A viral TikTok showed a recruiter’s LinkedIn post discussing appropriate attire for a virtual job interview, sparking a debate in the comments section.
Daniel Space, or as he’s known on TikTok @dan_from_hr, shared the video to his account where it was viewed nearly 300,000 times. While some viewers expressed that they felt job candidates should be free to wear whatever they are comfortable in, others wrote that they should wear business appropriate attire.
An article published by Indeed discussed virtual job interviews and what one can wear.
“It stated that dressing for the interview can involve the company’s culture and what looks “professional and appropriate” on the candidate.
“If the hiring manager provides you with a dress code in advance, follow their guidance,” the piece stated. “If not, you can do some research on the culture and typical dress code of the company to get an idea of how to dress for the interview.”
Typically, the article stated, it is “best” for a job candidate to wear business attire for the interview.
Louise Ogilvy, a recruiter who works with startup tech companies, wrote a post on LinkedIn talking about job candidates that went through video interviews and did not get an offer.
She explained that part of the reason—though not the sole reason—was due to appearance and attire.
“Have we become to accustomed to working at home that we have forgotten that we are still ‘working,'” she wrote in her post. “Would you have turned up to an office in a hoodie for an interview back in the days of face to face interviewing?”
Ogilvy then asked if it was the recruiter’s responsibility to tell a candidate that they should wear “something smart that would be classed as casual wear, instead of hoodies.”
Space took the conversation to his TikTok account and asked his followers what they thought of the post, noting that the comments were split on LinkedIn.
Similarly, viewers were split in the comments section of Space’s video.
Some wrote that candidates should be able to wear what they’d like.
“She used the term ‘back in the day’ so she’s already out of touch,” a viewer wrote. “We’re not back in the day anymore. Let people wear hoodies.”
“If a company discriminates based on a hoodie, it’s not a company I would want to work for,” another commented.
“I was on a client [call] and the CEO showed up in their pilates outfit,” one viewer wrote. “People need to relax and just get the work done.”
Others, however, wrote job candidates should wear something more formal.
“You need to be wearing business casual at the minimum, you need to put your best foot forward regardless of it’s virtual,” one viewer opined.
Another commented that it’s “not that hard” to wear a business appropriate shirt.
“The interviewee should still dress professionally, even these days there are times you have to dress up, show us you can,” a TikTok viewer wrote.
Some wrote that they could see both sides of the argument, and the attire of the interview may depend on the role the candidate is applying for.
“It really depends if it is a customer-facing role or internal,” one comment read. “If it’s internal, why would it matter? Clothes aren’t going to affect work quality.”
Ogilvy told Newsweek in an email that her post was specifically referring a client-facing position.
She also noted that the interviewed candidates were being interviewed by her hiring clients and not screened by her to get through a first-stage interview.
Instead, Ogilvy said she was not on the other side of the camera to assess what the candidate wore.
“Our client actually stated that the candidate looked ‘unprofessional,’ so it raises the question of what is professional,” Ogilvy said.
A recruiter for 20 years, she said she believes the value of a recruiter has been lost.
“The point of my post was aimed at fellow recruiters to ask them, should we be advising candidates on what to wear for a video interview?” Ogilvy said. “I always helped my candidates when they were going to a face-to-face interview with ideas on what the dress code is or was. Since we have moved to video interviewing, I haven’t.”
She noted that she believes people should “make an effort” for video interviews, whether it has to do with what the applicant wears or not having the television on in the background.
“It’s all about first impressions and that is human nature,” Ogilvy said.
Space told Newsweek in an email that he noticed major shifts in patterns for the hiring and interviewing process throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I see some things returning to what we call ‘normal’ and others I don’t think will be—dressing for interviews as one of them,” he said.
When he looked at the responses that his video garnered, he said many people spoke confidently, but from a limited perspective.
Space explained that what may be considered “common sense” in one industry can be considered “absurd” in another.
He noted that while he appreciated the different perspectives, he wanted to see more of an openness to other opinions.
Space also said that he noticed the hiring managers who commented they wanted some type of formality in interviews.
“When in doubt, it’s better to lean more toward formal over casual,” he said. “We as a candidate might want to be comfortable and formal, but we shouldn’t give a reason to the hiring manager to disqualify us based on that. And it’s fine to ask the recruiter.”
This was not the only viral discussion centered around jobs or the interviewing process.
A woman shared a now-viral video talking about her frustration with companies that omit a job’s salary on their listing and eventually criticize a job candidate who is only motivated by money.
Another woman posted a video in which she said that people should find a job they can tolerate that pays their bills and is not the center of their lives.
One man resigned from his job by posting a video message from American Idol contestant William Hung on his office’s Slack channel.