These Are The Things You Wear to a College Interview

What to Wear to a College Interview

You’ve been working hard. Believe me, it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Over the last several years, you’ve put in the effort to get acknowledged by the school of your dreams.

A Must-Read: How to Choose a College That’s Right For You

You’ve only got the interview process left, and if you pass, it’s smooth sailing from there.

Problem is, you don’t know What to Wear to a College Interview. If you’re in this situation, don’t worry!

With this ultimate guide, you’ll never have to lose sleep wondering What to Wear to a College Interview.

In this piece, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about expected (and forbidden) attire so you can make the best first impression!

Paying attention to the details of this list could go a long way to completing a successful interview.

Knowing this, let’s take an in-depth look at what you should wear when it comes time for your big day.


What’s expected of young men who are going to a college interview? You can take a deep breath—there’s no need to buy a brand new suit.

If you were worried that you may need to shell out big bucks for some designer clothes, you can put those fears to bed with the knowledge that business casual is completely acceptable.

What’s that mean for you? Simply put, it means that it’s time to break out those khakis and those fancy button-up shirts.

What to Wear to a College Interview

Going with traditional options such as Polo is helpful, though any respectable button-up will do.

Try to Avoid

Any garish designs or patterns that will throw your outfit off or make you look tacky.

You’ll Want to Invest

In a nice pair of dress shoes to go with your outfit. This means that your fancy pair of Nikes won’t cut it.

When you’re dressing to impress, you have to do a lot more than sneakers. If you don’t have a quality pair of dress shoes, consider investing in a pair for your interview.

Of course, you can always wear a suit if you want to. No one’s going to dock points simply because you are well dressed.

Remember, however, that most students probably won’t go that route—meaning you may appear overdressed.

The Most Important Thing

Dress comfortably—if this means you’d prefer a tucked-in dress shirt over a full-blown suite, by all means, go with the dress shirt.

If you don’t know what to wear, try looking online for a general forum for your particular university.

There you can find helpful advice on what to wear and what may be expected of you.

If you don’t know what to wear, try looking online for a general forum for your particular university.

There you can find helpful advice on what to wear and what may be expected of you.


What are young women expected to wear to their college interviews?

Let’s take a look at the first and most important rule: nothing too short.

While it’s becoming trendier by the day to wear short skirts and other showy options, these are a big no when it comes to your college interview.

Remember: there are certain places—the beach, for instance—where it’s okay to show a little leg; your college interview isn’t one of them.

what to wear to a college interview

Still, general skirts are always a good way to go. Try wearing tan or darker colors for the most professional look.

You can also wear trousers (make sure they are not too tight) to add a professional shine to your wardrobe.

For your top, you can rule out anything that’s too lowcut. In general, you’ll want to wear something long-sleeved.

If you can’t find anything that fits this description, however, it’s certainly okay to wear a long-sleeved jacket.

I’m sure anything here on Amazon is “suitable” to wear during an interview.

Make Sure Not to Wear

Denim or other “teeny” looking options. You’re billing yourself as a professional, and you want to look the part.

Don’t know what to wear? You can never go wrong “wearing your church clothes” (assuming you have some).

These are good general guidelines for you to make sure you know just what to wear when it comes to your college interview.

If you’re feeling a little more daring, however, and if your campus is known to be more casual, you may get by wearing a more stylish outfit.

You don’t always have to sacrifice style in order to impress at your college interview. Consider adding a stylish scarf to give your outfit that extra bump it needs.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be good to go when it comes to your college interview!

Art Major

What if you are an art major? Do the same rules apply?

Actually, no. If you major in art, design, or any other visual major, you may be able to pass with clothing that’s a bit flashier.

Here are some great options on Amazon

Of course, you will want to follow the same general rules, but no one’s going to judge you if you show up in something a bit more exciting than your church clothes.

Consider adding a splash of color or pattern on your clothes or wear trendy accessories like a patterned scarf or a good pair of designer glasses.

By doing so, you will be adding a tangible visual to your listed qualifications—which never hurts when you’re dressing to impress.

Remember not to go overboard, however. There’s a fine line between complimenting your resume and looking unprofessional.

For best results, go over your outfit decision with your parents and perhaps a counselor.

If you’re not sure if your outfit will go over well, simply wear your dress clothes. You’ll never be judged by going with the accepted standard.

This also means that you shouldn’t feel pressured to overdress when it comes to your interview.

If you want to grab yourself a pair, check them out here on Amazon.

Students who don’t have the money to add flair to their outfits should never feel marginalized by their lack of dress opportunity.

Instead, simply go with the tried and true method, and you’ll do just fine in your interview.

Don’t worry if you see some people who are a little more dressed than you are (after all, your clothing will be close to the bottom of your interviewer’s checklist).

