How to dress for online interview success

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June 2020 News


How to dress for online interview success

Being visible and memorable for the right reasons in an on-screen interview is critical.  As we start to emerge from lockdown, life is looking very different.  The global economy has plummeted into recession and competition for fewer available job positions is high.  Virtual interviews are the new normal and honing your personal brand is no longer considered a luxury or treat.  

Understanding how to present yourself appropriately and authentically will set you apart from others and could prove key to your professional success.  How you present yourself in a virtual interview alone might not land you your dream job but it will give you the visible edge when you’re pitted against someone with a similar skillset and comparable experience levels.

How can you set yourself apart from other interview candidates once you have landed that all-important first meeting?

1. Dress for an office interview 

Dressing with intention and focus is a proven way to enhance your performance.  “It may sound obvious”, explains recruitment expert Nick Day, “but it’s amazing how differently people can treat a video call/interview to a face-to-face meeting”.  Think about how you would dress for an interview with your potential employer if you were meeting in their offices – and note that might not always mean wearing a suit.  Day’s top tip is to take into consideration the industry and culture of the brand, as well as the individual(s) you are interviewing with when deciding what style of clothing is most appropriate.

2. Do your own background checks

Unlike a face-to-face interview, you have more to consider than research for the role and your appearance.  Ensure everything visible in your camera frame is tidy and uncluttered – nothing should distract the interviewer(s) from looking at and listening to you.  Ensure you are lit from the front, otherwise only your silhouette will be visible.  In the absence of natural light, an inexpensive ring-light or table lamp with a lampshade will provide the most flattering light. Elevate your camera position to just higher than head height, pointing slightly downwards.

3. Refine your personal brand

Wear clothes and accessories that complement your body architecture, proportions and reflect your personality.  Why? When you dress authentically,

 you send subtle signals to others that you are credible and trustworthy.  People 

have a better idea of what to expect from your behaviour when it is aligned with how you present yourself on the outside.  When there is a mismatch between what your clothes and accessories say about you and how you conduct yourself – that’s when your credibility comes into question.  House of Colour image consultants are qualified to help you sharpen your distinctive personal brand and help you add impact to your look through a style development class, currently available virtually.  Perhaps, for example, your clothes and accessories need structure, drape, angles, quirky or feminine details, large scale pieces, or plenty of texture.  Understanding your personal brand will enable you to confidently dress appropriately for every occasion.

4. Don’t blend in with a screen of neutrals

The chances are, most interview candidates are going to be wearing a combination of light and dark neutrals – a light shirt or blouse with a dark jacket, for example.  Wearing colours that harmonise with your natural colouring will instantly make you more impactful, memorable and influential.  This could simply be in the form of a tie, scarf, shirt or blouse, earrings or lipstick.  Contact your local House of Colour consultant to be added to their waiting list – colour analysis cannot be performed accurately online!  Block colours translate best on-screen so try to avoid wearing patterns – these could blur, pixilate or at the very least, create distraction.

5. Dress intentionally – and prepare for the unexpected

You may think you are safe to wear loungewear from the waist down, but not only will you be at risk of compromising your credibility if you suddenly have to jump up from your seat (as one of Day’s candidates recently discovered), you could also be sabotaging your own performance.  Studies have consistently proven that dressing with authority and intention results in enhanced confidence and performance.  As Day rightly points out, “if you only half-dress your body, then you’re only half-in the interview”.

Prepare for success with your next interview or big client meeting – find your local image consultant.

Follow recruitment expert, founder and CEO of JGA Recruitment Nick Day on LinkedIn

Blog written by Sarah Biancardi, House of Colour consultant for Ampthill/Flitwick