Forget about impressing your interviewer with a faultless curriculum vitae, full of glowing references - more time should be taken on your wardrobe choice, specifically the colour of your tie.
That's according to a new study by researchers at Durham University who found that wearing a red tie suggests you are an angry, aggressive individual, prone to dominant behaviour.
In the study, female and male volunteers were shown pictures of men in a variety of different coloured t-Shirts with both sexes negatively attributing the colour red.
The study, published in the journal Biology Letters, asked 50 male and 50 female volunteers to respond to identical images of a man, in which the colour of his t-shirt had been digitally manipulated to show one of three colours – red, blue and grey.
Each volunteer was asked to rate the images on a scale from “angry”, “happy”, “frightened” and “neutral” to describe the man’s perceived emotions. Aggression and “angry” were significantly more frequently associated with the red T-shirt by both sexes.
Parallels have been drawn with the way a face can redden in the heat of an argument or the primal instinct used by certain male animals to strike fear into their competitors in mating season.
The study is the latest to suggest that red has a subconscious effect on the brain that is useful for conveying strength but less effective if the aim is to evoke trustworthiness and get colleagues on your side.
Diana Wiedemann, a PhD student at Durham’s anthropology department, who conducted the experiment, said: “The implications of our research are that people may wish to think carefully about wearing red in social situations and perhaps important meetings, such as job interviews."
“Being perceived as aggressive or dominant may be an advantage in some circumstances but a disadvantage in others – where teamwork or trustworthiness is important,” she added.
The study's timing could not have been better with the Labour Party currently searching for answers to their election defeat.
So if you're going for a managerial role at a company and want to command respect from day one, go ahead and wear your favorite red tie with pride. However, if you want to be invited for after work drinks, it's recommended you leave your red tie in the wardrobe.