Color Code: What Hues You Wear to Work Say About You
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

(Image: Thinkstock)

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know it’s common for people to build a first impression via visual stimulation. When you first meet someone, before they say a word, you’re assessing them based on their appearance. Thus, one’s look can determine the outcome of any interaction, especially in the workplace.

Office style often dictates how one will be perceived, whether powerful, weak, reliable or unstable, but, according to a new Careerbuilder survey, the colors you sport can really be telling.

The national survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive from Aug. 13 to Sept. 6, included 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

Check out a few interesting findings:

Best Color to Wear to a Job Interview:

23 PERCENT: Blue

15 PERCENT: Black

Worst Color to Wear to an Interview:

25 PERCENT: Orange, which is most likely to be associated with someone who is unprofessional

Perceptions of Colors:
-    Black = Leadership
-    Blue = Team Player
-    Gray = Logical/Analytical
-    White = Organized
-    Brown = Dependable
-    Red = Power
-    Green, Yellow, Orange or Purple = Creative

Careerbuilder experts offer the following tips for dressing for success:

1. Dress for the environment, but don’t get too casual. If everyone is dressed in shorts and flip flops and you show up in a business suit, you may not come across as the right fit. Dress according to the environment, but always look polished. Wear a suit where appropriate or at the very least a nice pair of pants or skirt and collared shirt or blouse.

2. Stick with neutrals. You can’t go wrong with navy, black, brown and gray. You can pair this with a classic white button-down shirt or incorporate a splash of a more vibrant color.

3. Tailor your outfit. Clothing that is too tight or revealing can leave an unfavorable impression. Clothing that is too loose can make you look like a kid wearing your dad’s suit. Make sure your interview apparel complements your shape.

4. Don’t distract the interviewer. Wacky ties, loud patterns and oversized jewelry can cause the interviewer to spend more time wondering about your outfit than your skill set. Solids or small patterns are your best bet for interview attire.

5. Pay attention to details. Make sure shoes are polished, clothes are wrinkle-free and nails are manicured. Be mindful of your choice of belt, tie clip, hosiery, socks, etc.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.


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