I have to say that I prefer the person-to-person interview. Call me old-fashioned, but I want to don my power suit and shake your hand when I introduce myself. But times have changed and there is a new interview process unfolding.
Even before COVID-19, more and more interviews were being conducted using video. Using video helps employers find the perfect person for the job, regardless of location. It also substantially reduces the costs of interviewing out-of-area talent. And allows employers to get a sneak peek at candidate’s technical savvy.
What to wear for a Skype interview can be confusing. Do you dress from the waist up? What color do you wear? Do you wear business casual or a suit? The answer is simple, sort of, wear what you would to an in-person interview.
Avoid the temptation to dress from the waist up for your Skype interview.
I love the idea of wearing my day-time PJs to work – that pair of PJs that symbolizes being at work rather than at home. But what you wear affects how you present yourself. So, ditch the PJs.
Dress all the way to your toes. You never know when you’ll spill a glass of water on your power cable. These mishaps instinctively force us to stand up and you don’t want to be caught with your pants down – so to speak!
Wear fabric that is soft and breathable. If you have the COIVD-15 – that is 15 extra pounds – make sure the fit is comfortable. Uncomfortable clothing leads to fidgeting!
Dress the part. Make sure your outfit agrees with company culture and your job title. If you’re applying as the next CEO, you need to convey the message that you are a leader capable of getting people to follow you. If the company asserts a business casual dress code, still dress the part. As a general rule of thumb, dress one up from what you would wear every day. So, if jeans and a button-up shirt are the daily go-to, then you’ll interview in slacks with a belt and your button-up shirt will be tucked in.
Pick the right color to convey the message you want.
Color has a big impact on how you’re perceived by hiring managers. Color impacts how others think about you. Always choose a neutral color over a more vivid color. You’re not trying to “wow” your potential employer with your fashion sense; you’re trying to get a job offer.
- Blue conveys confidence, trustworthiness, and team player.
- Black shows leadership, sophistication, and exclusivity.
- Gray is read as independent, logical, and analytical.
- White expresses safe and organized.
While it’s fun to wear colors, certain colors can have more negative connotations than positive.
- Brown shows that you’re reliable and dependable … and old fashioned!
- Red conveys power, energy, excitement, and courage …and hostility and defiance.
- Orange was voted the worst color to wear at a job interview. It is associated with someone who is unprofessional.
- Colors associated with fun are yellow, green, and purple.
If you’re like me, you have to have some color in your life. Use just a splash of these more vivid colors. Or, if red is your signature color, try a muted tone, like burgundy if you want to go darker or rose to go lighter.
Camera, lighting, and background are important with video interviews.
Your webcam, the lighting, and background will contribute to how you look and how you’re perceived in the interview.
Skype lets the interviewer into your home. The background you choose will impact the way you are perceived. If you can, find an empty wall behind you, especially if the wall is a light color. Avoid having a bed in the background at all costs. If your background is cluttered, declutter before the big show. Books imply that you’re well-read. But too many books on a shelf can be distracting not to mention, what you read might be quite different from what your potential employer does. Everything your interviewer sees could have an impact on the hiring decision.
Your background could change the way your clothing appears on video. Darker colors without patterns appear best on camera. Dark clothing against a light background will pop. Position your light source behind your webcam. Natural, non-direct lighting is best. Whatever you do, avoid backlighting at all costs! Backlighting puts you, and your face, in the shadow.
Last minute tip for what to wear for a Skype interview.
Smile. Interviews are nerve-wracking. Lead with your smile. It will help you relax, and it conveys the message that you’re outgoing and intelligent.
Your smile might just be your in to a second interview!
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