What color suit should you wear to a job interview?
You should probably leave the powder blue and pastel orange at home.
The job search process is stressful enough without wondering what to wear to a job interview. You definitely want to show up to an interview in style. You also want to leave a lasting impact, and you could very easily do this with a standout suit. (And by standout, we don't mean powder blue, pastel orange, or some other color that will surely make your interviewer cringe.)
Prepping for an important interview means researching the company and making sure you have smart responses to anticipated questions. It also means being strategic about what to wear to an interview. Specifically, you want to choose job interview clothes—and colors—that will make you look (and feel) great.
Research has shown that 85% of communication is nonverbal, so choosing what to wear to an interview is clearly an important part of your overall presentation. It won’t make up for weak answers, but it can communicate some positive things about your personality and what you might be like to work with.
Here's what some common colors convey, so you can figure out what to wear to a job interview:
You can't go wrong with darker shades of blue, especially navy. Choosing from this powerful spectrum will project an image of someone who is in control. From the interviewer's point of view, the color blue conjures up calm, stability, trust, truth, confidence, and security. These are all great messages to send without saying a word.
After blue, gray is the second most popular color to wear for an interview. Like darker blue, it’s not a distracting color to the interviewer, which means they’ll be focused more on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Gray denotes sophistication, so use it to your advantage.
This is a commanding color and represents authority. Black also connotes drama, so use it carefully when putting together your interview outfit. You may want to use it as an accent—like in a scarf or tie, for instance—rather than as the primary color.
This is an extremely powerful color. It's so strong, you should only use it as an accent color. Reds are associated with energy, passion, desire, power, and aggression. People think of intensity and passion when they see the color red, so use it sparingly, or it could send the wrong message to the interviewer.
Still stressing about what to wear to a job interview? White shirts and blouses are always a safe bet. It sends the message of simplicity, cleanliness, and precision.
The secret to standing out
Remember: It's not just about what you wear. After all, it's a job interview, not a fashion show. While a spiffy appearance will certainly help you make a great first impression, the key to nailing a job interview lies mainly in the your answers to a hiring manager's questions. Want to make sure you're buttoned up in that area? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you'll get career advice and job search tips sent directly to your inbox so you can put your best (polished) foot forward. From "Why should we hire you?" to "Do you have any questions for us?" to whatever else they throw at you, you'll learn how to craft sharp, meaningful answers. And then you'll probably have to figure out what you're going to wear to the next interview.