Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

What a Candidate’s Interview Attire Says About Them

Last week Spark Hire touched on what your interview attire says about your company, so it seems pertinent to discuss what a candidate’s interview attire says about them as well. Most employers know what to look for in a candidate when it comes to their attire, but with video interviews there is a bit more to look for. Since the candidate is not sitting directly in front of you in your office, it may take a bit more observation on your end to judge them on their chosen attire.

Savvy job seekers do a lot of research in preparation for their job interview. If they are preparing for a video interview, then they will likely do more since it’s a bit more unfamiliar to them. In their video interview research, job seekers will find that they should treat a video interview just the same as an in-person interview that takes place in an employer’s office. That means they need to give it the same amount of attention and preparation to the interview and dress equally as professional. Just because it is a virtual interview does not mean that professionalism goes out the window. So that said, let’s take a look at some interview attire cues that can give you more insight into a candidate.

Messy Hair
If a candidate comes into your office for a job interview, chances are they are not going to walk in with tangled, unruly hair. The same goes for a video interview. If a candidate in a video interview signs on with unruly hair, it may be a sign they did not adequately prepare and lost track of time. Perhaps they forgot they had scheduled a video interview with you and signed on just in time- unfortunately, they look a mess. Job seekers like this may struggle with punctuality and may have the same issues if you hire them for this job. It may also mean they don’t care too much for this position since they did not take the time to look professional.

Casual Attire
While some job seekers may think that they can dress in casual attire for a video interview since they are not going to meet the employer directly, they are wrong. As touched on earlier, a video interview is just as important as an in-person interview. This goes for both live video interviews and one-way video interviews. If a candidate joins a video interview with a plain t-shirt or a graphic tee, it may be a sign they are very unprofessional and don’t hold much weight on this interview. A candidate that takes the time to put a nice button-down shirt or blouse on, however, shows that they want to look good for the employer and want to make a great first impression. Look for candidate’s that choose to wear casual interview attire and think twice before you move forward with them in the hiring process.

Minor Slip Ups
When you participate in a video interview, the only visible part of your body is the upper half of your torso- usually. Because of this, many job seekers will opt out of wearing professional pants in the video interview since they aren’t visible to the employer or hiring manager on the other end. However, depending on how their camera is angled, this may not be 100 percent true. A candidate that did not take the time to test out their equipment and check to see what was visible in their frame may make one of these video interview slip ups. Perhaps you can see their pants and their pants happen to be plaid pajama pants. Not so professional. This points to their lack of preparation and perhaps how they are not suitable for this position.

Another minor slip up is where a candidate chooses to record their one-way video interview or participate in their live video interview. It may not be part of their interview attire, but it is part of their interview and savvy candidates will choose their background wisely. Hint: recording one-way video interviews in the bathroom or on your bed is not the best idea. If you encounter candidates that do this, perhaps you should think twice.

What are some interview attire cues you look for in candidates in video interviews or traditional interviews? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by mbaylor

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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