Does the Color You Are Wearing Really Matter?

John Krautzel
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Choosing the right outfit for your job interview is all about giving the right impression. You want to show the hiring manager that you're reliable and qualified. Although the type and style of your clothing play a key role in your interview success — with conservative and professional clothing creating the best impression — the color you choose may be just as important.

The Truth in the Numbers

While some job seekers may be skeptical about how big a role the color of their clothing truly plays during the job interview, the research speaks for itself. According to The Street, one study showed that 70 percent of surveyed applicants who scored a job wore black while just over 30 percent of rejected applicants wore the highly recommended interview color. Another survey from CareerBuilder of more than 2,000 HR professionals and hiring managers revealed that your interview outfit color does matter, with blue and black being the most recommended and orange being the least preferable.

What Colors to Wear

Black is a safe bet for most job interviews, making the interviewee appear sophisticated and reverent. This color may not be the best choice for more creative, informal positions, but it generally creates a strong first impression, according to The Street. Business Insider adds that wearing the color black demonstrates leadership. Blue is another good color choice, exuding confidence and good teamwork. According to Business Insider, wearing navy blue to a job interview is more likely to score you the job than any other color. You could also dress for your job interview in gray, a color seen as sophisticated but less dominant than black. Hiring managers may see a candidate stepping into a job interview in gray as self-sufficient and analytical.

What Colors to Avoid

Stay away from suits, dresses and other interview wear featuring bright colors such as yellow, purple, orange and green. Although these bold colors may work well for creative professionals attending meetings and networking events, they generally don't send the right messages during a job interview when you want to communicate professionalism and reliability. On the other hand, a pop of color such as a red accessory can add a touch of emotion to an otherwise neutral interview outfit.

You should also avoid outfits with patterns, which can be distracting during a job interview. You can probably get away with very small patterns that look like a solid color from a distance, such as thin pinstripes.

Studies show that the color you wear to a job interview really does matter, and some colors increase your chances of getting the job more than others. Opt for black, navy blue or gray if you want the interviewer to focus on what matters most during the interview — your skills and qualifications. However, don't be afraid to wear a bit of color if you're interviewing for a position in fashion or another creative field.

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