Interview season is upon us, and I thought I would share some words of wisdom on how to present yourself for the interview. Being able to perform well and speak eloquently is one thing, but your appearance is also very important because the interview is a time for you to represent yourself personally and physically. I remember everyone looking very well groomed and well put together at all my interviews, and noticed some recurring trends that I find pretty standard as part of the “interview get-up.”
Minimalism is key. Some students may think it a good idea to break out the flashy watches, elaborate jewelry, and gel their hair to no shine extent, but as the saying goes, a little goes a long way. The key to looking good for the interview is to adhere to a minimalist style, but still look well put-together and look like you take care of your appearance. For women, I recommend not applying heavy makeup, but perhaps wearing a bit of lip gloss to add some color to your face and curling your eyelashes to make yourself look awake and bright. I personally like to carry around a little compact powder to dab my face in between sessions, so that interviewers are unable to see how much I’m sweating. For my girls with long hair, I suggest combing and keeping it tidy and out of your face, by tying or clipping it back. Both men and women should be sure to iron their clothes and tailor them appropriately. For men, I believe it is important that you wear dark dress socks so that they blend in well with suit pants and dress shoes; nothing sticks out more than white socks paired with dark shoes. I also think a simple accessory, namely a watch, can tie an entire outfit together and make one look that much more professional.
Beyond attire, it is always good to have a portfolio and professional-looking bag to carry around with you. Putting papers and pens into your pockets not only can have you disheveled and stressed, but looks unorganized. Lastly, be sure to smile when you are talking to other students, your interviewers, or asking questions to faculty members. The interview is definitely a serious time, but the goal is to be yourself and to show schools that there is more than just an academic side to you. Best of luck!