Human Resources

What to Wear for Your Virtual Interview?

Published on November 3, 2021 • Updated on January 30, 2023 • About 7 min. read

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Deciding what to wear for an interview takes some thought, especially when it's virtual. You might have job interview clothes in your closet, but they might not be the right fit for you today. Or maybe you’re changing industries and need to update your look. To guide you through what to wear to an interview, we need to understand the virtual interview experience.


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What not to wear to an online interview?

When dressing for an interview it's important that you don't wear dirty clothes, clothes that don't fit you, or clothes that don't match the context of the interview.

Do your interview clothes fit?

After a few years of remote work from home you might find that your old interview duds no linger fit quite the way they used to. Since the interviewer will likely only see you from your waist up, this means your jacket or top should be tailored to your size. If the clothes are too big, you can get your items tailored so that they look sharp and don’t hang off of you. And in instances where they are too small, don’t despair. Treat yourself to updated interview clothes.

Is your interview attire presentable?

When you work remotely, you might wear old t-shirts and jeans every day. On tough days, you might even be tempted to wear your PJs to your home office. In the context of a job interview, having fresh, ironed clothing is vitally important. If you have a few days before your job interview, you can take your interview outfits to a dry cleaner.

Do the interview outfits match the context?

In most situations, it is hard to go wrong by choosing business attire. Sure, some tech companies have a more casual dress code. That said, dressing up at the interview is a simple way to show you are a professional. When in doubt, dress up!

What should women wear to an interview?

Women's interview outfits should be comfortable, clean, and presentable. It's important to reflect confidence, so wear something that makes you feel great! Here are some women's interview dress ideas:

Female's professional interview outfit

  • Interview dress - ah, the classic move when you don’t feel like piecing multiple parts of an outfit together. The interview dress is the trusty companion for busy professionals.
  • High Heels - here’s a wild card. One of the advantages of a virtual interview is that no one will see your shoes. If wearing formal shoes helps you to focus and feel confident, wear them!
  • Jacket and slacks - you can update the classic powersuit with fun colors or mix and match items to build a more casual look.
Woman professional interview outfit

Women's casual interview attire

  • Jewel-toned t-shirt and statement necklace - As more of the world has begun working remotely, old dress codes have been thrown out the window. Wear a T-shirt to your next casual interview and dress it up with a blazer and statement jewelry.
  • Blazer and jeans - this is a staple in the tech world and makes a good impression in any casual interview.

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What should men wear to an interview?

Traditionally it was easy for men to choose their interview outfit: they just had to look to the failsafe suit and tie. While this can still be the case depending on the industry, the world of men’s fashion has opened up to include more options. And one of the benefits of working from home is that dresscodes have relaxed. Here are some tips that have withstood the test of time:

Male interview clothes

  • Suit color - the traditional choice of a navy blue or gray suit is good. These neutral colors have worked well for decades.
  • Dress Shirt - Wear a dress shirt that offers some contrast with your suit. Wearing a white dress shirt is a good option. To mix it up, you can wear a patterned dress shirt.
  • Necktie - Wear a necktie with simple colors or designs. Keep the novelty ties in the closet – this is not the same to proclaim your passion for Marvel or Star Wars.
  • Shoes - Technically, shoes are optional in a virtual interview. However, some people find that wearing formal shoes helps them to stay focused in the interview.

Keep the tuxedo in the closet, though – that doesn't belong in a virtual interview. If you want to know the best tips for virtual meetings etiquette you can find them in the video below:

Online interview outfits by industry

The above tips on online meeting clothes will work in most cases. That said, there are a few industry-specific tips to keep in mind.

  • Accounting and law. These professions are focused on offering serious advice to clients in need. Therefore, it is traditional to dress conservatively. We'll cover law interview clothes in more depth below.
  • Advertising and Creative Fields. You might experiment with more unusual job interview clothes. For example, consider wearing a remarkable watch or a more creative necktie.
  • Technology. Some parts of the technology industry are known for their informal dress code. Before showing up in a hoodie, ask people in your network for tips first. Spending five to ten minutes to clarify the dress code can make your job interview experience much less stressful.

