One of the most stressful things about a job interview is thinking about what to wear, and finding an appropriate tie in particular.

Of course, there are many types of job interviews that would never require you to wear a tie, but then you wouldn’t be here in the first place. If the job you are interviewing for requires any degree of professionalism, then wearing a tie should come as completely obvious to you, even if you would not be required to do so on the job.

The reason you should wear a tie to a job interview is because it conveys a certain sense of professionalism, an excellent attribute to portray when making a first impression.

Now you may be thinking, “But, a tie is for a regular office Joe, I need to stand out.” However, coming to an interview with a naked neck signals to the interviewer one of two things: you didn’t care enough to get properly dressed, which shows you may not care about actually getting the job, or that you didn’t take the time to find a suitable tie, which can be related to a poor work ethic.

As mentioned earlier, some jobs may not actually require you to wear a tie while at the office or on site, but it is still very important that you make a good first impression.

Here is where knowing what kind of tie to wear for a job interview comes in handy.

Size of the tie

Today, slimmer ties are in style (you can find some great ones here), but there is a difference between a slim tie, which is basically the standard for a regular width nowadays, and a skinny tie.

If you want to look good for your interview, choose either a slim or skinny tie. The total blade width (the largest point of the tie) should not exceed 3 inches and not be smaller than 1.5 inches. A regular, or slim, tie is usually about 2 to 3 inches wide, while a skinny tie is about 1 to 2 inches wide.

Don’t grab one of your dad’s older ties if its width is larger than 3 inches, because even if it has one of the nicest patterns, it is out of style and can signify one of the two things previously mentioned above.

If your prospective job’s work environment is more lax, you may want to consider wearing a skinny tie because it can show that you don’t take yourself too seriously, but that you still handle yourself professionally. However, doing so in a more professional environment can show the opposite, so a regular sized tie is probably more suited for that purpose.

Color

Let’s keep thing simples here. Stick with anything blue or red.

Whether you believe it or not, there are many studies that support the fact that the color of your tie can also influence the way you are perceived by your interviewer.

One of the main reasons you should wear a blue tie is because it conveys intelligence and trustworthiness. Essentially, your blue tie makes people feel like they can connect and depend on you.

Red, on the other hand, does not convey trustworthiness, but instead people will perceive you as ambitious, passionate and strong. Red ties can also symbolize power. A red tie may subliminally intimidate people, so it is suggested to town it down by going with a darker shade, such as burgundy. Burgundy ties are a magnificent winter color and will be seen very often this winter season. A solid burgundy tie can match very well with a charcoal grey or midnight blue suit. Your red tie can also be toned down with a pattern.

Purple represents wealth and royalty, as well as teal, so unless you are the Queen of England’s, avoid these colors for an interview. However, keep in mind that they can make wonderful colors for events.

A yellow tie will tell your interviewer that you are creative and very happy. These are pretty good qualities to communicate during an interview, but a solid yellow tie will not provide you with an aura of professionalism. Try instead to have a yellow pattern lightly decorating a red or blue tie.

If you’re thinking about a black tie, just don’t. You’re not going to a wedding, the Oscars or a funeral. You’re going to get a job, don’t look weird.

If you need, you can find some very professional ties here, and great suits to compliment them here.