The off-putting color you should never wear to your zoom meetings

Job interviews are stressful enough; now we have to worry about doing them on camera.

Candidates often spend their time focusing on preparing answers to questions, pitching themselves, and compiling a portfolio of their work and accomplishments. These seem like the perfect strategies to go into an interview and snag the job, but there may be one thing holding you back from succeeding – the color of your clothing.

Yes, it seems absurd that something as small as the color you’re wearing can have an impact on your success rate in the workplace, but according to a survey by Harris Interactive, this is unfortunately true.

The same goes for your work Zoom calls – just because you may already be employed doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear when it comes to proper attire.

Research shows that colleagues and employers have opinions about your ensemble. The most offensive color you can wear? Orange.

The study

A national survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder was conducted from August 13 to September 6, 2013.

The survey included a sample of 2,099 hiring managers and human resource staff nation-wide, from companies of all sizes and industries.

Employers recommended certain colors to wear during interviews and work meetings. Around 23% of employers said that blue was the most professional and 15% said black was the color of choice.

However, orange was the winner for the worst color, or as the survey puts it, the color most likely to be associated with someone “unprofessional.”

The colors

Employers also described the emotions or traits that each color gave off.

-Black and blue were associated with leadership and being a team player.

Grey was considered to be logical and analytical

White is organized

Red is seen as a power color

Brown is dependable

Green, yellow, orange and purple were all considered to be linked to those who are creative

Overall, employers said that neutral colors were the best bet for a job interview. They believe that these colors convey a sense of professionalism. 

CareerBuilder, the site that hosted the survey, said that it’s always important to take your company’s environment into consideration, as well.

If your company has employees who dress casually (for example, sweatshirts and jeans) then try to fit in with the culture.

It may be acceptable to wear comfy clothing, but always know when you are crossing a line and dressing too comfortably. It’s all about blending into your company’s dress code.

This same rule applies for job interviews. Always try to see what the company culture is. This doesn’t mean show up to the job interview in a blazer if the employees are all wearing sandals and shorts.

However, still find the blend of professional but fitting in – after all, nobody is going to hire someone who shows up dressed like they don’t care.

For both of these scenarios — whether you are interviewing or just having a company work call – always consider what you wear so that you look professional and engaged, despite working from home.

And whatever you do – don’t wear orange.