Keep reading for more industry-specific tips on virtual job interview clothes.

men's job interview outfit

What to wear for a media job interview?

When you dress for an interview in the media industry, remember that this is an industry that values appearances more than most fields. You should select clothes that make you look good and feel confident. Look for blues, grays, magentas, and browns. A blue or off-white dress shirt is a good pick.

Avoid repeating patterns like stripes because they tend not to look good on camera. Likewise, bright green and red can cause problems. And try a virtual background to make your interview pop.

For additional insight on what to wear to a media interview, search YouTube for the people you will be meeting with. There's a good chance you can find a video interview that will give you ideas for the colors and styles that work well for the specific company.

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What to wear for an education job interview?

For an interview in the education industry, you'll want to wear appropriate clothing and muted colors. Here are a few examples to guide your preparation for a virtual interview in the education sector. Before we get to interview clothes, there is one non-clothing item to avoid. Avoid wearing perfume or cologne – many schools restrict these items due to allergies.

Elementary School or High School interview clothes

For men, it is hard to go wrong with a nice dress shirt and slacks(i.e., navy blue or gray is a good bet). For women, there are some options such as a blouse, skirt or slacks.

University interview clothes

Standard job interviews clothes are still a good choice. If you are a school graduate, you might consider wearing a pin or necktie related to the school. Showing your enthusiasm for the college in a subtle way is a nice touch.

Private school interview attire

Some private schools have a dress code. It is a good idea to review the dress code and check that your job interview clothes align with those expectations.

How to dress for a sales interview?

The clothes you wear can help you project an image of success and confidence in the sales world. In that case, you might want to consider buying new clothes for your virtual interview. If money is tight, try looking at thrift shops for gently used items. You can take them to a tailor, and iron them at home to spruce them up.

And even though it doesn't count as clothing, you can try using an office virtual background to further impress your interviewer!

zoom interview outfit ideas for women

What to wear for a government interview?

Unlike other industries, the government industry is not known for celebrating creative fashion. Conservative style is the best guideline to keep in mind for government interview clothes.

Use the following tips to select job interview clothes for a job with the government.

  • Men's job interview outfit. A clean, well-pressed suit in navy blue or gray is an excellent starting point. For a bit of flair, consider wearing a pin with a flag to show your patriotism.
  • Women's job interview outfit. Aim for a professional, conservative look.

For additional inspiration, check the website for the government department before your job interview. There will probably be photos of the executives who lead the department which can give you ideas.

How to choose a law interview outfit?

The legal profession has a dress code that is relatively conservative. Both women and men should wear suits for law interviews. Some established law firms in New York were once partially known for their fashion choices (i.e., white-shoe firms). When you prepare for a virtual interview in the legal profession, high-quality formal wear is your best bet.

For additional insight, look at the website of the law firm or department. If the partners all wear conservative suits, you should probably choose job interview clothes that match that style.

How to dress for a tech interview?

For years, the answer to what to wear to a Saas or tech industry interview has been the same: go casual and don't wear formal clothes. If you're looking at joining a small startup with a handful of employees, that's the way to go.

You can research the company culture. Some tech companies strongly encourage casual clothes. Look for photos of the company leadership and people at company events to get a sense of acceptable behavior. In addition, reading employee comments on websites like Glassdoor can give you more insight.

In most cases, you should dress up a bit. Even if the company has a casual style, adding a bit of style to your job interview clothes makes sense. For example, wearing nice jeans and a blazer would be a great outfit for a casual tech company. If the tech job involves working with customers, wearing a suit is a good idea.

Dress for confidence and comfort. In a tech interview, you might face challenging questions. For example, job interviews at Google are complicated (e.g., "If you were asked to wash all the windows in this city, how much would you charge?"). Wearing clothes you like and find comfortable can make it easier to focus.


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Virtual interview dress: a simple way to make a great first impression

Success in a webinar hiring session requires preparation and focus. Wearing a good suit is not enough to get you hired, but it can help you make a good impression. It is best to treat a virtual interview like a traditional interview – wear a suit or other business attire. Wearing formal clothes makes it easier to be focused and engaged in the conversation.