How to Dress for a Fellowship Interview

Business attire is appropriate for a fellowship interview.

Business attire is appropriate for a fellowship interview.

Many industries, from medicine to aeronautics, sponsor fellowship training to provide professionals with specialized knowledge in their fields. Interviews are a common part of the application process for fellowships, as they enable the host institution to meet with potential candidates and select the most promising ones. These interviews are typically formal, so it is important to dress appropriately. Business attire will ensure your appearance makes a positive first impression and your clothing choices don't cause you to miss out on an important opportunity in your career.

Select an outfit to wear. Your fellowship interview is essentially a job interview, so present a professional image by choosing formal business attire and avoiding anything casual. Stick with conservative colors, such as khaki, navy, gray and black, and avoid bold patterns. For women, a suit or a dress is acceptable. Skirts should be no shorter than knee-length and blouses should be conservative in nature. Each article of clothing should be well-fitting. Pants should not drag on the ground and sleeves should not be too short.

Select your footwear. Leather or micro-fiber business shoes should be worn. Women can wear flats or heels, though heels should be conservative in height and closed-toe.

Choose appropriate accessories. Keep your jewelry simple and to a minimum. Avoid large statement necklaces, rings and earrings. A conservative watch is appropriate. Women wearing skirts need well-fitting hosiery that complements their natural skin tones. Women should also carry conservative totes or portfolios instead of over-sized handbags or statement purses.

Inspect and clean your chosen garments. Look for missing buttons, tears or stains and fix any issues you find. Consider having your clothing dry-cleaned and pressed, or iron each garment yourself. Shine leather shoes and make sure your outfit is free of stray hairs or lint.

Groom yourself. The fellowship interviewer will look closely at your entire appearance, and failure to present a clean, put-together image could disqualify you from the running. Makeup and nail polish should be kept conservative and minimal. Avoid applying too much perfume or cologne and cover any visible tattoos you have, if applicable.

 

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