What to Wear to An Interview

We all know that blue is the most popular choice for interview clothing colour. Well, navy to be more specific. Easily presenting any candidate with a degree of professionalism, it’s a safe bet.

But what about all of the other colours out there to choose from; dare you venture out into the unknown and turn your back on the old faithful confidence-inspiring navy blue suit?

We explore which colours might be the best option for you next interview outfit, and what they mean to employers.

Blue – well as it’s the favourite, let’s get this one out of the way with first. We must stress however that neon blue, baby blue, or aqua are not included in this analysis! When presented with candidates dressed in blue, employers get a feeling of trust, a team player and dependability. Examples of leading businesses, all wishing to instil trust with their blue logo - Dell, American Express, Facebook. Perfect for all job roles.

Black – this is the power colour for leaders everywhere interviewing for managerial or expert roles. This is a serious colour that will express your sophisticated side to potential employers.

Grey – This colour tells others that you’re an analytical type who is independent and logical. Traits you would wish to display if you’re going for an analyst or planner role. Team with some blue too so they don’t think you’re some kind of Dr Evil trying to take over the world.

Red – The colour of love, danger and excitement; and this is exactly what it says to employers. Wear it skin tight and we’re sorry but you’re going to be seen as a flirt, wear it as an accent to your black suit then it shows you’re not afraid to be a little daring. Maybe a red scarf or tie, or bright red lips to an otherwise grey/ blue/ black outfit could really make you memorable to the interviewer for all the right reasons. 

Yellow – The colour of sunshine! If you’re happy then everyone is happy, and that is what this colour portrays. You need to pick the right shade for you.  No-one over the age of five should be wearing lemon yellow, but other than that you’re good to go on shining your optimism and warmth at your next interview. Mix this into your look with a yellow tie, yellow socks, or a yellow blouse. Head to toe yellow, no matter how happy you are, is never ok.

Pink – A little pink goes a long way and is again a useful colour for creating accents. The classic pink and grey works every time for all office & retail based interviews. While pink and royal or navy blue is a little more luxurious and could be better suited to interviews for field sales, marketing or trading positions. A colour for thinkers, pink will show that you are creative, imaginative and wise.

White – Wearing white symbolises balance, calm and neutrality. An ethereal being, you could be the organising force that they have been waiting for. Or you could be someone who cannot deal with anything loud in the workplace, be that colours or co-workers.

Green - When we see this colour we all often think of health, peace and growth. These are all excellent qualities to convey but with the greens come the hues. A darker hue presents feelings of dependability and conservatism, while a bright lime green will appear much more casual and probably not appropriate for interview.

Orange* - Topped the list for the worst colour (25% of employers) and was the colour most likely to be associated with someone who is unprofessional. 

If you’ve got an interview soon, go and get your outfit ready now and choose the right colours for you. Choosing your clothing in the morning of the interview, half asleep while trying to consume hot coffee is not going to go very well, trust us, we’ve been there and got coffee all over the t-shirt.

*CareerBuilder Study 2013, representative of 2,099 hiring managers and HR professionals across industries and business sizes.


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