As we live in these difficult times, we are constantly on edge and praying as hard as we can to ensure we look our best when the opportunity arises for that Zoom interview we have been waiting for. We are being forced to second guess whether we have the perfect image the employer is looking for in the right person for the job.
Each day multiple cases are rising, but the number of people out of work and seeking Universal Credit is increasing rapidly. Take, for instance, myself, I recently was let go from my job after nearly 3 months of working and a further 6 months as part of the furlough scheme authorised by the UK government and now returning to the unemployment line.
I am officially back to the regime of waking up early hours of the morning, to check messages, sitting up in bed and applying for jobs and chasing recruiters and picking out tops to wear just in case I get a call for a Zoom interview. This is the new “norm” for us all. Sometimes, this can feel like an obsessive routine which you can’t shake until you land back on my feet again.
As Zoom has become the most popular tool to communicate with people and businesses, experiencing the opportunity to dress for a casual/smart occasion to attend interviews from your bedside or your dining room table at home makes things very easy, simple and less stressful.
The other day I experienced my first Zoom interview and I was little nervous because no matter how many interviews you attend in the past, you still get the odd occasional butterflies going up and down in the pit of your stomach. At the end of the day, you want to ensure you look the part, you look professional and your ticking all the right boxes just so you’re in the lead to landing that amazing job but at the same time, prepping is key even down to dress sense and needs to be at a good standard.
In difficult times such as these, being immaculately presented is key whilst attending a Zoom interview and the same rules apply to a normal interview. Ensuring your hair is neatly combed, your face is refreshed, but most importantly your clothes are clean, no stains and avoid wrinkled clothing. It’s always best to dress accordingly in any interview that you attend whether it’s in an office or taking place in the comfort of your home.
An hour before my interview, I made sure I was organised with what I had in mind to wear, usually, if I’m preparing myself for a “normal” interview, the clothes would be laid out on the bed, everything from earrings down to shoes/boots that will match up perfectly with my outfit. Luckily, I didn’t have to go through that hassle. Instead, I took out a smart top as the interview was taken from bedside so my view from the waist up was showing as the laptop was resting on my lap. However, bottoms in this situation are not a priority, but for comfort, I wore casual comfy leggings.
Attention to the outfit
Being comfortable is very important in front of a normal interview or if you are in front of the camera for a zoom interview. In my opinion, I try not to wear anything too fitted as most of the time you will be sitting down, so preferably loose-fitting attire such as a regular white shirt or black round-neck/V-neck top in order to emphasize the look well is a smarter approach. It can be quite nerve-racking at first but it does take the pressure off from a normal interview meeting. On the other hand, double checking that the top half of your outfit is correctly dressed shows that you’re ready for interview. Even adding a hint of accessories such as statement earrings and rings says a lot by finishing off the outfit very nicely. The outfit is very important, in my case. There was also my bra strap that kept on showing which I had to adjust a couple of times. You can tell already that the pressure is on to look your best but use the last 10 minutes before the interview to relax and correctly adjust yourself.
A hint of make-up
I think we can all agree that makeup is something that most women don’t leave the house without, unfortunately, this time around, I didn’t put on any makeup of the day of my interview, but there is nothing wrong with putting a light blusher here, a strip of eyeliner or glossy lip balm to make yourself feel good, stand out and wake yourself up. Not only does it define your face, but it gives you a boost of energy and confidence and puts you in a positive mindset for your interview.
Research the company. Have the correct attire
Whilst dressing for this important occasion, you should research the company and their culture, and take note of the company’s values and industry. For example, the interview I attended a few days ago was a fashion-related job. Therefore, a casual but smart attire is the best way forward. Ensure you align with the company’s values so they know you did your research. Visual image goes a long way in a normal interview and the same rules apply to a zoom interview. Everything is being looked at from your dress sense, background, body language and the most important is eye contact which I believe is part of your dress sense so I made sure my glasses were on my face. Once everything is correct and your focused, you cannot go wrong.
Focus on your hair and face
In regard to the hair and face, I like the interviewer to see my face so they can see clearly who they are interviewing, ensuring your confidence in your words. Body language goes a long way in anything we put our minds to. For my recent interview, originally my hair was in plaits and all I needed to do is keep it neat and tidy so I put a hairband around my head which brings back my features and neatens up my hair all at the same time, giving me the confidence I need to win that interview I deserve. One thing I have learnt throughout this experience is the next time I have this opportunity I will around the dinner table instead, which depending on your house/flat will have a better background and lighting. With regards to the choice of outfit, try to keep the colours and prints to a minimum and don’t go to wild with the prints. My advice is to keep it neutral, comfortable and simple.
About Charlene Simone Foreman