Introduction to Zoom interview attire
In today’s digital job market, companies now often offer formal job interviews in the form of virtual interviews and other video conferencing software. This comes at a great convenience to both you and the company, expanding the field of potential candidates from a limited area to almost anybody in any location!
Employers often use video interviews as a means of expanding the number of candidates that can be interviewed for a single position, making it possible for them to look at more potential candidates and make the best choice to fill the role.
Video interviews allow for a more efficient job market, and according to the U.S Beureau of Labor and Statistics, unemployment within the United States has dropped from over 10% in 2020 to only 3.6% today. This new frontier is still in its infant stages and expanding, and the general rules for these Zoom interviews are often unclear. Namely, what is the proper Zoom interview dress code?
Generally, people approach these virtual interviews as a less formal, more casual dress code than in-person interviews, but today we will be offering more specific tips and tricks for interview attire for the workplace and the dress code that will help you as you prepare for your next interview.
A virtual interview is a quick way to judge a candidate’s personality for the job, and what you are wearing for the interview can affect the outcome, so it is important to dress appropriately.
Wear business casual Zoom interview attire
Business casual has become the standard for most interview outfits, which is often characterized by dress shirts, button-downs, or blouses. Jackets and blazers are sometimes worn, but are usually not required during Zoom interviews. Shirts are a great option when deciding what to wear to a Zoom interview.
Depending on the hiring manager and company dress code, having a couple different options within your wardrobe is helpful to avoid appearing stale or boring, but for the first impression it is usually best practice to choose a safe professional color like solid white or blue shirts.
A well fitted slim professional dress shirt would be a good choice for your interview outfit, and looks great with or without a tie or jacket. Jackets and ties are not always necessary for virtual job interviews, but can be added on to accentuate an outfit.
Don’t feel too limited by having to wear business casual Zoom interview attire, as anything from button downs to polos can be considered business casual and can be worn in different situations. Jeans can even be paired with the right business casual attire.
Business casual attire can also be dressed up or down as needed, so using it for your Zoom interview outfit is a versatile starting point and can be adjusted as necessary for your specific company’s culture.
Wear a complete interview outfit
While it is true that the camera will only capture your upper body, you will probably perform better in the interview if you mentally treat it with the same degree of importance as an in-person interview.
Wearing a fresh dress shirt (here's a guide on how to wash dress shirts) will help you feel ready for the Zoom interview, but might feel conflicting if you decide to not complete your outfit by wearing slacks or dress pants.
Wearing a complete business casual outfit for your Zoom interview will help put your mind into the proper headspace to conduct a business interview, which can affect your performance during the interviewing process. While it is unlikely that you will have to get up during a Zoom interview, it is important that in the event that you do, you are not compromising your chances of a successful interview.
Wearing pants that match your business casual attire will go further than wearing sweats or worse! Wear shoes and take care of your hair and skin, as oils can sometimes show up on camera and leave an impression during your interview.
A quick shower or face wash before your interview can leave you fresh and relaxed to perform your best during the interview.
Dress for your surroundings
This is slightly more subjective than the others tips, but it is important to be mindful of your background when deciding what to wear to a Zoom interview. It is important to choose a background that is not too distracting that may potentially draw your interviewer’s attention away from yourself, such as a neutral beige or something calm.
Dress according to your environment, whether physical or projected, as it will bring more cohesiveness to your interview and can reflect well on yourself. Be aware of Zoom software limitations if opting for a projected virtual background, and don’t wear a shirt that will disappear into the back.
Avoid wearing clothing that will blend into your background, but at the same time wear something that will accent your background but not overpower it. For instance, if your walls are white, it would be best to avoid a white shirt as you might disrupt the virtual background. Instead, try a solid blue shirt for your Zoom interview outfit like the blue dress shirt the Waterbend.
Your Zoom interview outfit should have some contrast to the background in order to make yourself stand out more and improve your ability to hold the interviewer’s attention.
