No matter how good of a candidate you are, you need to dress to impress for your interview. Dressing well can never hurt your chances. It can only improve them, so plan accordingly.
Look the Part!
Both men and women should dress conservatively and neat. For men, the standard attire is still the suit. The colors are at your discretation, but keep it darker hues — grey, black, or navy. For women, the styles are a bit more flexible, but is generally also the suit in these same colors.
As you’re getting ready, you need to be comfortable in your outfit. Try it out the day before and make sure you feel good wearing it. You should also know the school’s schedule: some schools provide a campus walking tour during the interview day, so dress for the weather and if you’re going to be walking, stay away from high heels.
What to Avoid
Accessories such as rings and necklaces can be distracting to an interviewer if you have nervous movements. Sometimes applicants do this without even realizing it, and if you suspect that you’re one of these people, it would be best to leave these accessories at home.
Also, don’t try to be trendy — this is not the time to let out your inner fashionista. You can add some accent to your clothing by not sticking to the standard conservative colors of navy blue, black, and grey, but don’t get too ambitious. This also applies to haircuts — if you’re a man, keep it nice and parted; if you’re a woman, keep your hair down, or in a bun or headband so that it’s neat.
Some more articles of clothing you should just stay away from entirely for your interview:
- Open-toe shoes: these just look unprofessional so stay away.
- Big logos: takes attention away from your face and is too distracting.
- Bright patterns and stripes: also too distracting and might come off as too esoteric.
Tats, Piercings and Fun Body Metal
While tattoos and piercings have gone mainstream, they’re not very appropriate for an interview. My recommendations would be:
- Don’t have anything on your face.
- If you have any tattoos, try your best to keep them concealed.
I know in some cultures, as in southeast Asia for example, piercings might be symbolic of certain familial obligations or are necessary to wear. If this is the case, ignore these recommendations — if not, definitely save showing off your piercings and tattoos for after the interview.
One Last Thing…
Regardless of what you wear, it needs to be accompanied by one thing always: a smile. You need to look comfortable in your clothing, and this also means your body language and, most importantly, your smile. If you keep a relaxed, open demeanor, you will pull off your clothing much better. Looking sharp for your interview doesn’t mean much if you’re slouching and looking miserable.
Have any wardrobe advice for premeds? What did you wear to your interview? Post it in the comments below!