The best and worst colors to wear to a job interview

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What you choose to wear communicates a lot about who you are and how you see yourself. So in the all-important job interview, what color should you wear to make a great first impression?

According to 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals who participated in CareerBuilder's recently published survey, blue and black are the best colors to wear to a job interview, and  orange is the worst.

Conservative colors, such as black, blue, gray, and brown, seem to be the the safest bet when meeting someone for the first time in a professional setting, whereas colors that signal more creativity, like orange, may be too loud for an interview. 

Below, hiring professionals who participated in the survey explain how they view different colors worn by job candidates. We've also included a brief analysis of color psychology and what messages these colors send to the world.

Black: Leadership

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Elon Musk (John Moore/Getty Images)

Black can be seen as unapproachable, but if you wear it correctly, it can also "communicate glamour, sophistication, exclusivity," says branding expert Karen Haller. Black is a color that is taken seriously. Consider brands such as Chanel and Yves Saint Lauren using black to communicate that they are the leader in their industry.

Blue: Team Player

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Bill Gates (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Blue is one of the best colors to wear on a job interview because is exudes trust and confidence. Lisa Johnson Mandell at AOL Jobs writes: "Studies show that navy blue is the best color for a suit to wear to a job interview, because it inspires confidence. You are more likely to get the job when you wear navy blue to an interview than any other color."

Gray: Logical/Analytical

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David Beckham (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Wearing gray communicates independence or isolation. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, as long as you show that you're confident. Since gray is somewhat of a lonely color, this may say to others that you're very much an individual, who is self-sufficient and capable of thinking on your own.

White: Organized

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

Wearing white and beige is a safe bet, but you may be considered "dull and lacking in self confidence." Hiring managers think that white means you're "organized" since any chaos at all and you may find yourself with a stain on that white outfit. Mandell at AOL Jobs advises wearing white or beige for a job where everyone else wears loud colors.

Brown: Dependable

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Sheryl Sandberg (Photo by Nadine Rupp/Getty Images)

This earthy color means warmth, safety, reliability, and dependability, says Haller. Think of brands that use brown in their logo, such as UPS and the original M&Ms.

Red: Power

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Anna Wintour (REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

Red conveys passion and power and is the best color to wear when you're trying to persuade or impress someone, says Kenny Frimpong, brand marketing and development manager at Italian menswear brand  Eredi Pisano. Red is also linked to courage, excitement, and energy.

Green, Yellow, Orange, and Purple: Creative

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Barbara Corcoran (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

These louder colors communicate that you're fun and attract attention, but they don't necessarily elicit feelings of trust or commitment, which may not be the best message to send in a job interview. However, wearing these colors would work great for happy hour gatherings or in-house meetings, says Frimpong.

 

 



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