Skip to main content
The M Dash

Live with purpose.

How to Dress for a Zoom Interview: Three Outfit Formulas for Any Industry

Take the guesswork out of choosing an interview outfit—without losing your personal style in the process.

By Madeleine Kim

As of this March, I’ll have been working from home for the past four years. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about dressing for Zoom. Through trial, error, and way too many hours of having my face broadcasted onto my coworkers’ screens, I’ve answered questions that never would have occurred to me back in my office days. Questions like: Which fabrics and colors look amazing in person but blah on camera? Which earrings completely vanish when I “blur my background”? And—don’t judge me—Which of my pajama tops can pass as real clothes when I’m only visible from the shoulders up?

Then, a couple of years ago, I published a story on how to dress for a Zoom interview depending on your industry—and to this day, it’s still one of our most clicked-on articles. So this week, I decided to present my updated take on the topic, which revolves around three simple outfit formulas, all of which you can likely create with pieces that are already in your closet. The idea is to take the guesswork out of choosing your interview outfit, without being so prescriptive that you lose your personal style in the process. Because they’re designed for virtual interviews, these formulas only address the top half of the outfit, but you can add a wide range of bottoms—Better Than Denim jeans, trousers, stretchy pencil skirts—to any of them, or sub the tops for dresses.

Below, find the outfit formulas and inspiration on how to wear them, plus the guiding principles I used to develop these looks.

3 Zoom Interview Outfits to Try

1. Turtleneck + Button-Down

It’s always a good idea to try to match (if not exceed) the company’s dress code in your Zoom job interview, which can be difficult if you’re new to an industry. Sometimes, you can get a sense of what people wear by visiting the company website, but if you feel lost, this outfit formula offers a solid middle ground between casual and formal. Simply wear a slim-fitting turtleneck (my absolute favorite one ever is the Axam) underneath a button-down shirt like the Lagarde, and there you have it: an outfit that’s professional and respectful, but not so dressed-up that you’ll feel awkward if your interviewer happens to be a be-hoodied tech bro. The Axam comes in seven different colors, so you can easily switch up your palette depending on your mood and the formality of your industry.

Like this look? Here’s more on how to wear a turtleneck.

2. Patterned Top + Neutral Jacket

I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: Business casual doesn’t have to mean boring! Infuse a bit of personality into your outfit (and the company culture) with a patterned top like the Nora in kaleidoscope print. Layering on a classic and neutral blazer like the Yiyan in black will keep the outfit squarely in the professional realm and ensure that the print doesn’t appear too busy on the screen. That said, don’t be afraid to finish the outfit with statement earrings, like the Lennon hoops—after all, Zoom calls can be draining, and it never hurts to make things a little livelier. For more outfit options, try the washable-silk Annika T-shirt with the Woolf jardigan, or the Patty tank in dot knit with the buttery-smooth Janette jacket in ponte.

If you want even more ideas on which color to wear with various neutrals, check out this style guide.

3. Understated Top + Textured Jacket

Beautiful fabrics don’t always translate on camera, so if you want to look luxe for your virtual job interviews, try choosing a piece with some texture—and make sure to sit somewhere with a good amount of natural light. A jacket made from Interweave—a gorgeous, Japanese-crafted knit that looks like tweed but feels like a sweater—would be an excellent option. I’m a big fan of the slightly cropped Lilia jacket, because it looks so good with my Milo jeans, but the Porter is also a great option if you like lapels. I paired the Lilia with my trusty knit Choe top and added some angular hoop earrings for a more modern look. The recently released boucle Evangeline jardigan or the plaid Dolly jacket would also be excellent options.

Guiding Principles

How to Dress for a Zoom Interview

Keep it simple.

As with most workwear, your video interview outfit’s primary purpose is to help others see you as the put-together professional that you are. If the hiring manager is noticing what you’re wearing instead of paying attention to what you’re saying—unfair and frustrating as it is—you’re probably not going to get the job. I think this M.M. customer said it best: I want an outfit that says, “Listen to me,” not “Look at me.”

Prioritize comfort.

If all you can think about is how excited you are to shed your itchy blazer post-interview, you may have a tough time remembering an instance in which you collaborated well with others on a project. Pick cuts and fabrics that are comfortable and won’t cause you to fidget or get distracted.

Show a little personality.

Interview attire tends to be understated, and for good reason—but it doesn’t have to be drab or devoid of personal style. If you love patterns, don’t be afraid to wear a printed underpinning with your suit jacket. If you feel most like yourself in vibrant, multi-hued earrings, balance them out with neutral colors.   

Don’t buy “interview-only” pieces.

There’s nothing wrong with having a go-to interview outfit, but if those pieces only get to see the sun when you’re job-hunting, it probably means you don’t actually like them that much. When you’re thinking about what to wear for a Zoom interview, also ask yourself how else you’d style the pieces you’re considering. Are they comfortable enough to be on regular rotation for your work-from-home job? Polished enough that you’ll wear them to the office? If you can’t see yourself wearing something after you land the job, don’t buy it.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

See more of Madeleine's articles

Read on.

Back to Top