Time for a practical post for the premed men out there. Have you ever wondered "what should I wear to my medical school interview?" If so, then this is the post for you. I feel compelled to share my experience and wisdom with you all, as many a interviewer complimented me on my outfit choice. Sorry ladies, I am not an expert on your fashion but I will say that something conservative is always a good choice.
Don't worry guys, it isn't particularly hard to dress well for medical school interviews (especially if you have a girlfriend to tell you what does and doesn't look good). That being said, there was always one or two men who looked like they were attending a funeral or they threw on their grandfather's suit to come to the interview.
After the jump you will find The Hero Complex's guide to not only dressing appropriately for medical school interviews, but also looking damn good. As many have said, "the clothes make the man."
First thing is first...you need to buy a suit. There is no getting around this. Khakis and a blazer will simply not cut it. For many of you (me included) this will be the first time that you will be purchasing a suit. Contrary to popular opinion, I am going to recommend that you NOT buy a black suit. There is nothing wrong with a black suit, I just think that they are a bit boring/stiff/one-dimensional. I bought a blue suit with tiny pinstripes. It is super versatile. Not only can I wear it to interviews, but also weddings, and other formal but fun events. If I had a ton of money at my disposal I would own a suit in blue, black, grey, dark blue, etc. However, since I don't, I decided on blue.
The MOST important thing about your new suit is that it MUST FIT YOU!!! I can't tell you how many interviewees showed up in baggy jackets, or wore pants that were too short. Look at the picture at the top of this article (or open up an issue of Men's Health). That is the way that suits are meant to fit. Notice where the shoulder seams on the jacket sit, or how the jacket sleeves allow just an inch of shirt to show at the wrist. There is no billowing of the shirt at the waist. You needn't spend tons of money on a suit, but I beg you to spend the money on getting it tailored.
Now, since I went a little less formal on the suit, I stuck with a plain white dress shirt. In general for interviews, I think you should go with a white or an Oxford blue dress shirt (with or without patterns is up to you). The good new is that the tie is where you get to express yourself a bit! I like the color red for interviews, as I believe in the psychology of the color. In my opinion, red projects confidence. But, when it comes to the tie, "do you."
Here are just some general fashion pointers:
1. I know you may have traveled half-way across the country for this interview, but please show up with no wrinkles. Ironing an outfit is not fun, but it is necessary to look good. How to iron a dress shirt.
2. Don't spend too much money on shoes. I bought a pair on sale at Kohl's, or some department store like that. You can't really go wrong with black shoes and black socks (just make sure you actually wear dress socks!).
3. Shave. It really is that simple.
4. Cut your fingernails. For some reason, guys seem to forget this grooming habit, and it is disgusting and noticeable. Trim those bad-boys up before medical school interviews. You don't want to shake the dean's hand with long, dirty fingernails.
5. Wear a belt that matches your shoes.
6. I have always been an undershirt-optional kind of guy, but if it is really hot or humid out, then I recommend wearing one to prevent sweat stains.
7. Get your suit and dress shirt dry cleaned at least fairly regularly. White shirts become stained around the collar like it is their job, so make sure to keep them maintained.
8. The rule of thumb is to button only your TOP jacket button when standing, and to unbutton it while sitting. I don't think this matters much, but I did it.
I think this just about covers the basics of what to wear to medical school interviews. I'll be happy to answer any further questions in the comments.