What does your outfit’s colour say about you? Your colour guide for job interviews - Labour Law Blog

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Dec 14, 2017

What does your outfit’s colour say about you? Your colour guide for job interviews


We spend so much time and energy scouring job ads, researching potential employers and perfecting our applications, that when we finally land the job interview, we sometimes overlook one of the most important aspects of our interview attire: the colour.

A study entitled ‘Impact of Colour on Marketing’ found that up to 90% of snap judgements made about products were based on colour alone. The research also discovered that people make assessments within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products, with 62-90% of these assessments influenced by colours.

If you don’t typically pay much attention to the colour of your interview attire, perhaps it’s time to start doing so. Making a favourable impression on your interviewer will greatly increase your chances of getting a second interview, and ultimately landing the job.

Let’s get down to it. What are the best and worst colours to wear to a job interview?


Experts claim that blue gets the highest approval from hiring professionals. Shades of this cool colour say that you’re credible and trustworthy, while exuding calmness and confidence. Note of caution for creative professionals: you might want to stay away from navy blue though, as it might come across as too conservative and bland.


An understated shade, gray conveys a quiet confidence that’s approachable yet sophisticated. It’s also commonly associated with a logical and analytical mind, making it a great choice for interviews in almost any profession. It’s also an easy colour to match with other colours, should you need to inject some personality into your attire.


Ranking highest on the authority scale, black is most effective when worn to interviews for management or leadership positions. While it might possibly be the most popular colour for suits and dresses at interviews, hiring professionals caution that it might be overpowering if you’re interviewing for an entry level or administrative position.


The universal colour that conveys purity and simplicity, white is a great choice for shirts and blouses. Wearing a crisp white jacket to brighten up a dark ensemble makes a great statement without being too overpowering. This popular choice also says that you’re organised and detail-oriented, which are always positive qualities to the interviewer.


A neutral colour, brown is often perceived as comforting and reliable. While it doesn’t necessarily convey negative associations, brown might not be appropriate if you want to project yourself as modern and progressive.


The colour of power, passion and aggression, red should be worn as an accent colour so as not to come across as too bossy. Adding a dash of red in the form of a tie or scarf will give you an air of confidence without the arrogance of an all-red ensemble.


The most luminous shade in the colour spectrum, yellow instantly conjures up images of the sun, evoking feelings of optimism, happiness and warmth. While the general advice is to stick to neutral hues for interviews, experts recommend wearing yellow for creative professionals.


A colour most commonly associated with youth, peace and safety, green is easy on the eyes and projects a calming impression. On the flip side however, it also symbolises inexperience. To counter that risk, go with darker shades of green to convey maturity.


Just like the colour red, orange and purple are loud and vibrant colours that might come across as too overpowering at job interviews. That said, using them sparingly to add a subtle pop of colour says that you’re creative yet classy, which would work well if you’re interviewing for a creative job.

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