Here's what HR pros say about the colors you're sporting when they interview you.

It seems color matters in a job interview. Not the color of your skin, but the color of your clothes.

A new survey from CareerBuilder “takes a fun look” at what 2,099 human resource professionals think about the colors their job candidates wear. By “fun,” we assume CareerBuilder means, “Don’t over-analyze this stuff.” Still, any edge might be helpful these days, so what the hell…

When these HR pros were asked to suggest the best colors for job seekers to wear, blue (23 percent) came in first, followed by black (15 percent). Orange was hands-down the worst color (25 percent) – it was the one most likely “to be associated with someone who is unprofessional.”

If you want to get really esoteric, CareerBuiler asked those employees what they thought various colors signaled about candidates…

  • black: leadership
  • blue: team player
  • gray: logical/analytical
  • white: organized
  • brown: dependable
  • red: power
  • green, yellow, orange, purple: associated with creativity

If you want some serious advice, CareerBuilder has that, too…

    1. Dress according to the environment, but always look polished. Wear a suit where appropriate or at the very least a nice pair of pants or skirt and collared shirt or blouse.
    2. Stick with neutrals. You can’t go wrong with navy, black, brown and gray. You can pair this with a classic white button-down shirt or incorporate a splash of a more vibrant color.
    3. Tailor your outfit. Clothing that is too tight or revealing can leave an unfavorable impression. Clothing that is too loose can make you look like a kid wearing your dad’s suit. Make sure your interview apparel complements your shape.
    4. Don’t distract the interviewer. Wacky ties, loud patterns and oversized jewelry can cause the interviewer to spend more time wondering about your outfit than your skill set. Solids or small patterns are your best bet for interview attire.
    5. Pay attention to details. Make sure shoes are polished, clothes are wrinkle-free and nails are manicured. Be mindful of your choice of belt, tie clip, hosiery, socks, etc.


Meet the Author

Michael Koretzky

Michael Koretzky


Koretzky is a PFE-certified debt management professional and the editor of

Career and Business

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Article last modified on April 3, 2014 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: The best and worst colors to wear in a job interview - AMP.