We are more than a year into the pandemic now and we have become well averse to conducting business over the video call. We have been talking to employers, customers, friends, and families over Zoom (and other alternatives) and while the vaccine rollout is ongoing around the world, we will have to put up with this for at least just a little bit longer.
Although it may feel as though the world has stopped, the reality is that it has kept on spinning and we have had to adapt to these crazy circumstances in which we find ourselves in. That means continuing with life and, as such, still looking to advance our careers. Employers have had to be adaptable with how they look to not only maintain their business but to grow it, amid the chaos and that has meant conducting interviews virtually.
As a candidate, knowing how to present oneself on camera can be a daunting prospect (do you opt for a full formal suit sat in front of the laptop on your kitchen table?). However, we are here to tell you that apart from the obvious differences, dressing for a virtual interview needs be no different from dressing for a physical one.
Focus on the Waist Up
It goes without saying that you should be focusing on the waist up in the case of a virtual interview (unless, for any reason, you might be expected to stand up) as there is little chance of your trousers and shoes being seen. You may feel more comfortable wearing a pair of jogging bottoms and slippers underneath the table, but we suggest smart trousers and shoes will put you in the correct mindset to smash your job interview.
On the top half, you can look to present yourself in your best light. As you won’t be going out to attend your interview, you need not consider changes in the weather (i.e. leave that thick coat on the peg). A smart, yet comfortable, shirt is always in fashion and to give that truly executive look (important if you are vying for a senior position) a set of silver cufflinks are a luxury that makes for the ideal finishing touch.
The next question is, do you go blazer or no blazer? The right blazer completes the ensemble and presents you in your best light, but make sure it fits correctly. If your jacket has become too tight, or even too loose, since the last time you have worn it, we recommend you leave it in the wardrobe. If you really don’t want to attend your interview in just a shirt, a traditional tie and tie clip will suffice.
Don’t Fall into the Casual Trap
We get it, you have been spending the large majority of your time at home over the course of the last 12 months and your smart-casual attire is veering more on the casual end of the spectrum. Blazers have been substituted for hooded jackets and loafers have made ways for trainers. While that may fly in your current position, when you are looking to impress a potential employer, you need to make more of an effort.
Get out of the mindset of just being happy to get dressed in the morning and dress to impress as you would in 2019. As the saying goes, don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want – we promise that if you take this into your virtual interview, you will be a memorable candidate for all the right reasons.