What to Wear to the Interview (Including Remote Options)

Smiling, young business professional woman sitting in front of her laptop

Experienced accounting professionals seeking a career opportunity in the San Francisco Bay area are wondering: in this era of hybrid interviews, what do I wear in-person vs. on camera? Should you dress differently when interviewing remotely? 

Here are our tips for dressing professionally and excluding distractions when interviewing in-person and remotely to help land you the job of your dreams. 

What Your Outfit Says About You

When you’re interviewing for a machinist position at a manufacturer, you can wear a dress shirt and clean jeans to the interview. However, experienced accounting professionals should dress in business casual attire. For men, slacks and a dress shirt are standard attire. Women are encouraged to wear slacks and a dress shirt, a dress, or sweater over a skirt (not too short). Make sure your clothes are free of stains and wrinkles. 

Neutral colors are often best – try to avoid bright orange, yellow or pink. 

Sweep your hair back if it naturally falls in front of your face when it hangs down. You don’t want to give the impression you can’t wait to get to the beach after the interview is over. You want to communicate, nonverbally, to the interviewer that this is the outfit you will wear when presenting presentations to clients. 

Body language, clothing colors and other social cues can influence the way both candidates and interviewers behave during an interview. 

Remain focused, come prepared with questions and dress to impress and you will go far in the interview process. 

Be Comfortable, but Not Too Comfortable

A male and female sitting on the couch in loungewear while on a laptop.
Don’t wear pajamas pants to the interview.

If you’re going into the office for an in-person interview, wear professional shoes. You can wear low heeled shoes, but make sure they’re not distracting which can backfire and send the wrong message.

Don’t wear flip flops or flats that may smack the ground and unnerve your interviewer. 

Remote: You wouldn’t wear heels at home during a video interview, but try to avoid pajama pants during the interview since they may make you feel too comfortable. What you wear affects how you feel. Try not to come across as too relaxed or ambivalent. You want to feel focused and alert throughout the entire process. 

Ambient Aspects of the Interview

In a nutshell, you don’t want any distractions: no loud colors or crinkly clothing. This will keep the focus on the interview itself, and highlight your skills and experience as opposed to bad hygiene or ostentatious clothing.

Remote Interviews

A father working on his laptop surrounded by three kids.
Try to find a babysitter to reduce distractions at home.

This brings us to our next point. When interviewing remotely, make sure there are no distractions including noise in the background. When you’re distracted, it will show, especially on camera. 

If you can, try to find a babysitter if your child needs attention during your interview

When interviewing remotely, make sure you have a clean background or blur out the background if appropriate. Interviewers can get distracted by too many paintings or sports trophies. One or two trophies can lead to conversation starters, however. Strike a balance between showing a hint of your personality vs. overwhelming your interview with evidence of your eclectic taste.

Wear a Smile

Wear a smile when you appear on camera and introduce yourself with enthusiasm when interviewing remotely. In person, you can be more subtle since you are physically in the room with them, but remotely, you want to emote as if your whole self is there with them. Wear a smile and look at the camera as much as possible, unless you’re taking notes. 

Especially when interviewing remotely, your interviewer is watching your face to see how you feel about the questions they ask, and what you think of your answers. 

We hope these tips were helpful in preparing you for the big day! 

Contact us with any questions you may have about the interview process, or our firm in general, and view our open positions  if you’re looking for a career opportunity in the San Francisco Bay area.


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