Got an interview for your dream job? Better leave the orange tie at home. Here are the good, the bad and the just plain ugly color choices for wardrobe makeovers that can leave a lasting first impression.
With spring upon us, the evening sunsets stretching beyond 7 p.m. and Easter right around the corner, it’s time to pay attention to colors again after our long winter’s nap.
Even in fashion-unconscious, socks-and-sandals Seattle, knowledge of color might give you a psychological edge, depending on what type of job you’re seeking. Here’s a rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly choices for your next pre-interview makeover.
Blue: From the ubiquitous pale-blue workshirt or blouse to the navy blazer, this is by far the safest bet in the rainbow. Blue is a cool and confident color that conveys trust and stability. It’s also extremely common, so it likely won’t leave a strong impression, but it can almost never hurt your chances.
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Gray: This is the most conservative option, effortlessly giving the impression that you’re a serious professional. Best used for analytical jobs in departments such as IT and accounting, but try to spruce it up with a brighter-colored tie or scarf as an accent.
Black or white: Everyone knows black and/or white go with everything, so these are safe choices. Black conveys leadership, so it’s a better choice for managerial positions. White implies organization and efficiency. However, use both sparingly — an all-black wardrobe can seem intimidating, and all-white is … well, just weird.
Red: Yes, it’s the ultimate power color and can fill you with confidence and passion. But in the eyes of many hiring managers, it can seem too aggressive – especially in a first interview. Try a muted maroon, or just save red for the second or third interview, to help seal the deal.
Green, yellow and purple: Great colors for a Mardi Gras float, but they are often too loud or casual-seeming for most office jobs. Try to avoid these brighter hues unless you are seeking a more creative job, where bold choices might be appreciated more.
Brown: It might look good on Hershey bars and UPS drivers, and it’s as solid as you can get for a neutral earth tone. But it’s also drab and boring. It’s a color that is not often noticed, but when it is, it’s usually for the wrong reasons.
Orange: There is no word in the English language that rhymes with “orange,” so take that as a hint – it just doesn’t go well with anything. Except for a small accent color if you’re looking for a job in a creative field, just leave the orange for the Halloween parties after the navy suit gets you the job.