Dress code for Uni interviews/visit days

(31 Posts)
snowyowl70 Thu 17-Oct-13 22:46:58

Having just got her first interview for Uni DD1 is now worrying about what to wear ! She has to wear business wear for school so has a trouser suit and skirt/jacket if needs to be formal but is casual more usual ? She will be mortified if she gets it wrong sad

mindgone Fri 18-Oct-13 00:03:52

My DS went for interviews for Pharmacy last year and wore the suit he had for sixth form, he got all his offers. I think you can't go wrong with smart!

Bluestocking Fri 18-Oct-13 18:45:22

What subject? Business and Law students might be expected to be more formal than students in other academic disciplines.

snowyowl70 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:05:53

Modern languages

snowyowl70 Fri 18-Oct-13 21:06:24

Modern languages

JeanPaget Fri 18-Oct-13 21:10:51

For interviews I'd go with a suit, but for visit days (assuming they're not part of the interview) I'd tell her to go more casual.

Bluestocking Fri 18-Oct-13 21:20:10

I think she'd be overdressed in a suit for ML. What's her normal style? As long as she isn't given to wearing Daisy Dukes or those horrendous see-through leggings, she should probably wear whatever she feels comfortable and reasonably smart in - think tea at Fortnum's with your favourite (but rather stuffy) great-aunt.

snowyowl70 Fri 18-Oct-13 23:32:20

It is a visit day with an interview in the afternoon so lots of walking around campus/halls in the morning then subject talks and interview in the afternoon . She has suits then not a lot of smart casual and then jeans etc - difficult to know which way to go !

MagratGarlik Fri 18-Oct-13 23:42:32

I used to interview for a sciences degree. I'd say go smart. Going casual gives the impression of 'not that interested' and he needs to give the impression of, 'I really want this place and I'm out to impress you'. Also, in terms of behaviour, he should treat it as a job interview. The amount of students who answered the question, "why do you want to study here?" with, "the nightlife in the city is really great" was unbelievable. I also had students mouthing off in front of me about where they had been for interviews, their favorite places and which 'uni' they would accept a place from if they got an offer. Really not the way to get an offer....

Tikkamasala Fri 18-Oct-13 23:56:45

Does she have any dresses she could wear which look quite smart but wouldn't be out of place for wearing day to day? I would personally just do a dress, cardigan, nice shoes type outfit for this. I agree a suit is a bit much and jeans too casual.

UptheChimney Sat 19-Oct-13 08:58:12

Smart casual. I'd be a bit hmmmm about a student in a suit: basically, it wouldn't make a difference in the outcome of the interview, but I'd wonder if they actually knew what university is about. Jeans wouldn't bother me really: what does bother me is smelliness in the boys, and too much flesh showing in the girls.

And for one part of our selection procedures (think prac. lab work or the equivalent) wearing a suit would show they had no idea ...

UptheChimney Sat 19-Oct-13 09:09:55

But meant to say, whatever an applicant is wearing, it's their performance at interview that I evaluate.

ISingSoprano Sat 19-Oct-13 09:58:07

When ds was going for interviews last year he wore chinos with a shirt and smart shoes. The girls mainly wore smart/casual skirt outfits. This was for a science subject. The suits looked 'overdone'.

outtolunchagain Sat 19-Oct-13 10:04:38

Ds was interviewed for a social science course, he wore dark chinos , an open necked but smart shirt ( TM Lewin linen I think) ,
.Smart school shoes and he wore his dark wool reefer jacket on the top.He wasn't comfortable in a suit and tie and I thought he needed to be comfortable and he wanted to "be himself" He got a place! ( 143 for 10 placessmile)

2rebecca Sat 19-Oct-13 22:05:16

My son will be wearing a suit as his alternatives are very casual.
I wore smart attire to my uni interviews. I approach it as any interview.
I disagree that it shows you have no idea what being a student is about. You choose your clothes to suit the occasion. I would expect the interviewers to be looking smart and in general if I'm interviewing I don't expect the applicants to be looking much scruffier than me.
Shirt and chinos would be fine but I wouldn't go below that.
I'd go more casual for visit days.

ISingSoprano Sun 20-Oct-13 10:37:48

I would expect the interviewers to be looking smart

you may be disappointed then. Ds was interviewed by a guy in jeans, shirt and sweater.

MagratGarlik Sun 20-Oct-13 11:02:50

You will probably find it depends on the culture of the individual department. My previous workplace was fairly conservative and staff in jeans and t-shirts would have been a little frowned upon. Students would have been expected to realise they were being interviewed for a course which would lead them to a 'profession' and their conduct during interview should reflect that. Likewise, they were expected to conduct themselves in a certain manner during their degree and if they did not, they could compromise their chances of registration at the end.

Otoh, dp's department is very relaxed by comparison and he regularly wears jeans and t-shirts to work.

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 20-Oct-13 11:08:09

Why not smart skirt, blouse, high-neck jumper? Then she can make the call once there as to whether she wants the jumper on for smart-student or off for business wear.

snowyowl70 Sun 20-Oct-13 11:22:37

That's a good idea MinesAPintofTea ! Or did wonder about trouser suit with less formal blouse - sort of middle of the road !!

creamteas Sun 20-Oct-13 11:31:05

At my uni, interviews for professions (law, health professionals etc) would usually expect smart-casual. Interviews for anything else, casual would be just fine.

My dept rarely interviews now. On the odd occasion I do, I would be wearing my normal work clothes of jeans and t-shirt.

snowyowl70 Sun 20-Oct-13 12:20:13

Interview at Southampton - anyone know the approach there ? Head of dept gave his talk in a suit at Open Day although other lecturers were more dresses/chinos types.

UptheChimney Sun 20-Oct-13 12:42:50

The main thing is, be dressed appropriately. For our selection days (2 days, interview plus equivalent of lab stuff), turning up in a suit would show the applicant has no idea what the course involves, and they'd have some difficulty in doing what we ask of them.

And I don't dress up for interviewing -- I wear what I feel like. It's not something academics tend to bother about, thank goodness -- we tend to have more important stuff to think about.

And I'd suggest that what an applicant wears is really not going to make much difference: if they're good, they'll be made an offer; if they're not, they won't. I do sometimes note inappropriate clothing, but again, it's not going to make a difference to whether I make an offer or not, unless it's part of a larger pattern of behaviour.

There really isn't a magic formula for applicants! It's straightforward selection:
* have an idea of what the course involves ie LISTEN to the detail on Open Days
* be able to demonstrate an interest in the subject you want to read, that goes beyond required coursework
* be able to demonstrate an enquiring mind
* have GCSEs which indicate your potential and also some demonstration of actual achievement
* have A2 predictions + a school reference that suggest you'll cope with the course
* be open and engaged

snowyowl70 Sun 20-Oct-13 13:45:36

I didn't for one minute think that the decision will be based on anything other than ability/suitability for the course it's more a case of "I'll die if I turn up in jeans and everyone else is in a suit " (or vice versa).

ISingSoprano Sun 20-Oct-13 14:20:09

Ds is at Southampton snowyowl70 - although not doing languages. I still stand by the 'smart, casual, clean, tidy and comfortable' advice.

UptheChimney Sun 20-Oct-13 14:26:50

* it's more a case of "I'll die if I turn up in jeans and everyone else is in a suit " (or vice versa)*

Oh dear! Oh yes, I recognise that!

It sounds to me -- from the outside -- that anxieties about the interview itself are being projected onto the "what to wear" question. It's only natural, but needs to be identified, and put to rest.

What ISingSoprano says: 'smart, clean, comfortable.'

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