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“What to wear to a medical school interview?” You might be wondering, after the initial excitement of an interview invitation wears off. Well don’t worry, this article will cover all aspects of men’s medical school interview attire. We will also cover what to wear to a virtual medical school interview as well as what to do if you don’t own a suit or blazer.
Medical School Interview Attire for Men
If you have a good fitting suit then you should definitely wear it. The best suit colors for an interview are solid navy, dark gray (charcoal), medium gray and dark brown. Some men choose to wear a black suit. I don’t recommend a black suit because it is typically worn at funerals and can come across as too formal. But if it is your only suit and it fits you well, then you can definitely wear it (you’ll just look like every other interviewee).
Also, keep in mind that you want to stand out in a good way from all the other applicants and your suit color can help you do that. Most male interviewees wear black suits so opting for a different color can help you stand out yet still look professional. My personal choice would be to wear a medium gray suit since it is appropriately formal yet helps you stand out.
Avoid suits with loud colors and patterns. Also pay attention to fit. The suit should fit you well. You don’t need to go out and get a $2000 bespoke suit, but make sure it looks presentable.
Also look out for any stains or rips. A decent alterations tailor can help you out with those for not a lot of money.
I strongly recommend wearing a solid white, light gray or light blue dress shirt since these are the easiest to match with the rest of your outfit. Avoid dark colors like black, navy, burgundy and the like since they look tacky and too casual.
A dress shirt with a subtle pattern such as a pinstripe, gingham, grid and plaid are fine. But again remember, a solid color is easier to match than any patterns.
You also want a dress shirt that fits you well in the collar since that is the part that will be the most visible. The dress shirt collar should neither be too loose nor too tight but be comfortable. You should be able to fit 2 fingers easily between the collar and your neck without any difficulty. If you feel the collar is snug then it is best to go for a slightly larger collar size. But you also don’t want too much room between your neck and the dress shirt collar since that looks sloppy.
It’s better if the collar is a bit loose than too tight because it’s hard to answer interview questions while being asphyxiated.
Go for a medium spread collar. You can also opt for button down collar shirts which are typically not worn under suits but in the academic world no one is a style expert so you’ll probably be just fine. Just follow the criteria mentioned above regarding color, pattern and collar size.
I strongly recommend wearing a tie since it helps you look professional and elevates your complete outfit. If you are wearing a navy, dark gray, medium gray or dark brown suit then matching your tie is incredibly easy. Wear a solid tie in black, navy, gray, brown, medium blue, burgundy and dark green. These ties pair really well with the mentioned suit colors.
You can also wear a stripe tie but make sure it matches the suit color. You might now be wondering, “how do I match a striped tie with a suit?” Well, it’s pretty straightforward. Most, if not all striped ties have multiple colored stripes in them. For example, the tie pictured below has navy, medium gray and light blue stripes.
You can wear this tie with a navy or medium gray suit. In other words, if the tie has a certain colored stripe, then you can match and wear that tie with that same (or similar) colored suit.
Avoid paisley, polka dot and ties with animations since these are too casual and not appropriate.
You need to wear dress shoes. Avoid loafers and boots if possible since they can come across as too casual. Certain dress boots are fine to wear such as chelsea boots.
The best shoe colors are black and dark brown. Avoid lighter browns as well as other colors since these don’t look formal.
Want to learn more about dress shoes? Check out ‘Men’s Business Casual Dress Shoes’.
Keep accessories to a minimum. Avoid bracelets, necklaces and large rings. You can definitely wear a wedding ring and a dress watch. That is about as much accessorizing you want to do on interview day. Remember, keep things minimal and professional.
What to Wear to a Virtual Medical School Interview?
These days, due to the ongoing pandemic, many medical schools are conducting virtual interviews (i.e. through video chat). You might be wondering if there is a different dress code or attire for a virtual interview vs an in-person interview. Well, there isn’t. You should wear the same outfit.
The reason for this is that dressing up not only enhances your appearance but also puts your in the right mindset for an interview. You also want to look professional for the interviewees. So put on the suit, dress shirt and tie. You can skimp on the shoes, but really, just put them on, it’s only for 30 minutes to an hour.
What if You Don’t Have a Suit?
Some men don’t have a suit, either for financial reasons or maybe because they just never needed to wear one. Well, what can you wear instead? The next best thing to a suit is actually a blazer with chinos, khakis or dress pants. Just make sure to wear the blazer with a dress shirt and tie.
What if you don’t own a blazer? Well, you need to invest in your wardrobe. But for an interview next week, what can you wear instead? Go with a dress shirt and tie paired with dress pants. If you have a v-neck sweater, wear it over the dress shirt and tie since that enhances the formality and class of the outfit.
Should I Shave My Beard for a Med School Interview?
Well, it depends. If you normally shave daily or on a weekly basis then yes, you should shave your stubble for the interview. It will help you look professional and make you feel well-groomed.
However, if you normally keep a well-groomed beard for religious or stylistic reasons, there is no reason to shave your beard for the interview. We live in a multicultural and multireligious society and medical schools are aware that people have different and unique practices. Just make sure your beard is well-groomed and looks presentable.
Haircut and Hairstyle
Again, not everyone is clean shaved and wears a classic side part. It’s okay to have short or long hair, just make sure it is well-groomed and styled. For short hair, a side part is the best choice since it is classic and formal.
If you have longer hair, comb it well with a matte product (you don’t want to use anything that gives your hair a tacky or shiny look). Make sure your hair flows well and looks neat and presentable.
Make sure you moisturize your face, lips and hands. Most medical school interviews are held in the late winter/early spring months and it is quite common to experience dry skin during these months.
Interested in a simple and affordable men’s skin care routine? Read ‘The Best Skin Care Routine for Men’.
Also cut your nails neatly since long dirty nails look incredibly repulsive and unprofessional.
I hope this article answered your question; what to wear to a medical school interview. We also discussed other aspects of your appearance including your grooming.
Remember, it’s not the outfit that is going to get you accepted into the school. But a well-dressed and mannered appearance will help you look professional and that is half of being a medical doctor.