Forget the notion that ‘Orange is the New Black’ when you’re getting ready for to talk to a potential future boss. No matter how popular the Netflix series is, orange doesn’t work for a job interview, according to a new CareerBuilder survey by Harris Interactive.
Black or blue are tried and true — and hiring managers say they’re the best choices for making a professional impression.
Almost one-fourth of the 2,099 HR types and hiring managers surveyed by CareerBuilder chose blue as the ideal color for a job interview, while 15 percent named black. Another 9 percent gave gray the thumbs up.
Orange was the worst hue — and most likely to make hiring managers think you’re hugely unprofessional. Yellow also was frowned upon, CareerBuilder told me.
“ Colors that overshadow the interviewee’s personality are out of bounds,” said Ellen Shulman, a career coach and consultant from Palo Alto, Ca. “Do you really want to be perceived as the orange, turquoise or chartreuse lady interviewing? You want to standout, not the color.”
Don’t distract the interviewer with “wacky ties, loud patterns and oversized jewelry,” CareerBuilder notes, since that could distract from your key message: your amazing talents.
Here’s three more tips for dressing for success for the job interview:
- Consider the audience. Know who you’re meeting and what their style is. “If you’re talking to the creative types or want to work at Chico’s, a woman’s clothing chain, you may be fine in your jewel tones,” I wrote in a Glassdoor post. Tone it down to black or brown if you’re meeting the head of legal or a financial executive. Research the organization’s culture, so you look like you fit into the team from your first conversation.
- Consider your brand. What three words best describe you? If they include vibrant, creative,or surprising, your wardrobe may be bolder and brighter. For an image focused on professional or a great part of their team, a dark suit may be a better choice. Don’t feel you have to show every wild and vibrant of your true colors at the interview; some of that may show up after you’ve received a paycheck or two.
- Create confidence, poise and polish. That means nails manicured and shoes polished, plus
professional and clean ties, belt and socks or hose, CareerBuilder recommends. Some people suggest a dress rehearsal to make sure the suit isn’t too tight or wrinkled. If you feel more confident with a good luck charm or bracelet, by all means bring it along.
By all means, wear a special signature piece such as a scarf or a watch or shoes that underscore your personal brand, Shulman said. “Consider what statement they are trying to make and how their potential employer could perceive that statement.”
And remember a little color goes a long way, as long as it’s not orange.