A job interview can be stressful, especially when it’s your dream role and you hope to portray yourself as the perfect person to fill the vacancy. While you’re worried about saying all the right things, holding your body in the right way and perfecting that killer smile, you can often forget how you’re supposed to dress.
Is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? What color tie should I wear to an interview? What about a suit? A shirt? Within this guide, we cover what color tie to wear to an interview, as well as how to ensure you’re dressed for success. These tips just might spell the beginning of your journey with a brand new employer.
Plain and simple, wearing a tie is all about presenting yourself as a professional. If you walked into an interview wearing a casual jacket, or even just a plain shirt, it could give off the impression that you just don’t care about the job, and are not taking the opportunity seriously.
If you’re dressed for success, and you’re interested in the finer details such as “what color tie should I wear to an interview?” then your interviewer may perceive you as someone who has an eye for detail, and an aura of professionalism both staff and clients will love.
Aside from choosing the color of the tie, the size is also almost as important. Skinny ties are taking the fashion scene by storm, but they are less prevalent in corporate professions. If you’re going for a job interview in hospitality or retail, you can most definitely pull off a skinny tie. However, for any other industry, you are best to stick to standard ties you can buy from most stores selling suits and menswear.
If you’re wondering if the color of your tie matters, it does. Believe it or not, the color of your tie can often reflect your perceived personality, and this might be positive or negative for your employer. Therefore, if you’re going through the effort of picking out a nice outfit for your job interview, pay particular attention to your tie color.
Conservative colors are definitely the more preferred option, and that is why they are the more common choice found in menswear department stores. What’s more, a solid color, or only a subtle pattern, is also preferred.
Blue is a favorite color option because it represents persistence and peace. If you wear a blue tie, your potential new employer may see you as a hardworking individual who doesn’t take no for an answer. This is a particularly popular color option for if your new role could be in sales or management. Blue ties are not very flashy. It's important to not draw additional unnecessary attention to your attire, which may question you as a candidate. Keep it simple and neutral.
Another favorite color to wear to interviews is Red, though we don't necessarily recommend it. Red ties can often make you appear to be looking for power and control. Unless you are going into an interview for a job that commands these traits such as jobs in Sales or Finance, we recommend looking into friendlier colors that aren't as aggressive.
While black clothing is a very standard option in most people’s wardrobes, it’s best to avoid this as a tie color. Black ties are more suited to weddings, funerals, other formal events, or special occasions (or the secret service).
If you believe choosing a patterned tie is the best option for you, make sure it’s not detracting from what you’re saying, or how you portray yourself.
For example, if you head to your interview wearing a bright, bold, polka dot tie, your interviewer will be too busy focusing on that to take in what you’re saying. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to opt for those subtle lines, dots, and geometric patterns that are very faint, yet add texture to your outfit.
Earthy tones are also a popular option when you’re wondering what color tie to wear to an interview. Sandy, earthy and pure colors help your outfit to stand out, while not distracting your interviewer. That being said, these tones are still a bigger risk than the classic blue.
Now that you’ve decided on a tie, the next step is to choose a shirt. Selecting a shirt is equally as crucial as a tie because what you choose to wear can make or break your interview success. The most important thing to note when you’re purchasing a new shirt for your interview is that patterns are not a good idea. Avoid patterns at all costs and, instead, opt for solid colors such as white, or light blue. Patterns can be distracting, and can even portray you as someone flashy who likes to stand out from the crowd. In a corporate situation, this is less than desirable.
You also want to choose a button shirt with a straight collar opposed to a button-down collar, as these are more formal. Avoid short-sleeved shirts that make you appear too casual, and stick to long-sleeve shirts – even in the heart of summer.
The size is also essential. A shirt that is too big can make you look untidy, while a shirt that is too small can make you look as uncomfortable as you feel.
We've written a completely separate guide on choosing the best shirt for your interview here.
The ideal shirt: a long-sleeved, white, straight collar shirt that’s measured and tailored to suit your exact body shape and size.
During an interview, it's important to quickly build rapport with your interviewer. While the initial portion of an interview may be slightly awkward, the hope is to break the ice quickly. We've heard of countless stories of socks being used as a conversation starter. As funky socks have taken over the workplace, this small accent has become essential to interview and corporate attire. Check out our sock subscription here, to build your own wardrobe fit for the corporate world!
Many people find it difficult to decide whether they should wear a suit or not. Knowing what color tie to wear to an interview is a challenge on its own, but knowing if a suit is acceptable or not is entirely a different story. An easy way of deciding is knowing whether you would wear a suit to work every day if you were given that job. If it’s a large corporation or a managerial position, a suit is a must.
Black, dark blue, and charcoal suits are all great choices (check out our guide on how to match a charcoal grey suit here). You must also make sure the suit is tailored to your body, isn’t too big or too small, and is free of creases, marks, imperfections, or stains. You want your interviewer to know you’re refined, classy, and practical, and the best way to show this is through wearing a tidy suit
Choosing the best outfit to wear for your job interview can all start with the color of your tie, but your shirt and suit also have to match. Look professional by opting for conservative colors, and get the edge over your interviewing competition.
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