New CareerBuilder Study Looks at Best and Worst Colors to Wear in a Job Interview

Nov 21, 2013, 04:00 ET from CareerBuilder

CHICAGO, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dressing well is critical to making a good first impression on a potential employer, but what do the colors you sport really say about you?  A new survey from CareerBuilder takes a fun look at the attributes employers most often associate with colors candidates wear to job interviews.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from August 13 to September 6, 2013, and included a representative sample of 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

When asked to advise job seekers on the best color to wear to a job interview, employers most often recommended blue (23 percent) and black (15 percent).  Orange topped the list for the worst color (25 percent of employers) and was the color most likely to be associated with someone who is unprofessional.

Many employers felt more conservative colors such as black, blue, gray and brown conveyed a sense of professionalism.  Other key attributes they pointed to:

  • Black – Leadership
  • Blue - Team Player
  • Gray - Logical/Analytical
  • White – Organized
  • Brown – Dependable
  • Red – Power
  • Green, Yellow, Orange or Purple – all four colors were associated with Creative

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

  1. 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.    
  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.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between August 13 and September 6, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,099, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.14 percentage points.  Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. For full survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions.  Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Media Contact
Jennifer Grasz
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Jennifer.Grasz@careerbuilder.com
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SOURCE CareerBuilder

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