Sunday, September 14, 2008

Color Psychology: Selecting the Perfect Interview Attire

It has been said that 55% of communication takes place through our appearance and body language, with only 7% occurring directly through spoken word. This suggests that clothing is a crucial non-verbal impression management tool. Also, it makes sense to assume that the stronger the color, the stronger the message.

Besides the fact that your appearance should be neat and tidy for an interview, you should pay special attention when selecting the colors of your attire. Color psychology refers to the investigation of the effects that color has on human behavior and feeling.

While perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, there are some colors that share universal meaning. Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow evoke emotions which may range from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility. Warm earth tones like brown, tan, gold and muted shades of yellow, olive and burgundy are identified with approachability, while pastels are linked to femininity, nurturing and caring.

Cool colors such as blue, purple, and green are often described as calm, but can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference. Black, navy blue and charcoal consistently give the message of confidence, strength and power. Energy and aggressiveness are conveyed by bright solid colors like red, purple and green, but these colors are considered to be less professional than darker colors.

The following list indicates the qualities often associated with certain colors. You can take these into account when selecting your next outfit for that important interview.

Black: authoritativeness, power, evil, independence, sophistication, elegance, wealth, mystery, style, death, fear, anonymity, anger, sadness, remorse, mourning, unhappiness, seriousness, conventionality, rebellion, anarchism, unity, and sorrow. Black also has a slimming quality.

Red: energy, power, strength, passion, love, excitement, speed, heat, arrogance, ambition, leadership, masculinity, power, gaudiness, anger, radicalism, aggression, respect, conservatism, and wealth. Also, studies have shown that red can produce physical effects such as increasing the rate of respiration and raising blood pressure. It is also said to make people hungry.

Blue: loyalty, trustworthiness, peace, unity, harmony, tranquility, calmness, coolness, confidence, conservatism, dependability, cleanliness, depression, coldness, and idealism. Blue is often recommended for job interviews because it instills trust in the interviewer.

White: innocence, purity, reverence, peace, cleanliness, simplicity, security, humility, coldness, criticism, surrender, cowardice, fearfulness, and unimaginativeness.

Green: intelligence, youthfulness, wealth, good luck, vigor, generosity, aggression, inexperience, envy, misfortune, coldness, jealousy, disgrace, greed, corruption, sincerity, stability, calming, and creative intelligence.

Yellow: optimism, joy, happiness, intelligence, idealism, wealth, cowardice, dishonesty, avarice, weakness, greed, femininity, gladness, sociability. Yellow can also increase heart rate and metabolism.

Purple: elegance, wealth, authority, envy, sensuality, spirituality, creativity, mystery, wisdom, enlightenment, arrogance, flamboyance, gaudiness, exaggeration, confusion, and pride.
Pink: innocence, kindness, gratitude, appreciation, admiration, sympathy, femininity, and joy.

Orange: happiness, energy, balance, enthusiasm, flamboyance, playfulness, aggression, arrogance, gaudiness, and over-emotion.

Brown: calm, boldness, depth, stability, traditionalism, anachronism, fascism, boorishness, dullness, filth, heaviness, roughness, down-to-earth, wholesomeness, simplicity, friendliness, and dependability. In addition, brown can stimulate the appetite.

Gray: elegance, humility, respect, reverence, stability, subtlety, wisdom, old age, anachronism, boredom, dullness, strong emotions, balance, and neutrality.

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