The Best And Worst Colors To Wear In A Job Interview

This article was originally published on

How much thought do you put into your outfit before a job interview? You may already know the importance of dressing professionally, but the colors you wear require just as much consideration. The colors you wear say a lot about the type of person you are, whether accurately or not.

A new survey from CareerBuilder asked more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals about the attributes employers most often associate with colors candidates wear to job interviews.

The best colors to wear for a job interview, according to those surveyed, are blue (23 percent) and black (15 percent). On the flip side, the worst color you can wear is orange (25 percent of employers), which tends to be associated with someone who is unprofessional.

Many employers felt more conservative colors such as blackbluegray, and brown conveyed a sense of professionalism. Other key attributes they pointed to:

  • Black – Leadership
  • Blue – Team Player
  • Gray – Logical/Analytical
  • White – Organized
  • Brown – Dependable
  • Red – Power
  • GreenYellowOrange or Purple – Creative

If you want to use these findings to your advantage, you can look at the job description to determine what soft skills are required for the position and pick a color representing the most important one. If the first thing they ask for is someone who is well-organized, wear a white shirt. If they want someone who works well on a team, wear blue.

CareerBuilder also offered five tips to dress for success when you meet with potential employers based on their findings:

Dress for the environment, but don’t get too casual. Always dress for the job you want. When you set up the interview, ask the interviewer about the workplace dress code. You should dress up a little based on this answer. Looking professional is essential. If everyone is dressed in shorts and flip flops and you show up in a business suit, you may not come across as the right fit, but business casual would be appropriate here. Wear a suit where appropriate or at least a nice pair of pants or skirt with a collared shirt or blouse.

Stick with neutrals. Like the survey results showed, you can’t go wrong with navy, black, brown, or gray. Wear a suit or blazer in one of these colors and pair it with a classic white button-down shirt. Depending on the company where you’re interviewing, you might also be able to get away with a more vibrantly colored shirt instead of white. Use you best judgment.

Tailor your outfit. Never wear clothing that is too tight or revealing. At the same time, though, loose clothing can make you look like a kid wearing your dad’s suit. Make sure your interview wardrobe fits well and complements your shape.

Don’t distract the interviewer. Wacky ties, loud patterns, and oversized jewelry are distracting and can hurt your interview. Potential employers will spend more time thinking about your outfit than your qualifications for the role. For the best results, wear solid colors or small patterns in job interviews.

Pay attention to details. Make sure shoes are polished, clothes are free of wrinkles, and nails are manicured. Choose everything carefully from your belt and tie clip to hosiery and socks.

Once you get the hang of it, you won’t have to spend much time picking out outfits for job interviews. Ingrain these ideas in your mind so you can focus the bulk of your efforts on researching the position and practicing your answers. If you can manage these things, you’re well on your way to nailing the interview.

What do you like to wear to job interviews?

Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s