They say you never truly get a second chance at a first impression, and the typical medical school interview, being 30-45 minutes long, is no different. A large part of making a good first impression is dressing professionally for the interview. While you won’t be winning admissions officers over with just your outfit, it is important that you are well put together and confident in your attire.
Some of the questions PDr often gets around interview season are about what to wear to med school interviews. In order to best answer these questions, I reached out to some of those at the David Geffen School of Medicine whose opinion I was certain I could trust. Below are some of the responses I received back from my female classmates and colleagues, word for word. Hopefully their experiences with the medical admissions process can offer some insight into the expectations of the medical school interview.
The Question: “Hey! I need your expertise! What did you wear for your med school interviews? (skirt or pants, gray/black/navy, etc)”
- “Sure! So I did black pant suit, but skirt vs pants is 100% her preference – same with navy, gray black – I spent so much time deciding and it really makes no difference, except I think a dark color looks more sharp. For shirt she can do a button up, but I just wore a plain shirt top because I didn’t want to deal with stuff unbuttoning and looking messy.” – Caroline G.
- “I love giving fashion advice! I always wore either black slacks (or a knee length black skirt), with a long sleeve white button up, and a black suit jacket that went with the skirt or slacks. Close toed black shoes with an inch heel. Hair up in a pony tail/bun, and little stud earrings. That’s how they taught us to roll for interviews on the strict east coast” – MP
- “I wore a boring pant suit – so boring and frustrating to wear, especially since most of them are made for middle aged women and don’t fit super well, but black/grey pant or skirt suits really are what most girls wear” – AS
- “I did both! I was told that skirts are generally better for girls but I ended up wearing pants too just because I’m more comfortable in them. I have a black suit and a gray one, but only ever wore the black one. I saw a lot of basic button down dress shirts with collars and everything, especially in neutral colors, but I went for brighter colors because that’s just who I am. I would recommend just making sure everything fits, is comfortable, and looks clean/professional. But I don’t think there are a lot of hard and fast rules.” – Rebecca C.
- “Black slacks with a gray and white blouse and a gray blazer to mix it up. Wanted to look different without wearing super bold colors. And I wore flats that had a slight wedge.” – Erica G.
- “I’d go for black pants or skirt with a light top! A black blazer would be a nice touch too.” – Trang N.
- “Hi! I wore a black skirt, matching black blazer, a pink nice top and tights” – EA
- I would make sure whatever I wore was comfortable, and for me, that was a skirt over pants. I went with a black jacket and skirt, but I saw other girls wearing gray too. I would definitely suggest flats because there’s a lot of walking and it really doesn’t matter if you don’t wear heels. I stuck with a white button down shirt under my jacket, which seemed more popular on the East Coast. At the California schools, I saw more girls wearing colorful blouses rather than solid button-downs. Either way, I’d make sure you feel comfortable walking, sitting up and standing, and confident in your outfit!– Ava S.
So there you have it, real advice from real medical students about what to wear to med school interviews. Keep some of these suggestions in mind as you shop for interview attire. The trends seemed to follow conservative colors and comfortable shoes – remember, you want to stand out with your answers, not your attire. Best of luck on those interviews!