what to wear to a nursing interview

Tips on What To Wear to a Nursing Interview

Firstly, congratulations on the callback! Now that you’ve got the recruiter’s attention, you might be considering what to do to reinforce the good impression your application has made. One of the ways to do that would be looking your best for the upcoming interview.

But hey, that doesn’t mean you have to go shopping for brand new clothes. The aim is to look tidy, professional, and put together, and chances are you probably have a complete outfit in your closet already!

Here’s some tips on what to wear to a nursing interview, that’ll help you put your best foot forward and leave a lasting impression on the recruiter.

Try the basics

A nursing interview setting isn’t very different from other professional interviews settings, so formals would definitely be your safest bet. So, if you have a white button down and a pair of trousers in a neutral color, you’re all set! But, in case you don’t have this exact combination, you can also consider these:

  • Dress pants
  • Chinos
  • Knee length skirts
  • Button-down blouses
  • Dress shirts
  • Fitted sweaters or blazers

Choose your colors, fabrics and prints wisely. Opt for colors that are suitable for a professional environment. Pair colors that complement each other. Make sure your clothes are well fitted and neatly pressed. A harmonious and well-fitting outfit plays a big part in making you look polished and prepared, while also adding to your confidence.

Yes, you can wear a dress

If you’re looking for a low effort outfit that can make you appear put together without all the headache of pairing colors or trying on different combinations, a dress can be your best friend! And with so many different styles and silhouettes, you’ll be sure to find something that is not only comfortable but also flattering!

But as a rule of thumb, it’s better if you stick to the more conservative options. Avoid dresses with low necklines or are too tight on the body. Make sure they aren’ t too short either. You can go for dresses that are knee length or end below the knee. As for colors or prints, you can work with solid or neutral colors or simple patterns that aren’t too loud or distracting.

Fabric quality matters

Good quality fabrics aren’t just durable but also appear more polished. They also hold their shape and are more comfortable to wear. So, investing in articles made of good quality fabrics like cotton, linen or wool is a great idea to build a professional wardrobe.

For your shirts or blouses, choose a fabric like cotton that is light and breathable. But since cotton tends to crease easily, you can also explore options in cotton blends. You can also explore options in linen and silk for a more sophisticated look. For pants or skirts you can consider polyester or wool as they are long lasting and don’t wrinkle or crease.

Keep the accessories simple

Accessories are key to making any plain or boring outfit fun. Incorporating accessories into your outfits can be a great way to subtly express your personality. But when you’re headed to a nursing interview, leaving the chunky necklaces and tasseled earrings at home might be a better idea. Consider replacing them with minimal pendent necklaces and simple studs or drop earrings to exude a more elegant appeal. You can also accessorize your outfits with belts (without any showy buckles, of course) and watches to make your outfit more workplace appropriate.

Ditch the scrubs

Now, we know it’s a nursing interview and you’d be wearing your scrubs at work, but wearing them to the interview itself may not be such a great idea. Although it is a healthcare setting, the interview is being conducted in an office environment. And your resume already identifies you as a healthcare professional so you don’t need scrubs to emphasize that.

Besides, a significant part of portraying yourself as a capable nursing professional is by showing your preparedness. Wearing your scrubs to the interview goes against the idea as the recruiter might think that you weren’t prepared for the interview or worse, didn’t care enough to make an effort. So, it’d be best to save your scrubs for the work shifts instead.

No jeans, please

Jeans are often seen as casual attire and most professional settings, including healthcare, don’t consider them work appropriate. Even when some interviews may not specify a dress code, it’s best to dress professionally. So, anything too casual, like jeans, summer dresses or shorts are completely out of the question.

Dressing too casually can imply that you aren’t taking the interview seriously or even create a negative impression on the recruiter. What’s more, you could even end up feeling underdressed which can impact your confidence and, consequently, your performance.

Don’t ignore the shoes

The right shoes can bring together an outfit seamlessly. For a nurse interview, it is important to consider close toed options like pumps or ballerina flats in black or another neutral color. Avoid wearing flip flops or sandals as they aren’t really suited for a professional setting. Wearing sneakers or converse can also be a bad idea as they are associated with casual occasions.

Play it safe with the makeup

While it’s important to feel confident at a job interview, over-the-top makeup may not be the way to go about it. So, save the smoky eyes, blingy highlighters and bold red lips for other occasions. Instead, you can try a simple and subtle base with just concealers, tinted BB creams or even a light foundation. You can also use brow gel and mascara to frame your face and accentuate your eyes. Opt for a nude lipstick to stay in tune with the subtlety of the look. Keeping your makeup simple can enhance your natural features, making you appear more alert and well-rested. It can also give you an immense confidence boost.

Also read: 20 Excellent Non-Nursing Jobs for Nurses

Final thoughts

By dressing professionally for your nursing interview, you can demonstrate some of the most important soft skills it takes to be a proficient nurse. An elegant and sophisticated outfit conveys an image of confidence and professionalism, making for a positive first impression on the recruiter. A well planned outfit also shows your preparedness and attention to detail, marking you as a dedicated professional which can add to your value as a potential hire.

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