What to Wear to an Interview

<p>I still stand by not wearing shorts to an interview, ever.</p>

<p>Me too, Pancaked.</p>

<p>Haha, thanks guys for your great (if sometimes conflicting) advice. I was kinda shaky on this whole thing at first, seeing as how my interviews in the past haven’t been for college admissions, but this is a pretty good place to come for questions like these.</p>

<p>If you could look comfortable in a suit, I highly suggest that. It gives you that professional look and shows the university how serious you are.</p>

<p>Personally, I would not wear a suit if I knew the interview with not wearing one. And, to take a page from Mitt Romney’s playbook, I’ll bet you $10,000 that no man in the admissions office at Rice is wearing a suit to work this summer.</p>

<p>I think wearing a suit when it isn’t called for sends the message, “I don’t know how to dress for a given situation.” I will grant that overdressed is better than underdressed, but it isn’t as good as appropriately dressed. And I would rather be remembered as “that tennis player from Kansas City” or “that guy who was really so unflappable” or “that guy who knew so much about ______” than “that guy in the suit and tie.”</p>

<p>I agree with niceday. I lived in Texas and this is a first interview, not a formal interview. I don’t think Rice is expecting u to show up all dressed up in the middle of summer in Houston… if there are people who are on admissions committees on here, they can give u more accurate advice than me but in my opinion, Def wear nice shorts and a nice shirt but past that, u should be fine.</p>



<p>Likely true for wearing a suit in this situation.</p>

<p>However, the reason this thread keeps going without much agreement is that it is not obvious to the OP or anyone else what the expected dress for the situation actually is.</p>

<p>As a parent who has been through this, my suggestion is to dress comfortably for the weather. I imagine it will be hot and humid in Houston in July – so jacket and tie is uncalled for. Personally, I think khaki type shorts and a polo shirt are completely appropriate. For what it is worth, in my son’s first campus interview, after he had spent the night in the dorm and was interviewing before he visited a class, he was dressed like a college student. When I met him back at admissions office, we chuckled at the identical attire of the other young men interviewing – every single one was wearing a blue button down with khakis. </p>

<p>Be yourself, and be comfortable. Admissions staff knows students who are there interviewing will be out in the hot sun later walking campus.</p>

<p>For the record, jeans can be formal. But it’s a college interview- not the biggest deal. Dress casually.</p>

<p>For boys I think khakis a polo or button down, BELT, a nice pair of shoes or clean pair of sneakers and appearing to be well groomed.
For girls I think a dress, a neat pair of slacks and appropriate top are fine and again appearing well groomed. My best friends husband used to interview for a top liberal arts school and he told us over the years some funny stories about how kids would dress. His advice was to dress the way you would if you were going to meet the parents of a boyfriend or girlfriend you want to impress:)</p>


Yes, but…</p>

<p>Several months ago my son flew to NYC for a 2nd interview with a consulting firm. The interview invitation specified “business casual”. When he arrived at the office he was surprised that everyone he saw was wearing the full suit and tie bit.</p>

<p>But he soon realized that all these guys in suits and ties were other applicants, and that he was dressed like the actual employees. He was one of only a few to receive a job offer. Maybe “ability to follow instructions” trumps all.</p>

<p>Edit to add: In my view, Houston is unbearable in the summer. Personally, I wouldn’t bring long pants on the trip at all.</p>

<p>Re: “business casual”</p>

<p>Of course, the definition of “business casual” can vary enough that it is easy to guess incorrectly what it is.</p>

<p>You will look uptight and out of place if you overdress. It will be hot, and you don’t want to look hot and uncomfortable. I would wear a very good pair of shorts, with neat shirt and shoes. You will not be looked down on if you are not all dressed up. I just visited 5 colleges with my kid, and ALL of the students on the tours were wearing shorts, except for some girls in summer dresses.</p>

<p>I used to interview professionally - for work, not college, and you have to consider location and what you are trying to accomplish. You want to show an interest in Rice, and you want to show how you will fit in. Long pants? No. Rice is not East Coast. IMHO -TX in summertime…shorts, khaki or plaid, with collared shirt. It’s TX, so shoes are optional. JK! :)</p>

<p>My son went on 1 interview - Wash U in St. Louis. It was @ 110 in the shade. But unfortunately, there was no shade. He packed pants, dockers and collared shirt, but he adapted to the weather, and wore shorts. I was so proud of him when he kept the shirt on.
I would make a joke about Missouri/ St Louis and shoes, but I already used it for TX. :(</p>

<p>Good Luck - and Have Some Fun!</p>

<p>Houston in the summer is so hot that no one will care if you wear shorts especially after a campus tour. Just don’t be sloppy.</p>

<p>No one cared last July when my son interviewed in shorts and we were in the Northeast.</p>

<p>I visited Rice back in spring, and they’re pretty laid back. Khaki shorts with a belt, tucked in polo, and Sperrys are more than enough.</p>

<p>My cousin wore a good pair of khaki pants and a polo tee shirt to his college interview. I’d say that’s about right.</p>

<p>So ironic that this thread should pop up! The reaon? I went to a college essay writing workshop given by a Yale U adcom this past Saturday. Great workshop! The workshop was hosted by the director of New Haven Reads. In her past life, she was a teacher at Choate…anyways, a question came up about college interview apparel. The director of NHR told us of a friends son who wore a Big Bird t-shirt, jeans & flip flops to his interview at, you guessed it, Rice U.</p>

<p>His mom was absolutely mortified, but there was no dissuading the kid to change his get up to something more appropriate. And guess what? Surprise, surprise, he got in! </p>

<p>I probably would have thrown my kid on the hotel bed, stripped him and redressed him!</p>

<p>I guess it all depends who is interviewing. If it was me I definitely want the person to look smart and well groomed. The appearance should neither be a distraction nor sloppy. Show respect.</p>

<p>Exactly Punequeen. I wouldn’t want to take that chance either!</p>