Dressing for College Interviews

 

Introduction

Interviews with college admissions officers or alumni are an important element in the admission process at many of the schools to which RHS students apply.

The Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Paul’s School college handbooks have suggestions for how to prepare for and conduct interviews.

Set out below are hints on proper interview attire that are summaries of several documents prepared by college advisors and admissions officers.

General Comments

Dressing up never hurts; dressing down can. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If the interviewer remembers you more for how you looked than what you said, you have lost the advantage of the interview.

The best general descriptions of appropriate dress for interviews might be “business casual” or “smart casual,” for either of which an internet search will produce endless suggestions.

Convey an image of being neat and clean; simple and poised. All clothing should be ironed and clean with no wrinkles or tears.

No tee shirts, shirts with slogans, hats, chewing gum, visible tattoos or piercings (except earrings for girls). No flip-flops or sneakers; wear leather shoes. It is fine to bring athletic shoes for the tours.

Hair styles should be simple and conservative. No extreme styles or odd-colored (blue, orange, purple, etc.) hair.

And lastly, wear a smile!

Boys

Wear khakis, corduroys, jeans or other dressy pants, a dress or polo shirt with a collar, a belt and socks (not athletic socks). A sweater or sweater vest would be appropriate in cooler weather. No boxer shorts showing and no jewelry other than a watch.

Be clean-shaven or, if you have any facial hair, it should be very neatly trimmed.

Girls

Wear a knee length skirt or nice slacks with a nice, simple top. In addition, a jacket or sweater that is compatible in style can be worn. Wear flat or low-heel shoes and simple jewelry.