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Yale interview help?

SeirienSeirien Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
Hi guys! So I have my Yale interview this upcoming Saturday, but I have no idea what to wear. I've been getting so many mixed signals, but all definitely point to the "no suit and tie" option. The interview email they sent me talked about how it will take place in a college's office in one in one of their academic buildings, and they specifically said "We encourage all applicants whom we interview to dress for the interview in comfortable clothes (it's NOT a job interview!)," which seems quite vague to me. I did plan on wearing like a Blue/Black flannel with khakis and brand new sneakers, or with a sweater over the flannel, but people told me to avoid the flannel option all together, saying it is too informal, while some say its fine. So I was wondering if any of you could clear this up for me? Thanks!
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Replies to: Yale interview help?

  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,492 Senior Member
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    ^^ Also, do not wear a flannel shirt or sneakers. Wear a shirt with a collar and smart casual or dress shoes.
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 949 Member
    Since you are going to an office environment (albeit college rather than business) @gibby and @londondad are on point. If you are uncomfortable in a button down shirt or jacket/blazer, a smart sweater or collared shirt should be fine. I would avoid sneakers and jeans, but comfortable shoes and slacks/khakis should be fine. I am assuming you are male.
  • Tperry1982Tperry1982 Forum Champion Yale Posts: 1,574 Forum Champion
    What did your interviewer suggest. Since I usually try to accommodate my students, I have interviewed them right after practices late in the evenings so sometimes they are still in their sports uniforms. I even interviewed one young lady in her Target uniform because the interview was during her break. For those who come from home or I do on the weekends, I tell them to dress casually since I usually meet in a Starbucks or Panera. It is just my preference, I want you to be comfortable. So much of the application process is stressful, I want the interview to be all about you. Again, my preference. I have literally told applicants to take off their suit jackets and ties (which they admitted their mom made them wear). I got a much better interview after that because the person then felt more comfortable. Remember, the point of the interview is to get a sense of the "real" person.

    But, like some have said, if you get no feedback at all, pants and a collared shirt will probably be best. Be neat and be clean. But most of all, bring your smile and your personality!!
  • SeirienSeirien Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    edited January 2017
    @Tperry1982 My interviewer suggested nothing. It seems my interview is coming from a group of Yale alumni who meet at one school to do their interviews in the school's offices. I don't even know who my interviewer will be. The only note I got was to "we encourage all applicants to dress in comfortable clothes; this is not a job interview!"
  • Tperry1982Tperry1982 Forum Champion Yale Posts: 1,574 Forum Champion
    @Seirien - each Alumni Schools Committee (ASC) does it differently. That is obviously what works for them. I would wear comfortable clothes, obviously something that is appropriate for school. A shirt with a collar and a pair of slacks or khakis is always a good bet. But most important is to do your best to let the real you come out. Be as genuine as you can be. I know its easier said than done (even adults have problems with interviews), but try to have a good time with it. I wish you lots of luck.
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    ^ @sherpa I agree with you that it makes sense to follow the instructions. Having said that, a nice collared dress shirt with khakis/dockers and clean smart casual shoes fits that comfortable description better than a flannel shirt, jeans and sneakers. My DD is going through this process now and she always wears a moderately casual dress to her interviews partly because that is what she wears to school most days.
  • MemmsmomMemmsmom Registered User Posts: 508 Member
    My daughter wore the same dress to all of her interviews. It was the same one she wore to give her speech at the National Honor Society induction. She felt confident and grown up while wearing it and so she wanted to feel good about herself when she went to the interview so that is what she wore. Funny side note is that it wasn't even hers- she borrowed it from her best friend. I think that if you dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself that it will be a part of your personality that shines through how you look. Her Yale interview was more like a cattle call. One old guy who interviewed 7 applicants from her school all in the same day and one right after the other in the guidance office. The interview was the shortest of all the ones she did and he seemed the least impressed. It wasn't bad but it wasn't as personal as most of the others. She still was accepted. Best of luck to you.
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 9,770 Senior Member
    I think flannel, or a Henley, that kind of thing, are fine, honestly. I would say no jeans or sneakers, but even that is murky. They want you to be yourself. What do you wear to school?

    Remember an interview is a chance for you to interview them too. Make sure the school is a fit for you, rather than focusing on whether you are a fit for the school. So as I said, and other said, just be yourself.
  • MemmsmomMemmsmom Registered User Posts: 508 Member
    @Tperry1982 its all good. She was the only one that got in out of the group she was a part of. It must have been the dress that helped her stick out. LOL
  • LvillegradLvillegrad Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    I told my son to wear what he wore on a daily basis during his internship at an investment bank last summer: Dress slacks (black or dark blue, not khaki), button down dress shirt (white or blue) and black shoes. No tie or jacket. He was meeting a young interviewer (class of '13) at a Panera in Manhattan. He told me that he felt that he was overdressed for the interview. I pointed out that it's better to be a little overdressed than a little underdressed. No interviewer is going to view negatively what he was wearing, while they might view an underdressed applicant negatively.

    FWIW, I was Yale '83.
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    ^ Great advice.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,917 Senior Member
    I don't know. If I met a young man in a white dress shirt, black pants, and black shoes, I might wonder if he was an interviewee or a missionary.

    In my opinion, business casual includes khaki pants, and a shirt with a collar. No sneakers, but something like Topsiders are fine.
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