We say it time and time again. The goal of dressing for a job interview is to not be noticed. You don’t want the interviewer to notice your dashing suit or amazingly expensive black shoes. You don’t want them to notice your fantastic tie or your gelled black hair. You don’t want them to notice anything. You want your clothes to be professional and boring so that the interviewer is focused on your abilities, and not your style.
The same is true for your shirt. The shirt you choose for your job interview needs to be unremarkable. You need to choose a shirt color that has the interviewer thinking “wow, this applicant has a great resume!” instead of “wow, that’s a bright pink shirt!”
Colors Not to Wear With a Suit
The most boring colors are white and an unremarkable blue. Those are the colors you should aim for with your shirt. The colors you should stay away from are:
- Bright colors
- Unusual colors and patterns
- Deep colors (deep blue)
For most jobs, you will also want to stay away from traditionally feminine colors as well, like light pink or purple. These colors are fairly unremarkable, but you do not want your interviewer to notice your shirt color, and they are likely to notice a pink or purple hue. Remember, it’s not about the color meaning something – it’s about the color not being noticeable at all.
The two safest colors are a boring light blue (not baby blue) and white. Ideally you should choose a white shirt.
Colors You Can Wear Without a Suit
You have a little bit more leeway if you are not wearing a suit jacket to the job interview. You can get away with some of the deeper colors, like blue or black, but you should still avoid any bright colors or unusual colors, and make sure that the tie you choose matches.
You should also make sure the shirt is fitted correctly. The neck line should fit you perfectly and there should not be a lot of fabric hanging outside of your belt because the shirt is too big. You should also make sure the sleeves fit you well, especially if you are going without a jacket.
Choosing Your Attire
Boring is always better. Again, the goal is to not be noticed. You don’t want your clothes to play any role in your ability to get a job. The more the interviewer notices your clothes, good or bad, the less they will pay attention to the content of your interview. Dress well, but dress boring, in order to make sure the interview is about your abilities, and not your style.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Boring is better.
- Bright colors are bad.
- Words that start with “B” are fun to say.
See also: Choosing the right tie for the interview