What Is the Best Colour To Wear to an Interview?
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated December 3, 2021
Published July 26, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
If you're preparing for an interview, you need to put some thought into the clothes you're going to wear. While formal wear is the ultimate choice, the colours you choose can significantly affect the interviewer's first impression of you. The right choice of colours can convey professionalism, confidence, and reliability. In this article, we discuss the best colour to wear to an interview and what the colour communicates about you in an interview.
The best colours to wear for an interview
Here are some of the best colours you can wear to an interview, along with the meanings associated with each of them:
Black is a classic colour you can wear anywhere. Many companies use black for their branding to communicate to the public that they are the industry leaders. Black can communicate to interviewers that you are a person with leadership abilities, strength, timeliness, power, authority, exclusivity, and sophistication. It's also a flattering colour that exhibits confidence.
As a high-powered colour, black is ideal for power job interviews. It's suitable for top roles, such as managerial positions. It may not be a perfect colour when interviewing for positions in customer service, retail, or any entry-level position because it often communicates authority rather than empathy and humility. Although wearing all black is a safe option and can look elegant, it can also appear too serious. If you're wearing black, consider pairing it with a different coloured shirt, belt, or blazer to lighten the look.
Blue is a great neutral colour and one of the most flattering colours to wear to an interview. It communicates calmness, confidence, trustworthiness, credibility, and honesty—all exceptional qualities that an interviewer looks for in a candidate. It also communicates to the interviewer that you're a team player.
The right shade of blue depends on the job you're interviewing for. If you're interviewing for a conservative professional job, darker shades of blue are appropriate, particularly navy blue. Navy blue can be an excellent colour if you're going to a managerial job interview. If you're interviewing for a creative or customer-centric job, wear a lighter shade of blue and pair it with another neutral colour.
Related: How To Prepare for a Job Interview
Grey is a great neutral colour to wear to a job interview. It communicates to the interviewer that you are independent, logical, sophisticated, and analytical. Grey also provides a foundation for adding small amounts of colour to your outfit with your shoes, belt, handbag, or jewellery. Light shades of grey can give you a soft image, while darker shades of grey can give you a more powerful look. You can decide on the shade of grey to choose based on the position you're pursuing. Grey is a great outfit colour choice for technical roles.
Wearing white to an interview can communicate to the interviewer that you're organized, dependable, detail-oriented, and honest. It also makes an impression that you're a clean person. Another reason to wear white is that it's easy to match with other powerful colours, and you can easily accessorize with a small amount of colour. It's better to pair white with another colour. You can wear your white shirt or blouse with a pair of navy blue, black, or grey trousers or a skirt. You can also pair your outfit with colourful and fun accessories such as necklaces, socks, shoes, and ties.
Brown is an earthy and steady colour that communicates to the interviewer that you are dependable, comforting, warm, and reliable. These are outstanding characteristics that many hiring managers look for, depending on the position you're pursuing.
While brown can exude reliability, it may not be as appropriate if you're applying for a role in a fast-paced industry, where hiring managers want to see enthusiasm and excitement. Therefore, it's important to consider the job you're interviewing for when deciding whether or not to wear brown in your outfit.
Red is a colour that exudes power and passion, and it's a good colour choice when trying to convince someone of something. Interviewers also associate the colour with courage, energy, and excitement. Because red is such a powerful colour, you need to consider the position you're interviewing for, whether it's an entry-level or managerial position, before wearing it.
You can also use red as an accent colour. Wearing a red tie, handkerchief, or a blouse with a bit of red on it can suffice. Consider wearing darker shades of red, like maroon or burgundy, because they are more subtle and professional.
7. Yellow, Green, Purple, and Orange
While wearing bright colours can communicate that you're a fun-loving person, they may not be the ideal choice to wear to every interview. However, you can wear bright colours to job interviews in the creative fields to show that you are a fun, innovative, and positive person. Bright colours may distract the interviewer, however, so they often serve as better accent colours against a more neutral background.
Wearing a mixture of bright colours and patterns can communicate to the interviewer that you are engaging, extroverted and have a positive personality. It's important to avoid mixing too many colours or patterns to ensure you still look professional and avoid distracting the interviewer, but with the right mix of colours, you can also use your attire to show your personality and sense of style.
What influences your choice of colours?
There are several factors to consider when choosing the best colour to wear for an interview, including:
The work environment
It's essential to research the company's work environment before the interview. You can make a good impression by wearing colours that fit in with the company's culture. For corporate positions, a more neutral outfit is typically safe, but for roles in the fashion industry or another creative field, you may find a colourful outfit is more suitable.
In a formal office setting, stick to neutral and solid colours. A critical rule to remember is that you want to wear clothes that allow the interviewer to focus on your qualifications and skills rather than your style. Solid colours help ensure that your attire doesn't distract the interviewer. Solid navy blue, dark grey, and black dresses and suits particularly look professional without being distracting.
For casual offices such as nonprofit organizations and startups, you can wear a bit more colour. You can wear softer shades of colours like blue in an informal office setting, since they represent more of your personality. If you're applying for a position in a creative industry, you can be more liberal in your attire's colours to show your sense of style.
Read more: The 6 Types of Work Environments
Your skin tone
Different shades of colours work for different people. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the shades of colours that you can wear to an interview. When choosing the colours to wear to an interview, pick those that you believe are flattering for you.
As you choose the colours to wear, it's also essential to consider the colour pairings to accent your core outfit. For example, a black blazer worn with a coloured shirt or blouse looks professional. You can also wear black trousers with plain shoes and a coloured jacket.
Tips to consider when choosing colours
The colours you wear are an important aspect of preparing for your interview. An effective and professional outfit can help you stand out and show that you pay attention to detail. Here are some tips to consider as you decide on the colours to wear to your interview:
Consider small print patterns. If you want to wear patterns, you can opt for small prints like thin stripes. When selecting a print, choose one that's small enough that the colour looks solid from across the room.
Opt for neutral and solid colours. When in doubt about the company's culture, it's safe to dress conservatively.
Consider making the dominant colour neutral. The main colour of your outfit can be neutral, like blue, black, or grey. You can then use other powerful colours like red as small accents.
Be confident. While choosing good colours is important, wearing something that makes you feel comfortable and confident is essential.
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