3 Colors You Should Always Wear in a Job Interview

Fighter dressed for a fight

The job market is a battlefield. Dress appropriately | Capcom

Making a good first impression on your interviewer is vital. Your ability to dress the part can determine your fate. One thing job hunters don’t always pay attention to is their clothing color choice. There are certain colors that can give you an edge as well as colors that could get you shown the door. The job you’re applying for likely has hundreds of people vying for the same spot, so whether you like it or not, you’ll have to put up a fight. Something as simple as clothing color could help or hurt your chance of moving to the next round of hiring.

“You can always add a splash of color [but] keep it simple. For the most part, you want your skills and experience to speak for themselves. Your personality should electrify, not your suit,” Monster Career Expert Vicki Salemi told The Cheat Sheet.

Here are three colors that may give you a fighting chance and help you crush your competitors. We’ve also included some interview tips at the end to help you nail your next interview.

1. Gray

Fifty Shades of Grey

Gray is a safe choice for a job interview | Vintage Books

You’ll be sure to dominate the competition and have your interviewer submit to your witty ways. Don’t be surprised if you get a call back — the hiring team will be left wanting for more. In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder, employers said they associated the color gray with someone who is analytical and logical. 

2. Blue

Batman v Superman

Blue says team player | Warner Bros.

You’ll demonstrate team spirit and flaunt your super-human ability to get along with annoying co-workers when you wear blue. Most employers in the CareerBuilder survey (23%) associated the color blue with being a team player.

“It’s important to stick to certain colors because you’re making a serious impression on a company. You are your brand — your interview suit is part of the message you’re sending that you’re serous about the job and you look the part,” said Salemi.

While blue is a winning color, avoid extremes. That means no neon blue and no powder blue. Most hiring managers agree that navy is the way to go.

3. Black

Batman wearing black

Black is timeless, and the choice of leaders | Warner Bros.

This power color shows that you mean business and can get the job done. Employers tend to associate the color black with leadership. Salemi says you can’t go wrong with this basic color. Just stay away from tight, black leather — you can save that for the weekend.

What else should you know about job interviews? Knowing the most important is a good start…

The most important part of a job interview

Here’s a great job interview tip: Don’t ignore small talk. The small talk before the job interview starts is one of the most important parts of the interview. A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology finds that this chit chat helps set the tone for the overall interview. In other words, this is yet more evidence that first impressions matter a great deal, especially when you’re looking for a job.

Keep in mind that the chit chat before the interview officially starts should be relatively simple. You don’t need to wow them during this phase. You just need to not blow your chances from starting things awkwardly. You can mention the weather, or talk about how the local sports team is doing. As always, steer clear of politics and religion unless it directly relates to the job.

Check out our complete Interview Cheat Sheet.

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