The optimal way to look good and stand out is simple: do what others are doing – only do it better. This means you want to dress like yourself, but make sure it’s your best, most professional, and sophisticated self. It also means that your dress ideally should not be controversial. Your dress should be conservative, tasteful, and neat while you exude confidence and competence– these are the hallmarks of upper-middle-class success. This means your dress will be business formal.
Another key component of your “attire” is your overall grooming and appearance. In the first 5-10 seconds, your interviewer will begin to make decisions about you based on visual cues: your clothes, grooming, stance, walk, and even tone of voice. Therefore, even if your clothing may look more boring than what you usually wear, you have other ways to allow yourself to stand out.
- When in doubt, dress up, not down
- Clothing, grooming, and accessories should be conservative and not flashy
- Everything should be cleaned and pressed and fit correctly.
- This isn’t the time to flaunt your lifestyle or high fashion. Leave your personal preferences out of this, as they may potentially harm you.
Now, let’s discuss your attire.
The standard dress code is business formal meaning either a skirted suit or a pantsuit. This classic suit is the uniform of success
- Fit/Style: A blazer-cut jacket with long sleeves is ideal. Today, many women wear tailored pantsuits, especially in less conservative parts of the country. If you wear pants, they should be creased and tailed, NOT tight or flowing. If you opt for a skirt, make it knee-length for a chic and professional look. Be sure to put on the shoes and skirt you plan to wear and practice walking, climbing stairs, and standing- in doing so, make sure you don’t have to adjust or tug the skirt into place when you move.
- Fabric: The ideal fabric should be wool, linen, or a wood-blend with a solid tweed or small plaid weave.
- Color: For solid suits, gray (couple shades lighter than charcoal), medium-range blue, dark maroon or green, and black; Women can wear black easier than men because they can lighten the look with a soft colored blouse and accessories. Avoid flashy patterns or bold colors
- Alternatives: you could also wear a tailored dress or a skirt worn with a jacket.
- Under the suit jacket, wear a tailored shit/blouse/shell of cotton, silk, cashmere, or a look-alike synthetic. It is best to avoid things that are frilly or lacy.
- You ideally should have a simple blouse in a solid white, cream, or pastel color that tastefully coordinates with the suit. A small, subtle print may work if it’s tasteful.
- You can also wear a shirt that has a neckline similar to that of a men’s shirt with one button open.
- Avoid wearing a heavy sweater or blouse under your suit jacket; most buildings are overheated, and you do not want to end up being too hot.
Professional and subtle shoes are ideal. Safe bets are either a low to mid-height heel or closed-toe pump made of leather.
- Make sure your shoes are comfortable, as you will likely be walking a lot and may have to walk in snow.
- Some women wear flats but those often do not look good or professional with your suit.
- Consider wearing or bringing insoles and adhesive bandages to use
- Other advice from applicants:
- Take one pair of shoes for the night before and another pair for the tour. If your feet start to hurt, you can switch them the next day
- Wear heels ONLY if you can walk in there. If you can’t do it well, then don’t try.
- Do not wear noisy heels whose sound will reverberate in the quiet hospital wards
- Scarves. To make them eye-catching, wear a silk or look-alike synthetic and tie it in an ascot, necktie, or scout style. It must have simple lines that do not distract from your face.
- If you decide to wear for warmth, get a long one made of wool, cashmere, polyester, or cotton; just make sure that the material will not shed onto your suit.
- Hosiery: should be tasteful (NO PATTERN) with a simple color that complements your suit. In colder climates, dark hosiery that matches your suit and shoes is also appropriate.
- Overcoats: We recommend a simple wool coat that should be black or another neutral color and long enough to cover the bottom of your skirt.
- Jewelry: Less is always best! Aside from a simple watch and a wedding ring, try your best to keep things simple. Avoid multiple rings, bracelets, or other flashy things. Also, subtle earrings or gold studs are acceptable and should be limited to one (or as few possible) per ear.
- Purses: We highly recommend that you do NOT carry a purse. Instead, carry a leather zippered case, an attached care, or a structured tote bag that you can place on the floor without it tipping over. Be sure to include a leather-covered notepad and a classy pen. Avoid overstuffing or untidiness- you may have to open them.
Sophistication and maturity are your keys to success here. In regards to personal items like hair, makeup, and perfume, it is up to you what you would like to do. Just be aware that you are going to a job interview and want to present yourself in the best manner possible. Do your best to make sure your perfume is subtle if you wear any. Also, make sure your makeup is not obvious, especially your eyeshadow and eyeliner.
- Make sure your nails are well-manicured. Avoid jewelry attachments or excessive lengths
- Do your best to ensure that your hair is clean, dry, and conservative. If your hair is long, consider wearing it up. For minority applicants, do what feels comfortable for you in regards to your natural hair.
Now you have the keys to success!