Which Color to Wear at an Interview

Whether you’re graduating this spring or you’re hunting for a summer internship, you’re probably stressed about acing your interviews. To help alleviate some of that stress, we reached out to the experts from Excelle and asked them for their tips on making a great first impression. Check back every Thursday for more helpful career tips and articles!

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 put you in the best light and may give you an advantage.

Research has shown that 85 percent 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 put them to best use when getting dressed for the job interview:

Blue: 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.

Gray: 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.

Black: 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.

Red: 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.

White: White shirts and blouses are always a safe bet. It sends the message of simplicity, cleanliness, precision and goodness.

In this very competitive job market, give yourself every opportunity to shine in the interview. Knowing what job interview clothes to wear makes a statement about who you are. Choosing the right colors will reinforce that positive impression.

This is a guest post from our friends at Excelle. Excelle is the premier online community for female professionals in the United States. Empower yourself with high-quality content relating to workplace issues and career advancement. Forge connections and network with other working women in our interactive forums. Join our community of intelligent, highly-motivated career women here:



    1. Kimberly Esther says:

      I always wear full black!!! Hmmm maybe I need to consider wearing grey instead.

    2. […] some of our best advice just to help you out, you know make sure you not only land the internship, but keep it, AND make the most of […]

    3. […] some of our best advice just to help you out, you know make sure you not only land the internship, but keep it, AND make the most of […]

    4. […] Grab some well-fitting black pants (nothing wide-leg, nothing wool, nothing pinstripe) like these hip-yet-professional skinny pants from The Gap, pair them with a bright silky top, toss a cardigan on top and add in an edited selection of accessories. Easy as pie! And don’t be afraid to drop a little extra cash on your interview look– you’ll get plenty of wear of out it, and you can later translate the various pieces into different office-ready outfits when the time comes. (For more in-depth advice, check out which color is best to wear at an interview) […]

    5. Aimee says:

      Thank you so much for this! I've been trying to figure out what to wear to my interview for weeks! This helped so much.

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