Continuing with our series on medical school interviews, we are talking interview attire.
This is something that you want to put thought into...but not too much. There are plenty of other more important things, such as actually preparing for the interview itself.
So let’s not waste any more time than you need to. Here is what you want to wear to your medical school interview.
The stereotypical dress for men and women is certainly not as clear cut as it once was.
You can dress in the “for men” or “for women” attire no matter what gender you are. Do what you want! Thankfully, we live in a time where this is more accepted than it used to be.
Just make sure whatever you wear is professional. You are really trying to show that you are taking this interview seriously and that you want to go to this medical school.
You will want to wear a suit.
What to wear:
● A solid-colored collared button-up shirt (white, blue, or gray) different color from suit jacket and pants
● A solid-colored two piece suit (jacket and pants).
○ Navy Blue and Charcoal are the most conservative, neutral options. Plus, everyone looks great in them.
○ Black is definitely appropriate, but in very conservative circles it is considered less appropriate.
○ Avoid brighter colored suits.
● A solid-colored, striped or simple-pattern tie (blue or gray are good colors)
● A nice belt (brown or black) color that matches shoes
● Dress shoes (brown or black) color that matches your belt
● Dark dress socks
● A professional watch (optional)
This should cover your all your bases.
A good looking watch, although optional, can really bring a suit together. Plus, checking the time on your wrist looks a lot more professional than checking your phone.
A professional looking watch is always analog. And you don’t have to go out and buy that $3,000 Rolex.
You want your collared shirt tucked in, and your tie should stop at the top of your belt like the one pictured here.
The tie should be conservative and not too flashy. This means no ultra-bright colors or obnoxious patterns.
The tie pictured above is just on the edge of too flashy. It works for him, but is too busy to be considered a conservative tie.
The main thing that you have to think about now is fit.
Your suit should form to your body. You don’t want to look like you are swimming in the suit dad let you borrow. You also don’t want to look like you are suffocating.
Take your suit to a tailor. You would be surprised how far that $60 goes in bringing your outfit together. However, if the suit is way too small or too big, it may be too far gone for a tailor to fix. In that case, you want to buy one that fits in the first place.
There are plenty of other places to find good-looking and affordable suits if you look. Just make sure you are getting the right fit in the first place by following this guide.
For the women, a suit as well, although there are a few differences.
What to wear:
● A solid-colored suit jacket (Black, Charcoal, Navy Blue, Light Gray) same color as the skirt
● A solid-colored knee-length skirt (Black, Charcoal, Navy Blue, Light Gray) same color as the jacket
● A solid-colored blouse (White, Blue, Gray, Maroon) different color as jacket and pants/skirt
● Flat dress shoes (in other words, no heels)
● Nice watch (also optional)
● Minimal jewelry
One thing in this photo that I would not recommend would be the necklace. It does not really fall into the “minimal jewelry” category. Stick to a ring, a bracelet, and stud/small hoop earrings.
A professional woman’s watch is also analog but generally has a smaller face than a man’s watch.
If you would like, you could switch out the skirt for dress pants. That is completely up to personal preference and either is fine.
We emphasize flat dress shoes because you will most likely be walking a lot on your interview day. If you want to wear heels you can, but don’t wear anything larger than 2 inches. No need to put yourself through all that pain on a campus tour.
As far as suit size goes, you want to follow the same guidelines as the men. Not too tight, not too big, but form-fitting.
Also, don't forget to take your suits to a tailor.
Your hair should be controlled and professional. Basically, don’t make it look like you just rolled out of bed.
If you have long hair, use hairspray or pins to keep it back and out of your face.
Beards are okay but should be trimmed and well-kept.
If you are planning on using cologne or perfume, make sure you use a tasteful amount. Your interviewer should not be able to smell you down the hall.
When you are traveling for interviews you want to remember a few things.
If your suit has stains or smells bad, take it to the dry cleaners before you leave.
Make sure you have appropriately folded your clothes so they don’t get wrinkled during your travels. Either keep your suit on a hanger in the dry cleaner bag or you can follow this article on how to fold a suit jacket with dress pants.
However, for some reason, your clothes will somehow end up wrinkled. You can get a portable steamer from Amazon. If it is too late for that, and you have a hotel shower, you can run the shower on hot and steam up the bathroom. Then take your hand and smooth out the wrinkles.
Downy’s wrinkle spray is surprisingly effective for dress shirts/blouses. However, it is probably not strong enough for your suit jacket.
If you can, bring extras of everything. Extra suit jacket. Extra dress pants/skirt. Extra tie. Extra dress shirt/blouse. In case of any unwanted spills.
If you have to choose what extras to take, take an extra tie and an extra dress shirt/blouse. These are the things that are in the direct line of fire for that coffee spill.
Speaking of stains, Tide To Go sticks are a lifesaver for small stains. Great when you notice that stain in the mirror just as you are about to leave.
But in the end, this is just a guideline, and if you are confident in your fashion abilities, feel free to break the rules. We could not possibly mention every possible outfit that you could wear in this post.
Remember to keep it professional and your look will turn out fine.