I posted about appropriate residency interview attire in the past but I wanted to refresh my blogpost this year with new picks for women’s suits and shoes. Interview season is coming up, and I know a lot of you are busy getting ready to look your best and dazzle the faculty across the country. A lot of you may be stressed, thinking pants suit vs. skirt suit, or navy vs. blue, but let me lay it out for you. We are interested in your mind and your character, not your sense of style, so as long as you look professional and not sloppy, you don’t need to worry!
On to the recommendations:
Suits for Women
Skirt suits are more traditional and some people say that East Coast programs prefer skirt suits on women. I wore a pants suit to ALL my interviews, the same pants suit I bought years ago when I applied to medical school. I think you should wear whatever you’re comfortable in, but please make sure that it is tailored so it fits well.
I wore a black pantsuit to all my interviews, but whenever I looked out all I saw was a sea of black suits. In retrospect, a navy or gray suit would have been nice to stand out from the crowd. However, black is very professional, so you can’t go wrong with a nice fitting black skirt or pants suit. It’s also very versatile and will never go out of style.
I especially love this overall look from Tahari – sleek, clean, and professional.
Also, Ann Taylor is having a 40% off sale right now with code FRIENDS40. They also have a great suit collection, including special sizing for petites.
Inside the Suit
I wore pretty run of the mill button up shirts inside of my suit, but I saw many women who wore a mix of button ups and also cute blouses and shells. If you have a black suit, you may want to opt for a more colorful blouse just to add some personality to it!
Loft is also having a 40% off of sale right now and they have a few cute options for what to wear inside your suit jacket as well.
My goal with shoes is to BE COMFORTABLE. A lot of interviews involve tours around the hospital and campus, so this means lots of walking. At my residency program interview we walked nearly 1 mile back and forth to see different hospitals! So this means you have to wear comfortable yet professional looking shoes. I can’t stress how important it is to TEST OUT YOUR SHOES beforehand. Wear them around the house and out for a walk to break them in. I wore wedges to all the interviews and changed into flats for walking tours, which helped save my feet many a time!
Some comfy yet stylish shoes:
A few other tips:
- You don’t want to be fussing with outfit choices last minute, so shop in advance! This goes out to the ladies AND the men; getting a proper suit tailored takes time, so look around ahead of time.
- (I posted this before but I think this is pretty handy:)
- Bring a professional looking bag that’s large enough to carry a few essentials:
• an extra pair of shoes for walking (I personally love Tieks because you can fold these in half and carry them around in a little bag…plus they’re comfortable and come in a variety of colors #NOTsponsored)
• a notepad or padfolio (Stanford gave medical students one when we started school, but this is not an absolute necessity)
• a pen or two
• bottle of water
• iphone charger or portable phone charger (cutest one I’ve found here)
• Emergency pack should you need it: extra hair ties, gum, band aids (especially with long walking tours!), tampon/pads, hand sanitizer, aspirin, lip balm or lipstick, sunscreen, concealer, Tide pen (cannot emphasize this one enough for spills!)
Find a bag with a zipper on top as well. With all the traveling on the interview day and the multiple plane rides in between, you don’t want to risk anything falling out or getting stolen.
No matter what you wear, I hope your outfit makes you feel confident, stylish, and comfortable. Good luck everyone!