By Theresa Michau
During a job interview you have only seven seconds to make that first impression count.
Your outfit and the colours you wear already reveal a lot about you to your potential employer. Over and above ensuring that your outfit is appropriate, you also have to pay attention to the colour thereof. The colours that you wear send a subtle message to the interviewer.
Of course, all these rules aren’t applicable if you are applying for a job in the fashion industry, so always take the industry and company where you are applying into account.
Choose solid colours
Patterns can distract the interviewer’s attention and focus it on your outfit, instead of your competency. Rather choose solid colours without patterns. However, a shirt or trousers with a thin stripe is still appropriate.
Don’t go overboard with colour
If you are wearing a neutral outfit, you could add one colourful item. For women a black knee-length dress with red shoes always is a winning combination.
What do the different colours ‘say’ about you?
Black – This colour can be quite bold. It reflects power, leadership, authority and even drama. It is a good choice if you are applying for a high-profile job, but be careful if you are applying for a job as an assistant. You might intimidate the other person. The colour works well if you use it as an accent colour in for example braces or a scarf.
White – This colour portrays honesty and is a good choice for a blouse or shirt.
Blue – Polls indicate this as your best choice for an interview, especially the darker shades. Blue lets you appear more in control, honest and calm.
Grey – Also a popular colour for interviews, This colour makes you appear sophisticated.
Red – It needs to be used with care and preferably as an accent colour. It portrays passion, aggression, love and energy, but could send the wrong message, for example that you are over-emotional. However, there are studies that show that winners, from sports teams to executive directors, wear more red.
Brown – This is a restful, neutral colour that puts people at ease, but could also make you appear old-fashioned. So be careful when you wear this colour.
Orange – Pass it by. Polls show this colour is one of the worst choices to wear to an interview. Why? Apparently people simply don’t like it.
Purple – This is ideal if you are applying for a job in a creative field. It portrays creativity, uniqueness and being artistic.
Yellow – Another good choice for a job in a creative field. It also portrays creativity and positivity.
You want to make a good impression and you want to impress your (let’s hope) employer with your knowledge and not with your fashion choices.
Yet there is one executive director, Tiziana Dearing, who says especially leaders should not be afraid to stand out and this includes your outfits.
On one occasion she made an important speech in front of hundreds of people. Everyone was dressed in corporate outfits and she wore long, black boots and a mock leopard skin jacket – at that time very fashionable. For months afterwards people would come up to her and say, ‘You wore that leopard skin jacket and I remember you said …’ She believes you should stand out to be remembered.
https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2018/06/21/army-jacket-diplomacy-tiziana-dearing – Tiziana storie