Do’s and don’ts of dressing-up for your dental school interview

Congratulations! You’ve just been invited for an interview by the admissions officers. Now you’re just a step away from getting admitted into your dream school.

Even before the excitement wears off, you’re already thinking about your next critical step – to ensure that the admissions committee is able to see in you a future student of their program. In order to do that, you must look sharp, professional, and confident.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re deciding how to dress for your interview.


Wear a suit

This one applies to men and women both. Wearing a well-fitted suit makes you look like a professional and shows the admissions committee that you are serious about this program.

Men can pair the suit up with a full-sleeved, co-ordinated shirt, a conservative tie, a belt, and formal conservative shoes with socks. This may not be the best time to wear a spongebob tie or superman socks. For detailed advice on how to look dapper in a suit, you can also refer to this link (

Women can pair the suit up with a blouse, formal pants or a below-the-knee formal skirt, and a pair of close-toed formal shoes. If you are not used to walking in heels, you probably shouldn’t experiment. Comfort is key. You don’t want to be struggling to walk or deal with a shoe-bite when you have other, more important things to focus on. Wearing a conservative, formal dress can also be acceptable.


Wear neutral colors

Your suit should preferably be a navy blue, black, or grey. The shirt, for men, should be white or co-ordinated with the suit. Women can wear light, pastel shades or neutral shades that aren’t too in-your-face or flashy. The interviewer should not be distracted by your outfit. The same color rule applies for shoes. If you turn up in a bright red dress with red stilettos, the interviewer will definitely remember you, but not for the right reasons!


Dress Modestly

Apart from wearing neutral colors, wear clothes that don’t reveal too much skin or aren’t too tight or body hugging. High skirt hems and low necklines should be avoided. If you’re wearing a skirt, then wearing stockings or pantyhose would add a nice touch. Make sure you wear a slip below transparent shirts. Men should wear collared shirts, buttoned up.

Being conservative doesn’t have to equal being unfashionable. You shouldn’t come across as too tightly wound or grandmotherly. Achieving the right balance is essential.


Carry a bag

Some schools require you to carry your CV, documented cases etc. Regardless of whether they require you to carry documents or not, you need to carry a professional-looking handbag. It completes the professional look, makes you look (and feel) less awkward than standing with empty hands and you can keep your cell phone (turned off!) inside it during the interview. Carry a bag that can fit in all your documents and is a neutral color. Also make sure you can remove any documents you might need from it easily so that you don’t fumble during the interview.

You can refer to this (insert link ) for interview-bag inspirations!


Prepare for the weather

If you’re interviewing at a place where it is likely to snow at that time of the year, you need to be prepared. Wear a warm jacket, gloves, scarf etc. and, more importantly, make arrangements to keep them once you enter the premises. The dental school offices usually have heaters and coat-racks. Ask someone from the administrative office where you could hang up your coat. If rain is forecast, carry an umbrella that is foldable, inside your bag. Wear shoes accordingly. You may need to wear formal boots in case of a chance of snow; or carry a change of shoes. Try and locate a public restroom close to the interview location where you can change your shoes, fix your hair etc. Plan to arrive early to prepare for such an eventuality.



Arrive shabbily dressed

If you are travelling by public transport, it is still not an excuse to arrive with messy hair or dirty shoes. Pin your hair up so there are no stray strands on your face. It is not necessary to tie up your hair, but if you plan to leave it open, carry hair spray so that you can make it look presentable just before the interview. You can refer to this link ( for great hairstyling tips! Nails should be trimmed or manicured, no bright nail polish for women and men should trim their beard/moustache or shave completely on the day before the interview. Your clothes should be well ironed, so avoid wearing clothes that might wrinkle easily during the journey.


Wear too much jewelry

Again, avoid any sources of distraction. Wear small earrings that don’t dangle. Avoid too much bling or sparkle. Don’t wear anything too costume-y, and keep it to an absolute minimum. Wear a watch with a metallic or leather strap. Avoid bright and funky watches.


Wear too much make-up

You need to keep in mind this is a dental school interview, not a fashion interview. You can wear light make-up, a neutral shade of lipstick, don’t go too heavy on the eyeliner and avoid eye-shadow altogether. Light mascara is acceptable and just a touch of blush is also OK. Check out this great link for make-up tips and some product recommendations!


Wear a strong fragrance

It is essential to smell fresh for the interview, but don’t over-do it. Pick a mild after-shave, cologne or perfume. It shouldn’t be too heavy on flowers, spices or anything for that matter. Some people are allergic to perfumes and you need to make sure you don’t make the interviewer uncomfortable by using a fragrance with an overpowering odor. So go light on the fragrances and you won’t ruffle any feathers!


Remember, you need to try and make a positive impact from the very start. Dental schools need their students to look presentable and confident in order to be able to treat their patients. Treat your dental school interview like a job interview and dress to impress!

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