The Best Colors to Wear to an Interview
The saying that there’s only once chance to make a first impression rings true when it comes to job interviews. Potential employers don’t just base their judgment on behavior and qualifications. Employees are often the unofficial spokesmodels of a company, so employers want them to convey a professional, put-together image. Whether it’s a corporate or creative atmosphere, colors are just as important as the clothing you wear. Consider the industry and the job role before raiding your closet for dressy duds, and you’ll be sure to dominate the interview, whether it’s in the boardroom or the break room.
A corporate environment often imposes stricter guidelines when it comes to dressing for success. Since the image companies desire to project differs within various industries and geographic locations, it’s always better to be the woman in heels and pearls rather than be underdressed. Stick to three-piece ensembles in navy, black, gray or white. Think solid colors on conservative combos. Try a button-up, trousers and a blazer, dress and jacket or a blouse, pencil skirt and cardigan. Shade variations of blue, purple and brown are also appropriate. Stay away from bright colors such as orange, pink and yellow, which could convey a too-carefree attitude in a corporate atmosphere.
Whereas bright colors may indicate carelessness in a strict corporate work environment, creative fields often have a looser dress code. This doesn’t mean you should break out the miniskirt and sky-high stilettos. It’s still a formal interview, and your wardrobe should reflect this. Stick with three-piece ensembles, but incorporate brighter colors and small prints, which convey confidence and a can-do attitude. Consider bright colored heels as a foil for a gray suit or a cardigan with a small print thrown over a monochromatic skirt and blouse.
Keep Up Appearances
Nail and makeup colors are often a reflection of personality and personal style. An interview isn’t the best place to show off your prized 2-inch press-ons or your favorite bubblegum pink lip gloss. Nails should be clean and manicured, and makeup should be minimal. Appropriate colors for a corporate environment are pale pinks and browns. You can usually experiment a bit more with brighter palettes in a creative work environment, so go ahead and swipe on a touch of red rouge. Just keep the rest of your makeup toned down.
If you’d rather go the corporate route when it comes to interview dress code, you can always add a pop of color by accessorizing a monochromatic look with a colorful belt or pair of heels. If you’d like to experiment with color, keep the color scheme similar and minimal. Try topping off gray trousers with a printed top that has gray accents. This will tone down the busy print and keep the look uniform. As a rule of thumb, if you have to second guess a color choice when choosing interview attire, forgo it in favor of something more conservative. If you don’t, you’ll likely be in the waiting room wondering whether your head-to-toe tangerine ensemble was the best color choice, instead of talking up your fabulous resume.