How to Slay Your Zoom Interview Attire
If you haven’t utilized the platform thus far, Zoom allows users to chat via live webcam footage. Zoom has become an asset in almost every industry, especially with remote and hybrid positions becoming increasingly common. The ability to speak to an individual (or even an entire company) face-to-face from just about anywhere in the world has proven itself unbelievably useful in a short timespan.
Aside from communication between employees, Zoom is frequently used throughout the job application process, typically as a precursor to in-person job interviews. Employers and recruiters use Zoom as a tool to expedite the application process and focus on a limited number of outstanding potential employees. There is a mutual benefit to this practice, as it saves time and travel expenses for both parties. The real challenge lies in the court of the applicant, as potential standout behaviors and etiquette that appear in person may be lost in technological translation. One of the best ways to differentiate yourself from other job applicants via Zoom is a sharp and professional appearance. On that note, here are some fashion basics and extra tips to slay your Zoom interview attire.
We’ll start with a question most professionals working or interviewing remotely have secretly wondered at least once throughout this never-ending pandemic.
“Do I Have to Wear Pants?”
The proper angle in any type of Zoom meeting is typically from the chest up, meaning nobody in the meeting should be able to see what you’re sporting for bottoms. Some people may feel the need to complete their Zoom interview attire with slacks and shoes in order to feel more confident, and others may feel just fine with a blouse on top and pajama pants and fuzzy socks on the bottom. To each their own!
Let’s move on to what employers will definitely see on camera.
What Colors to Wear/Avoid in Your Zoom Interview
CareerBuilder asked nearly 2,100 employers, recruiters, and hiring managers what color job seekers should wear to a job interview. The study determined that there’s one color we can all rely on. Blue. 23% of employers recommended blue as a color that makes a great first impression.
Wondering which color you should avoid? 25% of employers voted orange as the worst color to don at an interview. Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to log in looking like a highlighter.
While you can never go wrong with neutral shades like beige or gray, for those in more creative fields, flattering jewel tones such as royal blue, forest green, or burgundy can be a really nice way to show a little personality and stand out in a sea of other applicants.
Wondering which colors complement your skin tone? Here are some helpful tips from fashion blogger Barron Cuadro:
If you have a lighter, paler complexion, avoid stark black and white.
If you have a medium complexion, primary and bold colors will suit you well.
If you’re a darker skin tone, you have more freedom with white, rich vibrant colors, primary colors, and pastel colors than most.
Note that bold prints and loud patterns should be used sparingly in order to keep your interviewer’s attention on your conversation (rather than on the bright yellow polka dots on your sweater). If you’re reading this with a closet full of striped or plaid shirts, no need to fret. The layered look may allow you to still rock that chic button-down you bought from Express. Keep reading.
Business Casual is Your Best Friend
The most common Zoom interview attire encountered by professionals is business casual. But what does this dresscode really involve? In most cases, the base for business casual attire above the belt should be a collared shirt or blouse.
Business casual attire also welcomes extra pieces like sweaters or sportcoats, which can be used over polo shirts or button-downs to achieve a more comfortable and sporty look. These should be solid-colored additions, especially if they’re being added to a patterned shirt or blouse. The layered look should also be tailored to the current season, as you aren’t likely to be wearing a cardigan in the middle of July.
Adding any of these extra pieces, as well as a nice accessory like a watch or necklace, can help distinguish you from other applicants who didn’t quite dress the part. Ties are optional and based on preference, but a patterned one could add a necessary splash of excitement to a solid-colored base.
Here are a few affordable, versatile pieces to add to your closet to enhance your Zoom interview attire:
Business Professional: Dressing Your Best
Business professional, otherwise known as business formal, is a level of Zoom interview attire that essentially elevates the same bases we started with for your business casual look. An oxford shirt or blouse begins the look, however some of the previously listed optionals become necessities to maintain professionalism.
For men specifically, ties are a requirement for achieving the business professional look. In-person interviews conducted in business professional attire would normally require a suit, but given the slightly more casual nature of Zoom, the jacket can still be considered optional. It’s wise to consider the region, climate, and season to determine whether or not a suit jacket makes sense. Should you decide that it doesn’t, a suit vest is a great alternative to achieve a more unique formal look.
Here are some great options to add to your closet to elevate your business professional wardrobe.
Situational Zoom Interview Attire
There are some positions or companies that could warrant special choices for your Zoom interview attire. For example, a job in the sports or fitness industry might call for an athletic look that pertains more to the position itself. A personal trainer typically wouldn’t rock a power suit, so opting for a polo shirt or athleisure attire is an alternative in that scenario. Positions in retail are another example: you could definitely earn some brownie points by choosing pieces from the company in question. Interviewing at J. Crew? Wear something from J. Crew.
That said, the most important thing to consider is avoiding competing brands. We wouldn’t suggest wearing Adidas to an interview with Nike, and you certainly wouldn’t want to sip a can of Pepsi in a Zoom interview with Coca-Cola. These situations may be rare, but the niche aspect may cause these comical slip-ups to fly under your radar. The details matter. Remember that.
Pay Attention to Your Background!
Zoom Background Example
While your Zoom background might not be an outfit decision, it does contribute to your overall look in regards to professionalism and the first impression you’re giving employers and recruiters. If possible, a quiet office space is the optimal choice for Zoom interviews. No one wants to see your husband in the background making a smoothie.
If an office space isn’t readily available, any relatively blank wall is the next best option for your Zoom background. Excessive artwork or wall hangings can be very distracting and take the attention away from the conversation. Also, try using natural light to ensure the best possible picture for your interview.
If there aren’t windows in your workspace or you’re interviewing in the evening, never fear. There are several affordable ring lights available on Amazon (I’d suggest the Kaiess 10.2” Selfie Ring Light or the UBeesize Selfie Ring Light) that are easy to use and will certainly enhance your on-camera appearance.
Keep it Simple and Be Yourself
Ultimately, make sure that the final look you choose for your Zoom interview attire reflects your unique style and personality. There is serious value in dressing for the role you desire.
Two of the most important qualities you can exhibit in a job interview are confidence and a collected demeanor. Anyone can look the part, but it’s your calm composure and ability to speak about your expertise that will allow you to showcase yourself as the best possible hire.
Wishing you the best of luck!
Want more Zoom interview tips? Check out this article by Red Pen Wench’s expert interview coach.
Lacking confidence in your interviews? Let us help! Click here to schedule an interview coaching session.