T Nation

Med School Interview


I got an interview coming up for med school and have no idea how to dress for it. As such I would appreciate any feedback on the following pictures, which display my dressup clothes and what I have to work with. So, which ensemble is the best:

a)black suit jacket with black pants
b)black suit jacket with brown pants (need to be ironed)
c)black suit jacket with weird blue color pants

Also, should I wear my jacket open or closed? The jacket itself feels tight across my shoulders and makes it hard to stand up with my shoulders back. I am considering purchasing a new navy one under $150 cdn...

Finally what do you guys think of my tie and shirt? The shirt too me seems to big past my upper torso and bunches up at th waist, but it fits right in the shoulders; is this normal?

Any feedback would be appreciated.


shirt tie combo


another option


option 3


I used to have to wear suits and ties so I kinda know this stuff. First off, I don't know what your budget is, but if you're planning on going into medicine, this won't be your first interview where you'll need a suit. Invest in a good one. If all you have for now is the black suit, that will do. Some people think black suits tend to make you look like an undertaker but I don't think they're that bad. It's better than black jacket with brown pants. Repeat after me - NO BROWN PANTS. If you decide to buy a suit, a nice dark or charcoal gray works well.

Shirt - You need a new one with a collar that fits. Preferably a white one. While some "consultants" feel that it's okay to go with light blue, white is universal and you will never go wrong with white. Buy either an all cotton shirt or one with a high percentage of cotton in the fabric. You don't want the polyester look.

Tie - No offense, but I don't like it. Go with a dark red - again, a fairly universal color. No polyester in the tie AT ALL. All silk, no exceptions; you're looking to become a professional, not the manager of your local drug store. And you'll need to learn to tie a smaller knot. Go with the four in hand knot - do a Google search on this as it's the most common knot. Tie the knot tight - loose knot means loose mind. The end of the tie should touch your belt. Too short makes you look like you're going to clown school, too long isn't much better.

Personally, I don't really think it matters where you button the jacket or not. You can't go wrong with walking in with a buttoned jacket, but you'll need to unbutton when you sit.

Now that I've given fashion advice, my testosterone levels have plummetted. I need to lift.


The tie should be understated. There is nothing wrong with the suit or the color of the suit. That tie stands out too much. I would wear a white or cream colored shirt as well, but that's just me and what I was taught. My usual combo for interviews and jobs was black suit, maroon tie and cream shirt. Worked most of the time if not every time that I can remember.


I would go with the outfit in your very first post. For something as formal as an interview (whether for school or a job), I am a firm believer that you really can't overdress. It shows you are taking it all seriously and seeking to act in a professional manner.

In terms of the jacket buttoned or unbuttoned, I would go with unbuttoned (unless it is double-breasted and then that would just look odd, but I don't like double-breasted suit jackets anyway).


Dude, have you ever met any doctors? I work in the medical field and I can tell you that most dress for shit. So I wouldn't worry too much about being Mr. Fashion as most of the Physicians interviewing you will not have a clue. Just dress conservative; nice slacks and jacket, solid neutral color shirt, basic non-flashy tie.

The rest is up to your grades, MCAT, and interview skills (not to mention that you will have to fight harder than others because you are the wrong racial background, but that is a subject for another thread).


I agree with what the others said, and to add that in big interviews, do not 'two-tone' jacket and trousers.

Go with the suit in the first pic, and I would also wear a more understated tie as far as pattern.

And I can't exactly tell from the pic - it looks bluish or maybe grayish - but your shirt should be a version of light blue or white.

Best of luck, Doc!


I agree with advice given so far.
Would change the tie to dark solid color eg dark red and probably go with a white shirt.
To be a bit critical - if a jacket is part of a suit, don't wear it with different pants...it just looks like it doesn't fit in.

Read John Malloy's "Dress for Success". Some may say it's dated, but classic professional dress never looks out of place in a professional setting. Remember, this is an interview for med school, not a job at Mickey D's.

All of this reminds me of an old gentleman from the Deep South that I met during medical school. He arrived at the hospital for his scheduled vasectomy in a rented tux. When asked why, he proudly announced: "If I is goin' to be impotent, I is goin' to look impotent." Had to love this guy.


Top suit but different tie and shirt would look better.

Button your jacket (except leave bottom button undone) when standing.

Unbutton to sit down.

Good luck.


Thanks for the input. I think I will keep the black suit and get a different shirt and tie. A new suit would cost too much, and i'm already paying like $500 just in travel expenses for this one interview. I'll probably get a white shirt with a more conservative blue tie, likely a solid color. I do like blue and it's suppose to convey honesty...


Your interviewer won't give a shit what color the tie is. If it stands out too much, it will count against you. They will discuss each of you after you leave, which means your name being tossed around will be based on your NATURAL ability to relate to the guy asking you questions, appearing at ease during the questioning, and your ability to convey a true interest in helping others.

Body stance should include NEVER....NEVER....NEVER crossing your arms. Keep your hands on your kness or in an open position. It conveys being open. Crossing your arms conveys either your attempt to hide something or an attempt to keep others out of your personal space. In other words, you will look shady.

Do NOT fake your personality. If you don't find a joke funny, don't sit there laughing for 10 minutes just to kiss the interviewer's ass. They see tons of guys like you and I am sure they get tired of it.

Realize your interviewer is human. I had one who became my true friend later on. In fact, his home phone number is still in my cell phone and I could call him tomorrow and he would ask why I haven't visited. His personal character traits include telling the same jokes for the past better part of a decade that I have known him. I still smile at them, half "chuckle" and move on.

Accept the personality of your interviewer but don't kiss his ass. You are often much more transparent than you may think, especially to an academic.

Other than that, relax and play yourself up. Mention community service, extra curricular activities and such. They already have your grades. They don't really need you to act as if your GPA is all you have to offer. There are millions of people just like you.


Hey, when it comes to suits, they're about as manly as it gets.


Top suit looks best. I have the same problem with the extra shirt material around the midsection despite the claim of an "athletic" or "European" cut shirt.

My advice is to get your shirts tailored (sometimes the shop will do it for free, if not the cost is minimal). Get some darts put in the back of the shirt and you will look and feel much better.

I second the opinion about not wearing a suit coat as a sport coat with slacks. It never seems to look quite as good as a nice sport coat would.

Talking about clothes may not seem very T-Mannish, but I believe that dressing sharply opens a lot of doors.


Pick something conservative and don't stress the outfit. Unless you stand out in a bad way with the outfit/grooming they will be irrelevant.

However make sure you have thought through and have answers to all the usual questions e.g. why you want to become a doctor, why you want to go to their school, etc. These will obviously play a larger role in your being accepted or not.


If you really do not know how to dress for an interview maybe you should go to trade school or something like that. Med school may be a little too much for you.


go with the first suit option - black.

white shirt - no button down

tie - use a repp pattern or a pindot/polka dot motif.

basically open this link and copy the look. You can't go wrong.



The blue shirt, dark blue jacket, tie and khakis I feel is the best outfit...you look like a doc who has visited the hospital to attend a meeting (I work in the medical field, and this one really fits in). The baby/ceil blue is a good call....close in color to hospital blues.."when in Rome do as the Romans do" and dress like a doc. Good call.


P.S. Good luck!!