What Colours Should You Wear to a Job Interview? Q&A with Kettlewell Colours Founder Melissa Nicholson

I hate the phone and the phone hates me, since it never works properly when I have to do an important call.
I actually prefer Skype – at least you can look at your interlocutor in the face and avoid stopping them every two minutes as I did a couple of days ago with Melissa Nicholson (sorry, Melissa).

She is the founder of Kettlewell Colours and a super-reputed colour expert, and the reason I was bothering her with my horrible phone manner was to find out what colours you should wear for a job interview – so you avoid doing what I did for a lifetime.

In fact, even if I wear horizontal colourful striped stuff all the time (also my pyjamas are striped), I’ve actually always gone to all my job interviews dressed like a chessboard, with the white shirt and the black skirt, yes, because they’re always the same two, since I was 19.

These very sad clothes have been bought only for job interviews.
I got something better in the same style over the years, for example, this very good silky white shirt that makes your face sparkle even if you’ve just vomited – but I’ve never felt like wearing it for a job interview.
I mean, it’s too good for it.
I don’t know.

That’s why I got Melissa here for you today. She knows what she’s talking about, so read carefully 🙂
Everything starts with a colour analysis which tells you which seasonal colour palette among Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn will suit you best. You can take the basic quiz here, or you can pay to meet a colour stylist (they’ve got stylists everywhere in the UK) who will give you personalised tips. And now Melissa – who is a 100% Spring – tells us the rest.

Hi, Melissa. Can you hear me? Hello, thanks for your time. So, 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.

Melissa Nicholson Kettlewell Colours

A Spring in her Spring environment.

Oh yes, let’s come to black, please. I’ve worn black (& white) all my life long at job interviews. Is that 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 to 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.

I don’t like navy. Melissa, can you hear me? Well, all the people wearing navy I know have problems in finding the accessories and complements for their look, for example, the shoes.

Well, you can even wear black shoes with a navy suit.

What?! In Italy, we have this non-black-plus-blue rule stating that you must never wear blue with black.

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? Do you think hair colours can 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 to 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 want to have a more personalised service, it is worth spending £130 to visit a colour stylist 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.

Thank you for the interview, Melissa 🙂 

Enjoyed this Frank Interview?  You’ll also love:

Should You Wear High Heels to a Job Interview? Q&A with Stiletto Academy Founder Veronica Benini

Get Your Colours Analysed for Your Next Job Interview (and The Rest of Your Life)

The Shortlsted What colours should you wear to a job interview?

© The Shortlisted – 2016

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