What Colors to Wear to Job Interviews and What to Avoid
You’ve been looking for a job and you’ve already gotten past the first hurdle. Your CV and cover letter have attracted the attention of a potential employer and you’ve been called into an interview. You’re not out of the rain yet though. Most employers will decide if they like you within the first minute, often even before you begin speaking. Your composure, style, attention to details and manners all dictate whether or not you make a positive first impression on your interviewer. You decide that you really need to dress to impress but not everything you wear will be proper for the job you are asking for. You should dress for the industry, not wear anything too fashionable but certainly do not be outdated, while ensuring what you are wearing is professional attire and not meant for a night out with friends having a cocktail or dancing in a club.
Color is just as important as what you wear overall. There have been studies that have surveyed employers in top companies, talked to human resource workers across industries, and come up with some simple conclusions:
• Blue is the best color to wear to a job interview
• Orange is the absolute worst color you can don in any professional workplace
Various colors give off different messages during a job interview. One has to be very careful as to what those messages relayed are. You may need to look more organized, or some jobs require you to look more creative. When considering what colors to wear to job interviews, it’s not just blue is the best while orange is the worst. You need to dress according to what the job demands of you. This color guide should help.
• Your safe choice is blue as 23% of employers said they preferred this hue. This shade means you’re reliable, credible and trustworthy, inspiring confidence in the interviewer and ensuring he or she listens to what you have to say next. Blues also have you looking more like a team player. Navy blue is your best bet for most jobs except those that require creativity as it may have you looking too stiff and conservative instead.
• Keep away from brown colors in some industries as it may have you looking too simple and old-fashioned, despite exuding an air of comfort and reliability. You want to look fashion-forward and modern as well as dependable. However, a combination of brown and another color can mean you add warmth and safety to the thoughts you inspire in the interviewer.
• Black should be worn if you are going for a leadership position in management. About 15% of employers generally tend to prefer black as the attire color. It shouldn’t be worn for interviews that will give you an assistant position though as it might make you look overpowering and not the right personality fit for the job.
• Reds may not be your best bet as, while they send out a message of power, this may not be a good thing at all. You will look bold and assertive but also domineering and rebellious. In sales or law positions, red might be positive though as the aggression is a necessary tool. It shows off that you are courageous, can show a lot of enthusiastic excitement and have a lot of energy that can be utilized.
• Gray is one of the best hues you can go for, as you appear logical, analytical, and perfect for the job. You look self-sufficient and capable, as well as confident in your abilities. For added personality, bring along a scarf or accessory that brightens up the look.
• White is great to say that you’re organized, impartial, and prefer things clean and crisp? Black and white combinations are great, especially a white blazer over a black dress, or even a button down shirt with a black or gray pencil skirt.
• Keep purples and yellows for more creative interviews as this will show off character. Purple has you looking artistic, unique and able to take on creative tasks, while yellow brings out the optimism as well as the creativity aspect. Steer far away from oranges as they appear unprofessional and that “fun” personality in not needed on interview day.
Photos courtesy of The Classy Cubicle