What to wear for online interview. Set up online interview

What to wear for online interview and how to set up your remote online interview

So you have already read all the advice in the previous articles on what does it mean to be a remote worker, tips on how to get a remote job interview,  and now you have finally secured an online interview.  What do you need to do next for an online interview for remote job? How should you set up for your online remote interview and what to wear for online interview?

An online interview for a remote job is not too different from attending an interview in person in an office in front of a panel.  Of course they will be asking the same questions as if you were face-to-face, but there are additional points that you should consider whenever the interview is being held remotely.  What to wear for online interview. The organisation you are hoping to work with will want to find out more about you and find out if you are a right fit, but they may also be looking at a few other things too.

So in no particular order here is some advice on how to prepare for that online interview.

Preparing for the interview

You have previously done all your research on the company – which has landed you the interview – so the next steps are all about setting up for the online interview.  What should you wear? Where should you sit? What if there are technical glitches?

Location

Even if you have a dedicated space set aside in your home as a home office you should pay special attention to how it looks during the interview.  

  • Do you have a clear desk – move the coffee cups, the hairbrush, and the cat if necessary?
  • What is visible in the background – is there a lot of clutter, kid’s toys, ironing boards – hide them away, or just move them out of sight during the interview.
  • What can be heard in the background – crying babies, washing machines, dogs barking, lawnmowers, take a few minutes and just stand and listen. If you can hear it then maybe the interviewer can hear it too.
  • Are there sensitive documents visible – have you paperwork sitting out that can be read, even upside down?  Don’t forget to look at notice boards, calendars, or whiteboards that may be behind you.
  • Do you need natural light, or lights turned on, to clearly show your image – make sure you can be seen.

If you don’t have a dedicated space and have to use an external location, such as a coffee shop or co-working space, then you need to consider all the above PLUS a few others – read on.

Use a good webcam and microphone

You want to be seen and heard clearly.  If your job requires regular online meetings with either colleagues or external customers then investing in a high-quality webcam and microphone is a must.  This is your window to the world and is the first impression that people have of you.  If the video quality is poor and they can’t see you, or the audio is so bad they can’t hear you, then you aren’t off to a good start.

If you are taking part in an online interview in an external location remember to use a good set of headphones so everyone else can’t hear the interview questions.

Check your equipment works

Ask friends or family to run through a test call with you.  This will allow you time to work out issues with webcams and microphones. Do you need to adjust any settings? Do you need to upgrade any pieces of equipment? Is your broadband too slow to handle things?  All these need to be considered when operating as a remote worker and should be done in advance of the interview. 

Make sure all devices you are using are working properly, charged, or are plugged in correctly during the interview.  Close down any programmes you are not using – this is important if you find you need to share your screen at any point during the meeting. Turn off notifications on mobile phones and other devices to eliminate distractions.

Position

Another point to consider whenever you are running your checks on your webcam and microphone is where they are placed.  Try to position yourself in a central position, so you are looking directly into the camera. If you have an external webcam you can play around by moving either it, or yourself, so you capture the best image of yourself.  

Laptops, tablets, etc. have in-built cameras so you don’t have the freedom to move the position of the webcam, this can cause difficulty in getting a good clear image.  Do we want to see up your nose, or stare at your cleavage?  One solution to this is to raise your device to a higher position (even if it is just on a pile of books). 

If you have an external microphone try to position it so that it can clearly pick up your voice, but not obscure your screen.

Remember the previous point – do a trial run before your interview!

What to wear for online interview

Should you dress up for a virtual interview? Some organisations are adopting a more casual style of clothing policy for work, but you really need to think about the type of role you are being interviewed for, and the type of organisation you are hoping to join.  Business professional or business casual clothing portrays an image of who you are and how seriously and credible a person you are. If you dress for an interview it can also put you in the right frame of mind and may even help you focus on work related matters.

  • Understand your audience – who are likely to be on the interview panel?
  • Choose an appropriate outfit – no six-pack or cleavage on show – unless you are going for fitness positions!
  • Consider the position you are being interviewed for – shop assistant or senior manager.
  • Requirements of the role – do you need to do live online sessions with colleagues, managers or the general public
  • Think of colour schemes – for example can you include colours of the corporate branding.
  • Check your background – wear a contrasting colour, you don’t want to blend into the wall behind you.

We have all heard the stories of the remote staff who wear shirts and ties, or smart blouses, during their video calls while secretly sitting with their pyjama bottoms on – so make sure you don’t need to stand up during your video call!

Conclusion

This article has looked at how what to wear for online interview and how to set up for an online interview for remote job.  There is quite a bit to consider, but remember everything listed is within your control.  Preparation is key – so take the time and get set up in advance. For tips and hints on what to focus on through the actual interview  process please have a look at remote interview tips.