The Ivy Coach Daily

December 2, 2014

What to Wear on College Interviews

Overdress on college interviews. You won’t be penalized for dressing too sharply.

Wondering what to wear on college interviews? Wonder no more. It’s college alumni interviewing season. Maybe you received a phone call on your cell or at home. Maybe you got an email from an alum asking if you’d be interested in meeting with him or her to discuss your interest in their alma mater. Well, first and foremost, be polite in your communications with this alumni interviewer. If they ask if you’re available on Tuesday or Wednesday, don’t say that you have soccer practice. Don’t say that you’re not free but perhaps 2 PM on Saturday will work. Alumni interviews are not to be conducted at your convenience. They’re to be conducted at the alumni interviewer’s convenience. After all, the alumni interviewer is an adult with things to do like caring for children or holding a job. You have soccer practice. Get real.

Anyhow, once you’ve established the time and setting of the college alumni interview, you should start preparing. At Ivy Coach, we’ve aggregated the many questions that admissions officers at highly selective colleges have asked students over the years. Through Skype sessions, we train our students so that they are never surprised by a question and always answer in the best way possible. If you’re interested in our college alumni interview assistance, fill out our consult form and indicate that you’re interested in alumni interviewing help.

But beyond setting the time and beyond preparing, we want to give students a warning: Do not underdress. Overdress! If your alumni interviewer is wearing shorts and a t-shirt, that’s fine. If you’re a male applicant, wear khakis and a tucked in button down with dress shoes and a belt. If you’re a female applicant, wear a black skirt or black pants and a basic top. Hey, we’re based in Manhattan…so we have an aversion to any color but black. Do not wear hats. Do not wear flip-flops (hi Northwestern University women’s lacrosse team who wore flip-flops to meet the President of the United States). Do not wear anything revealing. Who cares if you’re overdressed. It’s a sign of deference, of respect. What is the alumni interviewer going to give you a bad evaluation because you overdressed? No. Will they if you underdress? Perhaps. Maybe they’ll find you less respectful. Maybe they won’t want to root for you as much. What you wear on college interviews matters.

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