Interview Appearance.

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Oct 27, 2006
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My friends are split with regard to the following interview-related question.

I've got a pretty funky hair style--short, bleached blond look. Some say I should go totally neutral for the interviews, others say that I should "be myself."

Now, I'm not saying it's a really CRAZY looking hair style--just not that natural looking.


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I dyed my hair purple and put it in a mohawk style. Worked for me.
There's nothing wrong with being yourself, but keep in mind you don't want to be remembered for the wrong reasons.
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This is a question that actually came up for me earlier this month. It's weird, but there's a difference between looking GQ and looking professional. Always go professional.
My position is that you should play this conservatively. You will not benefit from "being yourself" as far as the hair style goes, but it might hurt you if your interviewer is on the more conservative side. If you go with a more neutral look however, it will neither benefit you or hurt you. Get rid of the funky hair style during interview season and bring it back as soon as you are done :thumbup: .
when in doubt, play it safe. give yourself the best chance of acceptance by going the professional route. worse comes to worse, you don't want to lose an acceptance based on your appearance - don't let that be an issue to begin with.

edit: I decided to take my piercings out before I had an interview.
I don't see too many doctors with real expressive hair. I would want to show how I fit in as potential doctor material. Be a fashion pioneer for the medical community once you have jumped through the hoops and paid your dues, but for now play it conservative. Just my 2 cents.
I'd avoid the hair, but I understand you want to express some individuality. For me, I went with some somewhat loud very argyle socks (they still matched my suit, shirt, and tie). The dean noticed them at my Emory interview, and I opened up an acceptance from them 3 weeks ago, so I doubt the socks hurt me. :p
For me, I went with a charcoal (GASP!) suit and a sky blue tie. I know that this doesn't sound as if I was too adventuresome, but it's really surprising how few people dress in non-black suits. At my Cornell interview, I think that I was the only person not wearing black.

Also, I think that it's important to let your personality shine through. If you're a funny person or a ridiculously bubbly person, let the interviewers see who you are as a person! If the school is one that would appreciate your personality, you'd probably be happy there, anyway.

So I guess that my two cents are - be reasonably dressed and be truly unique in how you act, not necessarily how you look.
Play it conservative when it comes to the interview. Once you're in, if you want to have crazy hair and goofy style, it's all good. But, the odds heavily favor your "expression" harming your interviewer's perception of you.
The New York Times just did a piece on professional appearance and patients' perceptions.

Almost always better to look professional

I was curious, so I read the study the article was written about. There were two points not particularly stressed in the NY Times article that seem fairly relevant:

1. Whatever the study concluded about male clothes, it found a much larger drop-off in level of trust when a female doctor dressed more casually. That difference was particularly noticed by female patients. So if you're female and have a woman interviewer, dressing casually might be more likely to hurt you.

2. The "casual" clothing picture distributed by the study authors for the women were both completely inappropriate (one woman looked about 12) and a bit dowdy, whereas the men were just wearing jeans and a t-shirt but looked their age. You could probably argue that if you're young, female and attractive, dressing more casually might be...excused, especially if your interviewer is male.

Want to take the risk? :D