What does the colour of your interview clothes say about you?

What does the colour of your interview clothes say about you?

What does the colour of your interview clothes say about you?

 One important, and often overlooked, aspect of an interviewee's first impression is colour. The colour of your clothing sends a subconscious message to the interviewer about your personality.

What different colours say

Colour Psychology is the study of how hues can influence human behaviour and perception. Different colours evoke particular human responses, whether or not we are conscious of them.
Below is a list of different colours you might want to wear for an interview, and the emotions they can evoke.

Crisp and clean, white is a great colour for shirts and blouses. The colour conveys truth and simplicity and adds a bit of brightness without being too overwhelming.
Blue, particularly navy, is another great neutral colour for interview outfits. Blues convey feelings of calm, trust, and confidence – great qualities for an interviewer to sense in you.
Black is a very popular colour for suits and dresses in interviews. This is a good colour for a job in a conservative environment like a law office, or for an interviewee applying for a high-level executive position.
Grey is another great neutral colour for interview outfits. It evokes sophistication and neutrality. It is a great colour to wear as a suit or dress; it allows you to look powerful but is not quite as domineering as a black suit or dress.
Brown is a neutral colour that evokes feelings of calm. It is a great solid, neutral colour for an interview.


Your personal presentation can also have a great impact on an interviewers first impression of you.
The way you dress for an interview can vary greatly depending on the company, industry and location so do a bit of research on the work environment before your interview. 

You want to wear clothes that you are comfortable in, but also show that you have a well presented and tidy appearance.

If you are unsure, the key is to dress one step above what you would usually wear in the position for which you are interviewing.

Below are a few tips on presentation:

  • All interview outfits should be clean, well ironed, free of any animal hairs, deodorant marks, fraying hems, straining zips / buttons or any general wear and tear
  • Grooming –
    • Clean fingernails, fresh breath and deodorant are all essential
    • Perfume should be subtle and not too overpowering
    • Men need to be clean shaven or have their beards well groomed
  • Accessories -
    • Briefcases and handbags should be smart and the contents well organised
    • Shoes should be clean and polished, if wearing high heels, make sure they are comfortable and easy to walk in
    • Jewellery should be subtle and unfussy


In case you missed Vol. 1 - STAR - Technique to answering behavioural interview questions
Coming soon Vol. 3 - Do's and Don'ts during a job interview

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Yolande Henning

Yolande is the Candidate Manager for our Temporary & Contract Solutions team. Prior to joining one eighty, Yolande was a Recruiter in South Africa, where she developed her relationship building and match-making skills. She truly understands her candidate’s and client’s needs in order to ensure the perfect match is made – even for short-term assignments. Her attention to detail and ability to build strong relationships, coupled with her strong desire to help people, enables her to assist candidates in finding their perfect career fit. Outside of work Yolande really enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her family!

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