Auburn Family

Dress for Success: Campus Interview Edition

Success - the end-all, be-all for most college students. Who would have ever thought there was a dress code for it?

Although students each take their own path to reach their personal definition of success, there is one aspect they will all have in common - interviewing. It seems inevitable that college students are required to interview for one position or another to achieve their dreams, and that means college students need to be prepared to dress for success.

According to Kaela Jimenez, a senior in psychology and Peer Career Advisor (PCA) for Auburn University, students may face many types of interviews during their college career. Jimenez explains that there are interviews for many departments and programs on campus, as well as campus organizations, leadership roles and on-campus jobs. Each of these interviews will be different and require preparation, which is why it is vital that students know what to expect before going to an interview. (Photo credit: Auburn University Career Center Handbook.)

"One of the most important things to remember for an interview is to not be nervous," Jimenez said.

Being dressed properly for an interview can help alleviate any nerves that a student may have. If the student sees that they are dressed on an equal level as their interviewers, then it becomes more of a casual conversation rather than a forced interview. Students may want to invest in some interview-appropriate clothes before coming to college, and Jimenez recommends these basics:


• modest pencil skirt
• trousers
• blazer
• nice blouse
• business-appropriate dress
• neutral-colored pumps or flats


• nice khaki pants
• polo
• nice loafers or oxfords
• button-down shirt
• dark-colored suit
• simple necktie

These pieces will allow any student to create the perfect interview attire, regardless of the interview attire recommendations. For business casual settings, a suit is too formal. It would be more appropriate to wear a pencil skirt or trousers with a nice blouse for ladies or khakis and a button-down shirt for guys. But if an interview is business professional, a suit is required. It is also important to note that even though these items seem basic, there are a lot of ways to show your own style with them.

"Be yourself and be confident," Jimenez said. "Show your personality so you can show the interviewers your unique characteristics."

In addition to exemplifying one’s own style in interviews, a student should be mentally ready for an interview and have an appropriate resume prepared. The resources available for Auburn students through the Career Center provide advice on how to excel at interviews, in all of these aspects, and so much more. For additional information on what the Career Center can do for students, visit their website or go meet one-on-one with a Peer Career Advisor.

Any interview practice a student can gain early in their college career will prepare them well for their future - when they are applying for jobs, graduate and professional schools or anything else that will allow them to reach their personal level of success.

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