Job interview: what your tie colour says about you

Job interview: what your tie colour says about you


If you’re going on a typical corporate job interview, more than likely, you’re going to wear a suit and tie. Whereas the suit will probably be black, navy or grey, ties come in a limitless array of colours. When choosing your tie, think about what you want to convey about yourself in your interview – and whether the colour of your neckwear is helping or hindering you.  


The neck spectrum

Given the veritable rainbow of ties on the market – and given the different meanings that different colours can communicate – it’s worth giving your tie’s hue some thought before you walk into that next job interview. For example:

+On the upside, red ties are attention-grabbing, and they can convey power, passion, wealth, and strength. On the downside, some people perceive red as arrogant, assertive, and ruthless. In this case, I’m all about focusing on the positive. I like red as a power tie. Red silk is a classic, and it looks incredibly smart against a plain white shirt.

+Blue ties give off a soothing, peaceful vibe. Blue’s the perfect hue when you want to put someone – like your interviewer! – at ease. Plus, political correctness aside, it’s been a traditionally masculine colour from babyhood onwards – think blue onesies for boys, pink onesies for girls. On the other hand, we’ve all had “the blues” from time to time, illustrating the colour’s close association with sadness. Still, like a red tie, a blue tie is a safe and stylish bet for interview attire.

+Yellow, in fact, is anything but mellow. Generally, yellow shades are vibrant and call to mind the sun and its related warmth and energy. In the negative column, though, people also can associate yellow with cowardice. Again, accentuate the positive, and demonstrate your warmth and energetic nature to your potential employers.

+Black ties, I’ll contend, are interview no-nos. They’re customarily worn only after 6 pm. So unless you want to look like one of the Blues Brothers at your interview, save the black tie for your night-time escapades.

+Orange ties are decidedly not conservative – they’re a bit flashy, a bit quirky. If that’s you, go for it! They are generally bright and look good with white or pastel dress shirts.

+Green ties have their pros (they conjure notions of fertility and growth, wealth, nature and earth-friendliness) and their cons (people associate green with newness, inexperience, and envy). Though I love a nice green tie, because of its association with inexperience, it’s best to save this one until after you get the job.

+Brown ties, like their green counterparts, evoke thoughts of nature – earthiness, trees, animals. Brown also symbolises warmth, openness, and approachability, all great qualities for an interview. A brown tie is a different but solid option.

Though all of the colours have their place, some are definitely better than others when trying to land that dream job. What’s your go-to tie colour?

In a future post, I’ll tackle tie patterns – paisleys, stripes, and dots, to name a few – and the art of shirt-and-tie matching.

Till then, cheers for reading. H

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