Interviewing is a stressful time for candidates. The thought of being judged by your appearance, past experiences and answers to probing questions can be disconcerting.

Color can alleviate one of these challenges. Wearing the optimal interview colors can not only create confidence and well-being in you, but can also elicit positive responses from the person handling the interview.

As an aspiring professional, you may be seeking guidance on the best interview colors to wear.

In this article, we demystify the misconceptions of standard color advice surrounding interviews and provide a framework for discovering the optimal colors for you.

Men's suit color choices for interviews.

Why The Colors You Wear To An Interview Matter

Dressing for success can be an effective strategy for winning over interviewers. The missing ingredient in this equation is color, as color is the key to success.

Many “dress for success” books recommend that men wear a navy jacket, white shirt and red tie. But more importantly, you should wear colors and attire that make you feel self-assured while interviewing. Doing so removes a layer of stress and anxiety that inevitably comes with the territory.

Women's clothing color choices for interviews.

Wearing your optimal colors can instill you with confidence and can allow you to think clearly and freely. Rather than second-guessing your color and apparel choices, you can focus on communicating your strengths and credentials.

The Best Interview Colors

The standard rule of thumb is that the best colors to wear to an interview are navy, black, gray and brown.

Colors send subtle, yet specific messages about you as a person. Factors like company culture, work environment and job role also play a role in determining the colors and attire you select.

For example, if you are a highly creative person interviewing for a design role, your attire is an additional opportunity to showcase your creative side, enhance your attire and stand out from the crowd. Dressing professionally is a must, but don’t be afraid to get playful with pops of color and accessories.

However, the most crucial consideration when determining the best colors to wear is you. Every person is inherently drawn to certain colors. Wearing these shades will allow you to put your best foot forward.

To assist you in identifying these colors, C Color has classified the myriad of colors in the world into four C Color Spectrums. These colors are categorized by the base of the color, which is one of the primary colors of blue, yellow and red.

When you wear the colors from your C Color Spectrum, you are following an inherent trait. As such, your complexion appears flawless and glows — all perfect elements when interviewing.

Still, most online advice surrounding interview colors stems from one CareerBuilder survey of 2,000 HR professionals and hiring managers.

The survey claims that wearing certain colors can covey specific attributes to interviewers.

These include:

1. Blue: The Ultimate Team Player

The survey cites blue as the most recommended color to wear to an interview, garnering 25 percent of the votes.

According to the survey, interviewers say blue exudes reliability, sensitivity, harmony and stability, attributes for an employee tasked with coordinating teams and projects.

The truth is that there are millions of colors of blue, therefore wearing the blue colors that you are innately attracted to can attest that you are comfortable with your appearance.

2. Black: The Fearless Leader

Black came in as No. 2 on the list of best interview colors, earning 15 percent of the vote.

However, black hues may not be the optimal choice for all interviewees. According to the C Color methodology, only two C Color Spectrums consist of the millions of colors of black.

3. Gray The Level-Headed Analyst

The survey suggests that wearing gray may signal that you’re a logical thinker and great with numbers.

The truth is that there are millions of colors of gray, therefore wearing the gray colors that you are innately attracted to can ensure that you are at ease with your appearance.

4. White: The Organizer

Wearing white communicates that you may be organized and logical, according to the survey.

The truth is that there are millions of colors of white including ivory and cream in this category, therefore wearing the white colors that you are innately attracted to can fortify that you are confident in your appearance.

5. Brown: The Dependable Go-To

The survey found that employers often associate brown with dependability.

However, brown hues may not be the optimal choice for all interviewees. According to the C Color methodology, only two C Color Spectrums consist of the millions of colors of brown.

Take the C Color Quiz to determine your C Color Spectrum.

6. Red: The Power Player

Determination and tenacity are critical traits to have when vying for jobs in competitive industries or sales organizations. When applying for jobs that value these traits, the survey suggests that wearing red may reinforce your steadfast determination.

The truth is that there are millions of colors of red included in this category, therefore wearing the red colors that you are innately attracted to can strengthen your certainty, regarding your appearance.

7. Green, Yellow or Purple: The Creative

People who wore green, yellow and purple while interviewing were viewed as more creative in the survey.

The truth is that there are millions of colors of green, yellow and purple included in these categories, therefore wearing the green, yellow and purple colors that you are innately attracted to can guarantee that you are self assured, regarding your appearance.

While a survey may seem like a reliable source for color decisions, it offers blanket recommendations that ignore the nuances of color and individual preferences. In turn, it can fail to prove useful.

For one, interviewers typically don’t evaluate traits in black and white. The survey suggests that wearing one color, such as white, conveys strong organizational skills. However, this would also indicate that the interviewer may not deem you as dependable because that trait is associated with brown, which may not be the case.

C Color advocates that all of the colors within your C Color Spectrum can assist you in exuding the traits mentioned above, as all individuals can wear and are attracted to virtually all colors, with the exception, as mentioned above of oranges, browns and blacks. Additionally only three C Color Spectrums consist of the millions of colors of pink.

Color also affects people differently. A color that animates you may drain another person. To present yourself in the best light during an interview, the colors you wear must be within your C Color Spectrum.

The Color That Was Deemed Unacceptable When Interviewing

The survey deemed orange the worst color to wear to an interview because it was most often associated with unprofessionalism.

Orange hues may not be the optimal choice for all interviewees. According to the C Color methodology, only two C Color Spectrums consist of the millions of colors of orange, including peach and coral.

With that said, orange is an exceptional and invigorating color for many in the world. Rather than avoiding orange (or any color for that matter), it’s important to discover your genetically preferred colors.

Sticking with the colors you inherently love and that elevate your well-being can allow you to interview with confidence and present yourself in a flattering light.

The attire you select also plays a key role in your interview appearance. For example, wearing a conservative tailored suit, crisp white shirt and casual shoes can project inconsistency. Or, a baggy suit can exude sloppiness and create confusion for the interviewer, distracting from your credentials.

neutral interview colors

The Role Of Makeup Colors While Interviewing

Makeup appears prominently on your face, so the colors you choose also affect the interview process.

The less than optimal makeup colors can make you appear washed out, hard, frightening and less than enthusiastic — all far from perfect elements when interviewing.

While makeup is another avenue for expressing your personality, you should not go overboard. The last thing you want is to distract from the conversation.

How To Identify The Optimal Colors For An Interview

More than 16.7 million colors exist. So how do you know the colors that will best complement you during an interview?

The C Color ideology is based on a color gene within your DNA. Wearing colors within your C Color Spectrum can allow you to look, think, feel, act, learn and heal your best. When interviewing, thinking clearly and conveying confidence will give you the best shot at earning the job.

depiction of best interview color blue

To determine your C Color Spectrum, take the five minute C Color Quiz. Then utilize the C Color App to assist you in choosing the optimal color choices, based on your innate DNA preferences.

You can employ the C Color App while shopping for clothing for your interview whether in stores or online. Simply follow these steps below:

  • Photograph the item that you desire
  • Adjust the lighting and temperature of the photograph
  • Choose the color to be matched, and the C Color App will determine whether or not the color is within your C Color Spectrum

As your handheld color specialist, the C Color App gives you the confidence to choose and wear the optimal colors when interviewing, as well as all other times.