Recruitment 411: Communicating With Color

A colleague recently sent me an article about how color impacts other people’s perceptions of you when it comes to your work wardrobe. You know that saying; “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” I’m glad I didn’t judge this article by the title, or I never would have read it. Wearing the Right Color is not exactly an attention grabbing title.

Furthermore, this whole idea of color psychology has been around for ages. In college, we did mock interviews in one of my business classes and nearly everyone showed up wearing a dark suit with varying hues of blue shirts underneath them. Why? Because studies showed that dark color provided the impression you were educated, polished, and professional – exactly how you want to be perceived by a potential employer.

The article continued, covering the different messages colors communicate. For example, people in positions of power may want to avoid pastels; these colors send a message that the wearer is approachable and soft, not powerful. On the other hand, navy is one of the best colors to wear in the workplace because it conveys trust and honesty.

As I finished the article, I thought: “well, I never knew pinks and peaches might keep me from being taken seriously. Don’t misunderstand; I agree that proper interview attire is important. However, I wonder if on a day-to-day basis, when we’re busy juggling meetings and fulfilling our commitments, do we even really notice what our coworkers are wearing?

Should we worry about wearing or not wearing certain colors at work; or are we over thinking things?

Recruitment 411 is the official blog of the IRS Recruitment Office.

Leave a Comment

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Corey McCarren

I know that I pay a lot of attention to color during the interview period and the first couple weeks of days in the workplace, then I don’t worry about what the color is conveying as much because I’m settled in. I usually will wear a light brown suit with a matching tie. It’s supposed to give off coolheadedness and logic. Works for me because it’s my favorite suit and tie combo. Unless you’re running for President or trying to take your interviewers job, I would probably avoid red on interviews.