What colors deliver best on camera, and which ones wash you out?
Those looking to know how to dress for a Skype interview or any interview in any video communications application while working from home may be interested in this topic.
After all, there has been a huge rise in work from home video conferencing in recent years.
Unlike when you’re having your actual picture taken, video calls can make you keenly aware of how you look.
Viewing your own image on a video call over time, you pick up certain details about what you’re wearing that normally aren’t as noticeable in a still camera shot.
So, what colors should you steer clear of while on video conferences?
Importance of Taking Home Video Conference Calls Seriously
“Serious” is something we mostly reserve for the outside world.
When we work from home, we want to be unapologetically ourselves, engaging in the activities we love without a care in the world.
Although we still have the freedom to do that today, the reality is, our private lives now have to start making room for our professional lives.
The new normal dictates avoidance or limiting face-to-face communication for the betterment of society.
In place of the traditional comes the more modern video conferencing method.
Video calls are slowly transforming how people stay in touch with friends, colleagues, reporters, and clients.
Even if you were the old-school type who doesn’t think that video interviews and meetings require the same polish needed for an in-person conference, you need to realize that visual impact in these scenarios matter just as much.
As such, when you're working from home you need to maintain a winning digital image to keep up with today’s professional industry climate.
Colors To Avoid During a Video Conference Calls
Dresses or skin enhancers in the following shades usually don’t look flattering in front of a video camera, so make sure to avoid them.
1. Black and White
When you work from home the number one color rule in video conferencing is to avoid extremes. That means no solid black and solid white colors.
Black can make double chins and the bags under people’s eyes more pronounced, while white makes it difficult for the video camera to balance the exposure.
Contrary to popular belief, black also doesn’t make you appear thinner. In fact, it nearly does the opposite.
The color makes it hard for the video camera to detect the end of your arms and the beginning of your torso. That potentially gives you a broader appearance.
In most cases, wearing too dark and fluorescent colors can interfere with your image quality, making you appear blurry to the viewer.
2. Intense Reds
Bloody red is not what you want to bring in front of the camera, either.
This shade can make you appear hazy and just completely uninteresting.
However, if you do want to bring red into your look in some way, use a bright red tone on your lips.
A brighter, bolder red lipstick is usually best paired with a pastel ensemble since it minimizes the impact these overly light colors can bring on video calls.
3. Colors Similar To Your Background
If standing out is your goal, you’ll want to avoid dressing in colors that match your wall.
White shirts already aren’t the best choice for work from home video conference calls, but they can be the worst option if you’re setting up in front of a white background.
4. Colors That Don’t Flatter Your Skin Tone
A working from home video conference interview dress code dictates that unflattering colors should be avoided.
This means steering clear of shades that wash you out and don’t do your skin tone any favors.
Colors that nearly match your natural skin color should also be avoided.
Not only do these colors wash you out, but they can make you appear somewhat nude on camera, too.
For the most part, it’s the mid-tone greens and blues that show up best on screen.
However, you’ll want to rule out the various shades of green and certain blue tones when in front of a green screen.
In this scenario, dressing in these shades can make you appear transparent.
If you’re using a green screen, the colors you wear should be significantly different from your background; otherwise, you will simply become part of it.
6. Hot Colors
Generally, green, pink, orange, and yellow are a no-no when on a video call.
These colors can be distracting at times, putting the viewer’s focus on the clothes instead of the person.
Other Must-Avoid Dressing Elements
Apart from colors, patterns and fabrics are essential visual keys when doing a Skype or any video conferences or interviews.
That is why it’s important to know how they translate on video cameras.
We understand that most will want to dress in their favorite clothes and all that, but what if this doesn’t result in the kind of look that works for video calls?
Check out the other dressing elements that shouldn’t be part of your video conference interview dress code.
Unless patterns are the main topic of your video call, it’s best to stay away from them.
Simply put, you'll want to avoid patterns entirely when in front of a video camera.
Checks and stripes, particularly in smaller prints, can wash your facial features and make you look distorted.
The worst part about wearing these eye-catching patterns is that they can distract from your actual message.
If you’re ever thinking about donning patterns during your next video interview, after all, there’s no one stopping you, at least make sure they don’t match your couch or make you look like a zoo animal.
Your video conference interview attire should also consider what fabrics are inappropriate for your particular set-up.
In a set-up that’s properly lit with overhead lights, heavy fabrics can potentially cause a great deal of perspiration.
In these instances, try to go for lighter cotton fabrics to make you feel fresh the entire time.
If you insist on wearing heavy fabrics, at least make sure your room is adequately air-conditioned.
- Too-Short Skirts or Dresses
What seems like a skirt with an acceptable length standing up may inch up too high during your sitting interview.
If your camera covers that far below, that can make for some quite indecent feed.
So, before your interview starts, make certain to check your wardrobe’s length to avoid any malfunctions on the camera.
- Low-Cut Necklines
Any video conference interview attire should comprise work-appropriate pieces of clothing.
That means too-low necklines and tight dresses are out of the question.
While these garments may give people confidence, they can oftentimes expose a little too much skin or body part.
Fabrics with creases are never going to catch on in any workplace scenario.
