Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

What a Candidate’s Video Interview Attire Says About Them

A job candidate’s interview attire can reveal a lot about their professional judgment. However, do the same rules apply to job seekers who do video interviews? Video interview candidates may have some extra things to worry about when it comes to choosing good interview attire. Clothing color and appearance can come across differently on camera. Additionally, one could argue—and I’m going to—that the setting that a candidate chooses for his/her video interview is part of the interview attire. Here are some new things to keep in mind when judging a candidate on his/her appearance during video interviews.

Tips for video interview attire can be found all over the internet. This is good, because the rules may not be intuitive for many job seekers. For example, job seekers in a video interview should take care not to clash with, or match, the background of their video. Job seekers should also avoid very bright colors and busy patterns, as they might not translate well on camera. This is a challenge that has not traditionally been dealt with by job seekers. Many may not think to take these details into account. As a manager, you can choose how harshly to judge a candidate based on their adherence to video interview attire tips. If you do choose to be a harsh critic, make sure you are also representing your company in the best way during the interview. On the positive side, you also have a great chance to reward a candidate for orchestrating these details appropriately. A candidate who coordinates their blue shirt with the brown wall behind them clearly has a great affinity for detail, and has done his/her homework (or is unusually lucky, which is not an altogether bad employee trait either).

The background of a video interview also deserves attention from hiring managers. A candidate’s interview background and setup is—like clothing—part of the candidate’s presentation that he/she can control. Any aspect of the interview that the candidate can control can be used as a means of evaluating the candidate. The best background is a neutral-colored wall, with minimum visible clutter. The video interview should also be free of background noise, movement, and interruption. It should be apparent that the candidate has prepared a specific place in which to participate in the interview.

Insofar as you want to judge based on appearance, also feel free to take lighting into account. Like clothing color, that detail might not have a big impact in your decision. If you do recognize the effort though, give credit where credit is due.

Finally, be sure to subtract a million points if the camera angle accidentally reveals that they aren’t wearing pants.

How do you judge video interview attire for job seekers? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Faramarz Hashemi

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.