What Your Interview Clothing Color Says About You

The best -- and worst -- colors to wear to a job interview

Group of people creating a diagonal rainbow
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By Debra Auerbach

"Orange is the New Black" may be a popular Netflix show, but when it comes to interview outfits, orange definitely isn't the new black – or blue.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, employers most often recommend blue (23 percent) and black (15 percent) when advising job seekers on what to wear to an interview. Orange topped the list for the worst color (25 percent of employers) and was the color most likely to be connected with someone who is unprofessional.

The attributes associated with your outfit color

If you're vying for a management position, you may want to consider wearing black. According to the survey, many employers associate black with the attribute of leadership. If you want to come across as a team player, wear blue; if you're trying to convey a sense of power, don red.

Other key attributes employers pointed to:

Gray -- logical/analytical
White -- organized
Brown -- dependable
Green, yellow, orange or purple -- all four colors were associated with being creative

Dressing for success

While the color of your interview outfit may have some influence, you need to consider your overall look if you want to impress. Wearing baggy pants, a blinged-out blazer or beaten-up shoes won't do you any favors.

CareerBuilder experts offer the following tips to dress for success when meeting with a potential employer:

Dress for the environment, but don't get too casual. If everyone is dressed in shorts and flip flops and you show up in a business suit, you may not come across as the right fit. 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.

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. For instance, wear a navy suit with a red necklace or a white shirt with a green tie.

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.

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 skills. Solids or small patterns are your best bet for interview attire.

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.

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November 24 2013 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really? I have what I like to call the Southbeach Suit. Full of colors and plenty of job interviews....when will these employers call back? I'm still a driver for an escort agency.

November 23 2013 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian Workman

PINK always opens those closed doors, without saying any words, that may be polically incorrect!?!

November 22 2013 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

sad our society has deteriorated to such a looks orientated superficial place. i have worked in plenty of places where i have to wonder how some people even got hired. i guess their packaging was in the correct color, too bad what w as inside was completely subpar. pathetic that being a hard worker isnt as important as being popular, attractive, or wearing the right color

November 22 2013 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's not the wrapping, but the contents of the package.

November 22 2013 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had a blue shirt on black paints got the job.

November 22 2013 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Harleys Home Imp

Color that will get you hired ha its black or hispanic

November 22 2013 at 6:32 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Harleys Home Imp's comment

Actually, only if the company is short on employees who are a difference race to Caucasian. It has actually been shown that in white-majority societies, Like America or the UK for example, a white person with a criminal record is still more likely to get a job position over a black person, despite having the same qualifications.

April 12 2014 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i like to leave my zipper open

November 22 2013 at 5:54 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Before an interview I throw Gatoraid all over me.
That way, everyone knows I'm a winner!

November 22 2013 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Years ago I decided I could no longer work for a bunch of ignorant, bsers who were promoted on the basis of someone else doing their jobs. I started my own business and now I find I have become, in the eyes of my employees, an ignorant bser who is successful because of their brilliant efforts. Still it feels better now.

November 22 2013 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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