Upcoming Med School Interview? What You Should Wear...
NOVEMBER 23, 2015
Now that you have successfully overcome the academic and MCAT hurdles, you need to take another important step in the medical school admission process--the medical school interview.
You may have experienced several job interviews in the past and medical school interviews are not very different. Indeed, you have to compete with many candidates for a limited number of seats in the entering class and you never know your odds of getting accepted...until you are accepted!
Nevertheless, being invited to an interview is significant because it tells you that the admission committee thinks you look good on paper. Therefore, the interview is your rare opportunity to convince them that you would make a good fit for their medical school.
Please know that wearing the perfect outfit will not compensate for a poor interview nor will it help you gain acceptance into medical school. However, wearing inappropriate or unprofessional attire will certainly distract attention away from a strong interview. So, the essential thing here is that you take the interview very seriously starting with the way you present yourself. Remember that your clothing and speech say a great deal about you and serve as a foundation for the outside world to access not only your abilities, but also who you are as a person.
Personal Grooming and Attire for the Medical School Interview
What you wear during your interview will send a clear message to the interviewer on how serious you are in your goal to be admitted to the medical school. Your attire will also convey how much you value the school’s time in selecting you as an interview candidate out of thousands of applicants. For these reasons, even though you are not a doctor yet, you must appear credible, capable, and professional. A very articulate, personable medical school applicant with excellent grades and a stellar MCAT score will surely have a hard time expressing professionalism wearing a pair of jeans! So, here is a brief summary of what you should and should not wear to a medical school interview:
- A well-fitted, solid (or conservative pinstripe), navy blue, gray, or black single-breasted suit
- White shirt with barrel cuffs
- Silk or silk-like tie that is a lighter shade than your suit
- Black, leather belt
- Black, mid-calf dress socks
- Black, lace-up shoes or leather slip-ons
- Hair and facial hair trimmed and neatly groomed
Do Not Wear...
- Flashy cuff links
- Excessive jewelry, like rings (except wedding ring), neck chains, or earrings
- Cologne or other potentially distracting fragrances
- A well-fitted, but not too revealing, solid (or conservative pinstripe), navy blue, black, or grey skirt (at least knee-length) or pants suit
- Solid, white, cream, or other pastel blouse -- button-down or pull-over with or without a collar
- Flesh-toned stockings
- Black, closed-toe heels (do not exceed 1.5 inches) or flats
- Minimal makeup and accessories
Do Not Wear...
- Excessive or large jewelry (i.e. opt for studs instead of hoop earrings)
- Excessive makeup or perfume
- Noisy shoes
Again, much of your success at the interview depends on your personal effectiveness and your answers to the interview questions. Therefore, it is important that you prepare ahead of time what you will wear along with how you will answer some common questions. Why not conduct practice interviews with individuals who have experienced the medical school interview process? Mock interviewers can help you identify weak spots in how you interview and offer suggestions on how you can improve for the big day.
Finally, learn as much as you can about the medical school at which you will be interviewing, their history, their reputation, latest news or events, and other details. Knowing these things will give them an impression that you are serious in becoming a part of their institution and that you really took the time to know the school.
To view a mock interview, check out our Medical School Interview DVD.