Dressing for success in a video interview

When asked to appear on camera knowing what to wear can help you to look your best.  Even the latest high definition video cameras “see” the world different from our natural eyes.  Here are a few simple rules.

What not to wear on TV

  • Avoid white shirts or dresses.  White appears brighter on camera than complexion tones, and visually overpowers the face.
  • Avoid clothing with fine stripes or patterns.  Sometimes they can appear to vibrate on camera, in what is called a moiré pattern.
  • Large or reflective jewelry can be distracting in addition to beeping watches, cell phones or pagers.

What to wear on TV

  • For men an off white shirt will actually appear white on camera without overpowering the rest of the image.   Pastel shirts, such as light blue work well, in addition to deeper colors.
  • Depending on the tone and appearance that you want to set, a suit or sports coat with tie or open collar generally works well.  Alternately, many men choose something more casual like a golf shirt, or perhaps your company’s logo wear.
  • For women deep solid colors can have a pleasing result.  Blue works especially well on camera as it is most flattering to skin tones.
  • Unless you’re in a major production with a make-up artist on set, it is best to bring a comb, makeup and a mirror.

When possible bring several sets of clothing to provide the director with a choice.  Also not to be overlooked; a good night’s sleep can actually help you look your best, and don’t forget to wear your best smile.

While preparing for an inverview, I have seen some people write out their statement and try to commit it to memory.  Most of the time however, this effort backfires causing the person on camera to appear nervous and unnatural as they struggle to remember what they wanted to say.  A better approach is to relax and simply have a conversation with the person interviewing.  That will make your answers more sincere and believable to viewers of the video production.  Alternately, if the goal is to make a statement for your company and want a carefully scripted message, the use of a teleprompter will allow you to confidently deliver your message right to the camera.  Fortunately, the ability to record more than one “take” allows the opportunity try it again in case you mess up.

So the key to success for recording an interview for TV is to watch what you wear, relax, and don’t forget to smile.