s much easier when they’re actually in costume. Dress like you deserve the job and you’ll probably act like it, too. The result? A better chance of success.
What if I’m invited to the Office?
Before the final decision is made, you might be invited back for a second interview at the physical premises. Here’s where all of the traditional advice applies. Don’t wear too much in the way of jewellery. Make sure you’ve paid attention to what other people in the company are wearing. If it’s a formal office environment where everyone’s wearing suits, then it’s important to dress up. If it’s a more relaxed one, then you might get away with loosening up a bit.