A brown-haired woman standing in professional attire in front of a white backdrop

After the rigors and challenges of medical school, there are only a few more steps on the path to becoming an MD. Matching to a residency in a hospital or clinic is the next one. Grades, test scores, letters of reference, and other factors weigh on a new grad’s residency chances. One of the more important factors in ranking an applicant is the interview, where personality and presentation can make or break an opportunity. Wearing the right outfit can help an applicant project confidence and competence. Here are three residency interview tips to keep in mind for a winning appearance.

Keep the Clothes Simple

A residency interview is a chance for a hospital or clinic’s residency coordinator to get to know a candidate’s personality, so don’t be afraid to show a little personal style. That said, the clothes should never be louder than the person wearing them. Residency interview tips for clothes depend on the candidate’s gender. For men, suits in navy blue, gray, or charcoal tones with a matching tie are recommended. Women may wear pantsuits if that’s comfortable, or a skirt with a matching blazer. Again, dark colors like navy blue or charcoal, or a neutral gray work best.

Don’t Forget the Shoes

Chances are the interviewer won’t spend much time looking at a candidate’s feet, but it’s still a good idea to keep it simple. For men, black leather oxfords or loafers (make sure the belt matches!). Women should wear something sensible and comfortable with a low heel or flats.

Natural but Professional Hair

Again, if the interviewer is giving more than a glance to a candidate’s hair, it’s probably not a good sign. Keep it professional and tidy. Men should look sharp, not shaggy (be sure to shave or trim facial hair). Women should feel free to wear their hair up or down, whichever feels more natural.

Ultimately, candidates should feel comfortable and confident in whatever they choose to wear. Residency is an exciting milestone in the life of a young doctor and should be enjoyed. MedMatchPlus+ makes it their mission to provide a face and voice for residency candidates, helping them feel comfortable and supported during their search. For more residency interview tips, check out this resource on how to make a good first impression while talking up your strengths as a candidate.

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