If you are invited to an online interview – CONGRATULATIONS! Interviews are an exciting but tense situation for all of us and having the interview online may add some extra stress, if you have not done any online meetings before. In order to help you in this situation, I have compiled some tips for you on how to appear professional and what to wear for an online interview. If you follow these simple tips, you will make a good and professional impression and will land that job!
Tip # 1: Pay attention to lighting and the position of your camera
In order to look good on camera, lighting will make a huge difference. Before setting up your computer and camera, ensure you find the most flattering lighting. Look for natural and soft light that is coming from a window that you are sitting directly in front of. Any lighting that is coming from above, from behind or the sides, will cast a lot of unwanted shadow, which you ideally want to avoid. If you are able to work with a mobile device such as a laptop to conduct your online interview, a good tip is to find the most flattering light by going through the house with the camera of your mobile device on and find the spot with the most flattering light. Another tip, if you do not have a spot with ideal light in your house, is to set up a light directly opposite from where you are sitting. This could be a bedroom lamp or for example a ring light as a supplemental lighting source.
Apart from lighting, it is important to look for your most flattering camera angle. The worst camera angle is always from below and you should avoid this angle at all cost. The goal with your camera angle is to be looking slightly up. So, ensure your camera is positioned in a way that you are looking up into the camera. You can achieve this by simply putting your laptop on a box or a couple of books.
And finally, be aware of the position of your camera on your notebook. The camera is usually positioned above the screen and you want to ensure you will be looking directly into the camera. Also ensure that your image is well centered on the screen.
Tip # 2: Pay attention to your make up
During an online interview, people ideally will only see your face and your upper body down to about your chest. So you will want to ensure that your “upper half” looks really good. This means that you create a natural, yet polished look that will make a professional impression to the interviewer.
In terms of make-up, ensure to wear a natural fresh-looking day make up. This includes a good foundation and concealer to create a smooth complexion and will cover any unwanted blemishes and shadows. Whenever you are on camera – whether it is in a photograph or on video, always ensure to wear some color in your make up. A bright lipstick in a flattering color and some blush are musts, when it comes to camera-friendly make up. The rule is to always wear a bit more make-up than you usually would, as the cameras does “wash you out” a bit. People will be looking in your eyes, so ensure you apply some eye shadow and mascara. This will make your eyes look bigger and overall create a more polished impression.
Tip# 3: Dress professionally, at least your top half 🙂
Now that you have set up your lighting and camera correctly and have put on bright and natural looking make-up, it is time to choose that perfect outfit for your online interview. Remember, the interviewer will only see your top half, so this is the most important area to pay attention to. I generally recommend to always get dressed in full business dress even when you are working from home. This will instantly make you feel professional and ready to conquer any questions the interviewer might have. So, in terms of outfit for an online interview , you can follow the same rules as for offline, which means:
– ensure to wear professional business attire if you are applying for an office job regardless of the position you are applying for. It is always better to be over-dressed rather than under dressed and with business professional attire, you cannot go wrong.
– the best choices of clothing for an online interview hence are: a high-quality button-down shirt paired with a blazer. Ensure the shirt is high quality and the check your collar before the interview.
– I highly recommend wearing some simple jewelry, for example a necklace and earrings. Jewelry will brighten up your overall appearance and create a more polished look.
Tip # 4: No background mishaps, please
Online conferences have the potential to reveal unwanted details about your life circumstances,. :). So, in order to avoid this, ensure the background is clean and organized. Also ensure that your family members and pets stay out of the way during the interview and your interview is not being cut short by a cat jumping onto your laptop, for example. You have not had time to clean up or you do not have a dedicated office in your house, online conferencing software such as Microsoft teams offers a very neat function, which allows you to change your background. There are some templates of GREAT looking offices which you can use and will help make your online interview a success.
Tip # 5: Be prepared.. and ahead of time
The day of the interview has arrived and you want to ensure that you are “on time”, meaning you are ready and online a few minutes before the start of the interview. I recommend giving yourself enough time to check all the above points including your set-up ( laptop, camera, microphone, position) make-up & of course outfit. Make sure to be online 10 minutes before the interview, in order to position your camera correctly, check your background and your overall appearance. Have a glass of water ready, avoid any distractions and you are all set for success!
I will leave you with these 5 tips of how to succeed and what to wear for an online interview. I wish you all the best and success during your interview. If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.