Preparing for your job interview: power colours

Preparing for your job interview: power colours

You have done it.

You have received an invitation to an interview for your dream job. You’ve researched the organistion and prepared answers to some possible questions. But you have another challenge before you’re ready: what will you wear?

This post is the second installment in a series of three articles, which aim to help candidates prepare for a job interview.

Have you tried wearing a power colour?

Colours have been shown to have a highly emotive impact on a target audience and have been influential for marketing (McLeod, 2016). So why not use colours to market yourself in an interview!

Van Wagner (2009) proposed that colour has psychological effects that influence an individual’s perception and response (O’Connor, 2009, p. 230). For example, Van Wagner (2009) suggested that blue is associated with calmness, serenity, peace, and sadness (O’Connor, 2009, p. 231). Therefore, the use of blue may be used to present yourself as someone who is calm and collective. Additionally green is recognized as soothing, cheerful and stress relieving (O’Connor, 2009, p. 231). Someone who wore green may present themselves as light-hearted, caring and calm. These findings can be transferred into an interview setting by matching your outfit choice to the role and workplace you are interviewing for. The choice of colour can be further supported by a 2013 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, that asked employers of their recommended interview clothing colours.

CareerBuilder’s survey identified that colours such as black, blue, grey, and brown were considered the most professional, with white also being acceptable (Giang, 2013). Additional findings presented the following associations to certain colours (Giang, 2013).

  • Black is considered to show leadership
  • Blue is related to being a collaborator who is trustworthy and confidence
  • Grey presents feelings of independence, capability, and logic
  • Brown identifies closely with being dependable
  • White is associated with being organised

It is important to note that a great colour does help sell your pitch. However, other factors of self-presentation e.g., clothing items and hair, do play a decisive role in whether someone is suitable for a role.

Want to learn more?

Check out the references below if you’d like to do some further reading about power colours.

If you’d like to speak to a professional recruiter about how to ace your next interview, get in touch!

Brydie Murphy
Client Solutions Consultant | relatbl
+61 403 182 772

Deedee Allison
Client Solutions Consultant | relatbl
+61 459 985 117


Giang, V. (2013). The Best and Worst Colours to Wear to a Job Interview. Business Insider Australia,

McLeod, J. (2016). Colour Psychology Today. John Hunt Publishing.

O’Connor, Z. (2009). Colour Psychology and Colour Therapy: Caveat Emptor. Colour Research and Application, 36(3), 229-234.

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