Top 5 Zoom Interview Outfit Mistakes: Expert Tips for Improvement

interview Apr 02, 2024
Zoom Interview Outfit

Due to the rise in work from home, it’s no wonder companies in 2024 are rolling out Zoom interviews as their first step.

The LAST thing you want to do is research the company, prepare your interview answers, and then lose the job because of the wrong attire.


The Impact of First Impressions 


According to a 2016 survey by CareerBuilder and Harris Poll, 49% of employers decide within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is suitable for the job.

A strong first impression in person, mainly used to mean a firm handshake and greeting the employees. Whereas, now, In a remote environment, there’s much more emphasis on how you present yourself, especially with how you dress.

That’s why you must avoid these common, but detrimental Zoom Interview outfit mistakes if you want the job.


Mistake #1: Underestimating the Importance of Dressing Professionally


When comfortable at home, you're always going to have the temptation to act or dress more casually.

However, this is still an interview and you have to treat it just as seriously as you would in person.

In fact, it’s said that, “ interviewees who dressed more formally were perceived as more competent and hirable than those dressed casually (Dipboye & Colella, 2016).

Meaning not only will you look and feel more confident dressing up, but your chances of being hired can increase as well. 

Pro Tip: For the women, consider wearing any of the 3 B’s: Blazers, Blouses, and Button Downs.

There’s a reason that they say someone is very “Buttoned Up”.

Blouses, blazers, and button downs have a very professional, structured appearance. Making them perfect for matching with skirts or dress pants.

You can also wear a dress, just make sure it's not revealing and inappropriate. For the guys, check out this link.

Overall, the key word with zoom interview outfits is “appropriate”. If you wouldn’t wear it to a career fair, definitely don’t wear it for a virtual interview. 



Mistake #2: Wearing the Wrong Colors


Dressing the part is not just about if you’re wearing the right top, pants, or blazer. Color plays a very large role in the right Zoom interview Outfit as well.

Avoid wearing all black, skin toned colors, and anything patterned. Wearing all black may make you fade into the background. Skin toned colors may make you look nude.

Patterns may be too loud and unprofessional. Instead, think about what you want your Zoom interview outfit to convey to your employer.

Do you want to come across as more trusting, optimistic, passionate? Then you may consider wearing blue, yellow, or red.

However if you’re trying to convey a different trait, this more in depth article on colors may be able to help. 

Pro Tip: When in doubt, stick to neutrals, blues, or a contrasting color to your background. They’ll look professional and memorable in a good way.




Mistake #3: Not Checking Your Lighting & Audio Settings Prior


Your Zoom interview outfit might be perfect, but if a hiring manager can’t see or hear you well, it won’t matter what you’re wearing.

In fact, it was found that, “63% of hiring managers have experienced a candidate’s video malfunctioning,” (Robert Half, n.d.). Therefore, even if you think your settings are fine,  check, check again.

Pro tip: Before the interview, host a personal meeting on Zoom. This will allow you to test your lighting, audio, and zoom interview outfit before the interview takes place. Allowing for a much more confident, smoother Zoom interview overall.



Mistake #4: Forgetting About Your Background


Everything the hiring manager sees you with at the interview is a reflection of you. 

If the area behind you is unorganized, you may appear unorganized. Instead, try your best to have a neutral, uncluttered background. It will keep the focus on you.

Pro Tip: If your house doesn’t have an ideal background, consider going to a friend’s house, renting out a private library room, or using a virtual background. Below are some virtual backgrounds you can choose from:


How to change your background

Just remember to keep your background professional.


Mistake #5: Only Dressing From The Waist Up


Although you most likely won’t have to stand up during the interview. Life is unpredictable.

Your doorbell might ring, your kids or pets come into the room, a door needs to be closed, the possibilities are endless and the last thing you want to worry about is being remembered as the candidate who stood up by accident and was only dressed professionally on top.

Avoid the pajamas, the shorts, the body suits, and anything else you wouldn’t wear at an in person interview. You’ll be much more relaxed and professional as a result.

Pro Tip: Beyond, dressing professionally from head to toe, you should take precautions to make sure distractions won’t occur.

This involves letting your roommates or family know when you’re interviewing, avoiding being too close to a window, muting your phone notifications, and closing out all non-relevant tabs on your computer.



Mistake #6: Wearing Overpowering Jewelry and Makeup


While dangly earrings and bold makeup looks can be very fashionable, they’re not the best for interviews. You want your interviewer to focus on you.

Not be distracted by dangly earrings and the color of your lipstick.  Therefore, unless you’re interviewing for a makeup or fashion brand, keep your Zoom interview outfit simple. 

For more interview makeup tips, check out this link.



Mistake #7: Forgetting about your hair


Hair is the finishing look to any outfit. That’s why you want to make sure your hair looks as clean and polished as possible.

Not wet, not frizzy, neat and professional. Also, make sure not to touch your hair during the interview.

Although you may get nervous and want to tuck it behind your ears, you don’t want to fidget at all during an interview.

Pro Tip: Wear your hair down and pin back the front pieces. This will allow you to have the confidence of wearing your hair down, without needing to adjust. For some more interview hair styling ideas, check out these two article: 

How to wear your hairfor an interview

Interview Hairstyles



Bonus: 3 Major Things You Absolutely Must Do for Any Interview.


Now that you have finalized your Zoom interview outfit and are ready for the big day, consider doing the following:


1) Research Before the Zoom Interview

There’s no such thing as too much research when it comes to selecting your potential future employer.

Beyond reading the company website, check out their social media channels, Glassdoor, and even some of their PR news if they have any.

You’ll be able to come up with more talking points and have a much better idea of the company values, and work environment you’re applying to.



2) Prepare a List of Questions for the Zoom interview

Interviewing is a two way street and you want to make sure that you’re really going to like working there for a year, 5 years, maybe even 20.

The best way to do this is to prepare some questions that you truly want to know the answers to. Doing so will help you better decide if the company is the right fit.

Some questions to consider might be “What is the company culture?”, “What does the day to day job look like in this position?”, “What do you like most about working here?”

For more interview question ideas, check out this link.



3) Send a Thank You Email After the Zoom Interview

While it may seem standard, there are many candidates who will not take the time to do this.

If you send a thank you email, the hiring manager will greatly appreciate it and this will make you stand out compared to every candidate who didn’t send one.



Last Thoughts


Remote interviewing is tricky, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these tips.

Just remember to feel confident in yourself, dress the part, and be excited that you are now THAT much closer to your dream job.

You got this!


✍️ Written by Alexa Kosloski


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