If you are feeling more comfortable with your interview environment, you can opt for a shirt with a little more character, such as one of these casual dress shirts. These casual dress shirts can offer a more versatile look while maintaining an air of professionalism for your interview.
Still, when choosing a more casual shirt, avoid busy patterns and prints as they might serve to distract the interviewer from you.
Utilize proper lighting for your Zoom interview
While often overlooked, making sure you have proper lighting during your Zoom interview will go a long way towards making a good first impression for your interview. Avoid having large shadows or other visual distractions across your body, as these can reflect negatively on you despite sometimes being outside of your control.
Pick a spot where you can enjoy consistent lighting and look your best! If that’s not possible, consider putting lamps or buying ring lights for your desk in order to achieve good lighting during your Zoom interview.
Proper lighting will add professionalism to your interview and may earn you extra points during your interview, as they may show proper Zoom interview dress code. It might also be beneficial for your Zoom interview attire by accentuating certain details of your clothes and looking your best for the interview.
Tidy up your Zoom background
Almost as important as your Zoom interview attire, the background during your Zoom interview can also say a lot about your personality. A neat and tidy background can send a positive message to your interviewer, while a messy and unkempt appearance may reflect negatively.
A simple reorganization of your Zoom background before the interview begins can make a big difference in first impressions. Take some time to remove some clutter from your workspace, or even just move them out of view of your camera!
If you want to showcase parts of your personality, feel free to add a couple items into the background of your interview, but try to limit yourself to a couple items as to not distract away from the main focus of your interview, yourself. If possible, try to tie those items into positive traits that would be good to have for the job you’re applying for.
Summary of Zoom Interview Attire
Preparing for your Zoom interview should look somewhat like preparing for a real in person interview, but with the flexibility of taking the interview from wherever you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that the company that you are interviewing for can also extend this interview to more candidates, meaning that standing out is all the more important.
A good way to stand out during the interview is by wearing proper Zoom interview attire. Somewhere easy to start when picking a Zoom interview outfit would be starting with business casual attire, which can include items like professional dress shirts, polos, sweaters, and blouses.We have a full guide to business casual attire here.
Wearing a jacket and tie with your outfit can add professionalism to your look if that is how the company you are applying for dresses. A complete outfit is important both physically and mentally, in the chance you have to stand up or move around during the interview.
Wearing slacks instead of sweatpants can go a long way in the eyes of the interviewer, as it might indicate whether or not you are the right type of employee for the company. Taking care of personal hygiene can also be counted as a part of the Zoom interview attire.
Dressing appropriately for the interview and surroundings can help you stand out from the other candidates and can be done by being mindful of colors of your Zoom interview outfit but also colors within the borders of your Zoom background.
Keep in mind the limitations of the Zoom interview software, such as the colors of your outfit blending into the background and causing software glitches, and make use of proper lighting in order to mitigate this risk as well as stand out from other candidates.
Finally, be aware of your surroundings and what’s in view of the camera, and tidy up your workspace prior to taking the Zoom interview. With these tips, you’ll be able to perform and look your best in your Zoom interview attire.
Frequently Asked Questions about Zoom Interview Attire
How should I dress for a Zoom interview?
The Zoom interview dress code today is generally business casual, which includes dress shirts, button-downs, and blouses. Jackets are usually not required, but can also be worn. When in doubt, try to research the company to find out more about its culture.
Do you have to dress up for a Zoom job interview?
Yes, you should try to wear business casual outfit for a Zoom job interview. In order to make the best first impression, avoid t-shirts or other clothing that may reflect badly for the interview.
What is the etiquette for Zoom interviews?
A good rule is to treat a Zoom interview the same way you would treat an in-person one, which would include a business casual Zoom interview outfit. When in doubt, do some research into the company culture and try to mirror their behavior.
Should I wear a button-down or polo to a Zoom Interview?
Both button-downs and polos are acceptable attire for Zoom interviews. The best Zoom interview attire is something that you are comfortable in that remains acceptable in a business casual environment.