Melissa Nicholson is the founder of Kettlewell Colours and a reputed colour expert, and she’s in today to discuss the best colour you should wear to a job interview.
Hi, Melissa. What are the best colours to wear for a job interview?
For success in a job interview, you must look authentic. You can do this by wearing colours and styles that complement you. If you look and feel good, you will also feel confident. If you wear a colour that suits you, then you’ll feel far more comfortable, and you’ll perform better during the interview. It is also so important to research the company and bear in mind the job you are being interviewed for.
For example, some candidates come to an interview in our colour company wearing black!
So my two tips are: first, understand the colours, and buy the shopping you feel the most confident in; second, understand your environment. Generally speaking, I would advise to wearing your best neutral colours to an interview e.g navy, light grey, dark grey, mink, taupe, mole, teal, tan, chocolate, stone, beige or black.
Let’s come to black, please. I’ve worn black for all my life for job interviews. Is it a good idea?
A lot of people think that black suits them, but the reality is that there are very few people who actually look good in black. If in doubt, I would absolutely advise wearing navy in preference to black, since navy is kinder to your skin tone. Almost everyone looks good in navy, and navy is more business-like over black. Navy is a much safer option and it is better than black. Teal is another fantastic option: no one looks bad in teal.
The people who like navy often have problems when it comes to finding the accessories and complements for their look, for example, the shoes.
Well, you can even wear black shoes with a navy suit.
But you should never wear black with blue! We have this as a rule, in Italy.
It really depends on the tone of both. There are many, many types of navy, and even many types of black, and not all fit together.
Many types of black?
Sure. Less dark or darker blacks. And everyone has their perfect navy whether it is a very dark traditional navy (for Winters), a softer French navy (for Summers), a bright navy (for Springs) or a teal navy (for Autumns). Also, navy suits for men can go with black shoes; it is masculine and elegant. In any case, you can also wear accessories in dark navy or light navy, like a scarf – or you can pick another neutral colour like mole or teal.
What about red?
Red is a universal and fantastic colour, and it is ideal if you want to get noticed, like on… the red carpet! It inspires energy and confrontation you do not really want in a job interview. In such a situation, you want to come across like you, not like the colour.
Any exception to this rule?
Well, when we talk about job interviews we mostly think about office jobs, but actually, there are many different types of jobs out there. For example, if you are interviewed to be a sports coach job, you may want to wear just a bit of red to communicate energy.
What about hair colours? Does your hair colour affect your career?
Again, if you dye your hair according to your personal palette, you will always look good.
If you are dark red, and you are applying for a job that is not too conservative, your dark red can help you outline your social and creative side, and this will be an advantage… and you will get the job! At the same time, if the same person goes blond without accordance with her personal palette, she will look so awful that she won’t get the job… let her go caramel and she will look good again… and she will get the job 😉
How do you find out your best colours?
You can do a free test on our website – but if you are based in the UK and you want to have a more personalised service, it is worth spending £130 to visit a colour stylist to have a full seasonal colour analysis to identify what your best personal colours are, and how to combine them to get the most confidence. You have no idea how many customers send me emails after their appointment with the stylist, to say that they’ve gained a lot of confidence. They say that the consultation has saved them so much money as they have avoided so many shopping mistakes! If you understand your palette, you stick to those colours and you’ll always look good because all your colours will work together to make you sparkle.