Education, experience, and careful research should be the only qualifications considered at a job interview. Research has shown that this is unfortunately seldom the case. Color choice in clothes and makeup, and the style of the makeup itself, definitely influences the course of the interview in subtle, often wholly subconscious, psychological ways.
Correct choices depend on the type of field the applicant desires to enter, the corporate environment at the company to which she is applying, and even the sex of the individual performing the interview.
Clothing Colors That Enhance the Chances of Getting a Job
A conservative company environment is prevalent in science and research fields, legal jobs, and the medical profession. Colors that bespeak power, a sense of responsibility, and a serious attitude include dark gray, navy blue, or plain black. Think preppie, not sexy; and the chances of getting hired increase dramatically.
Neutral accents of white, champagne, cream, bisque, or ivory are best, since they give off an aura of affluence and security. Silver or platinum in jewelry or other accessories look less flashy than gold.
Skip steel gray or green gray clothes; such storm-associated shades actually make some interviewers anxious. Don’t wear head-to-toe gray, either; add a blouse or shirt in a flattering shade to avoid looking tired or drab.
The creative job fields like graphic design, fashion, or makeup artistry are not so strict; yellow, bright blue, and hot pink or purple may be worn with impunity. Jet black with touches of strong contrasting color emanates a “vibe” of mental agility. Orange accessories with a black outfit are perceived as cheerfully charming; but don’t go overboard (think happy, not Halloween).
Other Colors That Affect How An Employment Candidate Will Be Perceived
Strong jewel tones of burgundy and emerald can impress as striking. Green and light blue relax people, which is why many doctor’s offices and hospitals use green or blue decorating schemes. Yellow is a very stimulating color and may make some interviewers nervous or even argumentative. Strangely, women react more negatively to yellow than do men.
At environmentally conscious companies, muted earth-tones sometimes lead to more favorable interview results.
Male and Female Job Interviewers Respond to Different Colors
Male interviewers like all shades of blue, burgundy, bright red (either yellow- or blue-based), plum, tan, and yellow. Females prefer violets, purples, green, pink, turquoise, rose, and aqua.
Makeup Colors and Makeup Application for Job Interviews
The face palette is just as influential as the shades of clothing an interviewee wears. Again, brighter, more flamboyant eyes shadows, lipsticks, and blushes are only appropriate when interviewing for a creative position. Even in such cases, care must be taken not to overdo. For instance, bright purple shadow may be used to accent the color of the eye, but a more muted shade should be used in the crease and all over the lid.
Conservative job interviewers respond very poorly to bright red or dark “vampish” lipstick, nail polish, or blush colors. Glitter or iridescence anywhere on the face or nails is a huge no-no for traditional office job applicants.
Make sure all face makeup is in the same general color family; don’t mix cool mauve with warm coral, for example. Never match eye shadow to the blouse, shoes or handbag; that look is straight out of the nineteen forties. Bright purple, green, or blue eye shadow all over the lid and crease gives off an unsophisticated and possibly “unreliable employee” image. Choose shell-pink or rose lipstick in a shade very close to the tint of the natural lips when applying at a conservative company.
Don’t apply makeup too thickly, blend very carefully, and check makeup right before the interview, hopefully in the same type of light that will be present in the interview room. Mascara flakes, smeared shadow, or specks of lipstick on the teeth can be a real deal breaker.
If a job seeker makes sure her color choices and makeup send the right message, the magical phrase “Welcome aboard!” may well be the answer she receives in return.