They can make you look lazy and unprofessional during a video interview like you just got out of bed and decided to scour your laundry basket for what to wear.
That rugged, unkempt look may work in some social scenarios, but not for a home video conference call with your boss or colleagues.
In this setting, you should pick out your best-fitting garments, steam and iron them so that you’ll look like you’re ready to kill your meeting.
When it comes to wearing jewelry and accessories in a video chat, the rule of thumb is to “keep it simple”.
- Flashy Jewelry
Making a big statement with your accessories is perfectly okay if they’re the subject of your conference.
However, if they aren’t, you’re better off sticking to simple, classic pieces that don’t remove your true message.
Of course, there may be instances where you can pull off over-the-top jewelry, especially if it fits your personality so well.
- Glaring Accessories
Try to steer clear of jewelry pieces that reflect light since these can be a distraction.
In case you can’t, now may be the perfect time to don those glare-proof glasses you just bought.
Jangling necklaces and dangling earrings can also create noises that are easily picked up by microphones, so you’ll want to make sure they stay in your jewelry box.
Facial enhancements are commonplace in the world of video conferencing.
After all, who doesn’t want to look their best in front of the video camera, right?
Of course, some types of makeup and makeup practices may accomplish just the opposite of what you intended.
That is why unless you’re a pro in makeup application, always have an expert do your makeup for you.
This way, you can go in front of the video camera with your makeup and hair in place.
It’s also important for you not to appear overly made up since this can be distracting to viewers.
Also, steer clear of anything glossy, particularly lipstick, because lips that reflect can look strange on cam.
Now that we’ve gone over the dressing elements to avoid when in a work from home video call, let’s take a look at the things you should apply to look your best.
How To Look Your Best in a Video Conference Call
While the right colors, patterns, and fabrics can go a long way to making you look good in a video interview, they’re not the only elements you have to address to make a full impact on your viewer.
1. Good Lighting - Avoid Fluorescent Lights
Whether you’re part of a professional photoshoot or video call, angles and lights will always matter.
Face-timing with a close friend might not get you as interested in how you look on camera, but skyping with your boss to discuss work matters is a completely different story.
The rule of thumb as far as lighting is concerned is to avoid fluorescent lights.
These types of lighting can cast unflattering shadows that may mess up how you appear on camera.
Overhead lights aren’t any better, either, since they can create the illusion of dark shadows under your eyes.
Your main light source must always be behind the camera.
In this way, your light and the camera will be pointing right at you, resulting in a better video feed.
It’s also possible to use two different light sources behind your camera, one of the left, another on the right.
As for what angle to position the camera, it should be eye-level.
For laptops, you’ll want to set them on an elevated base so that the camera lens is level with your eyes.
2. Remove Distractions
We’re sure you’ve seen those viral videos of news anchors getting interrupted by their kids at home.
While most viewers may find humor in those videos, your bosses or interviewers might not feel the same towards your interrupted video feed.
Suppose you have animals or kids running around at home, close and lock the door to whatever room you’re setting up.
That ensures your family knows you’re in an important conference call and are not to be disturbed.
3. Check Your Background
Whether you’re in your private home office or bedroom, make certain your background looks professional and is clutter-free.
You may love the precious family photos adorning your wall, but the person on the other end of the camera might not.
The same applies to anything that could make your set-up look unprofessional, whether it’s clutter, laundry, leftover food, soda cans, or boxes.
Before your interview starts, take a picture of your background from behind the video camera.
This way, you’ll be able to view your background as your viewers might see it.
Remove any item that may take away from your message or the purpose of the conference call.
Also, once you’ve chosen a wall, turn into your designated video conference background, and stay with it.
4. Create Notes
Even if you know how to dress for a Skype interview, it still won’t be a successful interview if you miss discussing some important subject matters.
The preparation alone can get overwhelming, so have some back-up notes in case things start to slip your mind.
Just tape that piece of paper next to your camera so that you can stay on track even when nerves strike.
You should also take to heart as many points as possible so that the entire discussion will flow smoothly from your end.
5. Maintain Eye Contact
Not looking an interviewer directly in the eye during video calls is considered impolite, whether you’re doing it personally or virtually.
Look directly at the video cam or, at least, the person’s face so that you won’t look like someone nervous and unprepared.
Also, keep yourself from looking at the small screen where your image is since that can be a bit distracting to your viewer.
6. Get Quality Audio Visual Items
If you anticipate many video conferences coming your way, it’s best to invest in a high-quality external cam.
Depending on your set-up, you may decide to use a headset during your call.
This also calls for you to get one with excellent specifications.
Still, video calling or chatting sans headphones is usually the preferred look.
How To Dress for a Skype Interview
In your quest to figure out how to dress for a Skype job interview, self-awareness is ultimately your biggest edge.
We are all different. We have different skin tones, personalities, and work set-ups at home.
Look within yourself and see what you have to work with to discover which combination translates to success.
It may not necessarily be the look that works for your viewers initially, but it’s what’ll get your message across and help you succeed in this new professional climate in the long run.
Even if video conferencing makes you nervous, start practicing today.
Remember that once you get the hang of it, you have added yet another invaluable business skill to your repertoire.