What to Wear to a College Interview

There’s a lot to think (and stress) about when it comes to preparing for a college interview, but your outfit doesn’t have to be one of them. At the end of the day, the interviewer is not there to judge your outfit. They just want to get to know you a little better and put a face to the application.

We suggest wearing your version of your Sunday best. Think something that you would wear to church, synagogue, or a semi-formal family event. Everyone has a different idea of what their best self looks like, but the most important thing is that you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing. There is no right answer.  

One of our students was preparing for an interview and wanted to paint her nails blue, but her parents weren’t cool with the idea. They thought it made her look like a “non-serious” student and advised her against it.

Most parents suggest wearing something washed out (read: boring) but we’re here to give you permission to wear the blue nail polish. Or whatever your version of the blue nail polish is. Read: please be your authentic self when it comes to your interview outfit.

Bright blue nail polish might not be everyone’s textbook definition of “Sunday Best,” but we think you should wear whatever makes you feel like your authentic self. If you’re a girl and you want to wear pants, wear pants. If you’re most comfortable in jeans, that’s okay too. Why? Because you need to feel confident when you walk through those interview doors. Don’t wear that itchy sweater your grandmother thinks will look nice. Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes. If you’re fidgety and pulling at your outfit throughout the entire interview, it’ll be the only thing you think about during the interview. And that’s not good.  

Use your best judgment. Don’t show up looking like you just binge watched four seasons of How I Met Your Mother, but also don’t show up looking your great aunt. Your interviewer knows that you’re ~17 years old, so they aren’t expecting you to look like you’re interviewing at a bank. Please don’t wear a suit unless you casually wear suits.

At the end of the day, your candidacy for any given school is not dependent upon what you wore to the interview.


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