Dress For Success

Dress For Success

Since you have minutes at best — and more likely, seconds — to make a good impression when you go to a job interview, dressing well is absolutely essential. In addition to choosing a suit or dress that reflects your professionalism, pay attention to the colors you wear. Colors do have meaning, and however subtle it may be, you send a message when you wear blue or white or black or any other color. CareerBuilder.com and Harris Interactive surveyed 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals from a variety of industries in companies large and small, asking them to advise job seekers on the best and worst colors to wear to an interview. The best color is blue, recommended by 23 percent, followed by black with 15 percent of the vote. Other conservative colors were also endorsed by the hiring managers, including gray and brown. The worst color, according to 25 percent was orange, since it is the color most likely to be associated with someone who is unprofessional. What do specific clothing colors mean?

  • Black: leadership
  • Blue: team player
  • Gray: logical and analytical
  • White: organized
  • Brown: dependable
  • Red: power
  • Green, Yellow, Orange and Purple: creative

CareerBuilder experts offer five dress-for-success tips for the job seeker going to an in-person interview:

1. Dress for the environment, but don’t go 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 a skirt and collared shirt or blouse.

2. Stick with neutrals.
You can’t go wrong with navy, black, brown or gray. You can pair any of these colors with a classic white button-down shirt or 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 your shoes are polished, your clothes are wrinkle-free and your nails are manicured. Be mindful of your choice of belt, tie clip, hosiery, socks and jewelry.