You’ve likely heard the expression “clothes make the man (or woman)”. Perhaps nowhere is this more relevant than in a job interview. Perhaps you know how important it is to dress professionally, but did you know the colors you wear require just as much consideration.
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 black, blue, gray, 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
- Green, Yellow, Orange 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 Go 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 over-sized 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?
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at ComeRecommended!
About the Author: Jule Gamache is a senior at Penn State studying public relations with a minor in Spanish. Before becoming a content creator trainee, Jule was the public relations research assistant at Come Recommended. She has experience in public relations, social media, blogging, research, and marketing from multiple internships and student organizations. Follow Jule on Twitter!