Music Majors

The same unconventional rules largely apply to music majors. Oftentimes, students who plan on majoring in music-related studies are told to dress as they would to a concert.

What to Wear to a College Interview

This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should wear your band clothes.

Rather, it means that you should dress as if you are a famous conductor putting on his best work.

If you do so, you’ll likely win over the heart of your interviewer with your passion—but keep in mind that the substance of your interview is the most important part.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should come in with a tuxedo or gown.

Just like with every other category, it’s certainly possible to overdress. Simply wear black trousers with a matching vest and white undershirt, and you should be good to go.

Female vocalists are often encouraged to wear beautiful dresses. Consider what you might wear if you were singing a standard aria and bring that.

Again, anything too garish is likely overload, but you will find that there’s a happy medium between what’s acceptable and what’s overdoing it.

Striking that balance could be key to impressing in your college interview.

For this reason, it’s important that you look over a variety of outfits to make sure you find the one that’s perfect for your interview.

What to Avoid

As with any interview, your college interview follows a strict code of what not to wear.

As such, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the “don’ts” of college interview attire so that you don’t make any mistakes when it’s time for your interview.

Take a look at the following things to avoid when doing your college interview.

University or Sport Attire

It may seem like a good idea to deck yourself out in university attire or jerseys, but this isn’t advised for any college student going to an interview.

In addition to making it look like you are trying too hard, you often won’t look as professional as you could—and that’s never a good thing.

This means that it’s not a good idea to don that university hoodie when you walk into the interview room.

Instead, wear a nice, professional jacket if you can. You should also avoid university print pants or sports attire.

This is the case even if you are visiting the university on a sports scholarship.

You’ll want to make sure that you avoid overdoing it during your interview. This means following standard protocol and not wearing that flashy university attire when the day arrives.

Heavy Cologne or Perfume

Students are also advised to lay off the heavy cologne or perfume when they go to their college interviews.

Even if you think that your scent smells nice, there’s a chance that your interviewer won’t. In fact, it could give them a headache.

Students are also advised to lay off the heavy cologne or perfume when they go to their college interviews.

Even if you think that your scent smells nice, there’s a chance that your interviewer won’t. In fact, it could give them a headache.

Wearing heavy scents could leave your interviewers with a bad first impression.

It could also make them feel as if you are masking for thick body odor. You don’t want your interviewer to wonder if you took a shower the night before.

What to Wear to a College Interview

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t put on a little cologne or perfume the morning of your interview.

It simply means that your scent shouldn’t be the first thing that your interviewer notices about you. If your scent lasts longer than your interview, there’s a good chance that you’ve overdone it.

Flashy Ties or Scarves

For men, you may want to avoid flashy or garish ties. Though they may look nice or even be expensive, there’s no guarantee that they’ll win over your interviewer.

In fact, they could simply serve to distract during your interview.

Remember that protocols are in place for a reason, and you should be overly cautious about breaking any accepted norm.

For women, it’s rarely an idea to wear a flashy or patterned scarf. Even if these scarves match your outfit, they may not be appropriate professional attire.

Following the same line of reasoning, these scarves can serve to pull your interviewer out of focus and redirect attention to undesired areas during your interview.

Remember that it’s always better to be on the safe side. This means avoiding anything too flashy, especially if you are uncertain.

Light Blue Jeans

This one may sound obvious, but many students underestimate the seriousness of their college interviews.

Wearing even something as nonchalant as light blue jeans can be a serious mistake when you are trying to look professional.

While wearing darker jeans is sometimes acceptable, there’s never a circumstance where an interviewee should wear lighter-colored jeans to an interview.

Particularly when those jeans are filled with holes or are too tight.

This brings us to another point: any pair of clothes that is too tight or shows off too much form is unacceptable.

The goal of your interview is to make sure that you get into college. If you have to do that looking nerdy, so be it.

Of course, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t look put-together. Interviewers are immediately attracted to candidates who look like they have their lives in order.

This means that you should pay particular attention to your hair and hygiene when you go into your interview.

Doing so can help you look like the ideal candidate and help you secure a spot at the university.

The Bottom Line

Getting to college is hard—but passing your interview doesn’t have to be.

With this guide of the dos and don’ts of interview attire, you should never have to worry about what you will wear for your big day.

In general, you should always stick to traditional options when it comes to finding the perfect clothes for your interview.

Having trouble? Think church clothes. If you have a special major in the arts or music, you may have more leeway in determining your outfit.

Still, you should remember to never go overboard when it comes to deciding your interview attire.

If you follow the guidelines in this post, you will be well on your way to acing your interview.

Knowing What to Wear to a College Interview, means it’s time to do a little shopping! If you haven’t already found the best outfit for your interview, now’s your chance to get something that will blow your interviewer away!

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