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Public Health Interview - Is a Suit Too Much?

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Hi all,

I have an interview soon for a PhD program in Behavioral Health. 

Everyone in my personal life insists I wear business attire, NOT business casual. But it seems like most people here recommend business casual.

I know a lot of this is discipline-specific, but I'd also love to know what people are choosing who aren't going the public health route.


Thanks! And good luck to all.

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I have never done a school interview, but based on my professional experience I would recommend a suit. At my last job interview, I wore a suit and heels to a coffeeshop, and the interviewer wore jeans. Yes, it felt a little weird, but you can take the jacket off and there's really no downside, compared to being the one in jeans while your interview wears a suit. Going into a professional program, you are likely to encounter people with professional backgrounds, so professional standards are best.

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If your comfortable in a suit, go for the suit. If not, don't do it - just go "professional" with a dress shirt, tie, slacks, and a dress sweater (v-neck lightweight, probably has an argyle print on it).


I went to my interviews with dyed brick red hair and dressed something akin to this:




Yes, everywhere I went there was an accompanying dramatic lens flare. My life was posh at one point.


When I showed up for classes with my natural mousey brown hair, t-shirt, and jeans.. one of my professors actually commented that I looked totally different. Later the same professor would remark un my "unprofessionalism" in how I dressed when I was wearing paint clothes (I worked in the University's paint shop as a scenic artist) to teach a class on scenic painting and attend production meetings that were scheduled during the middle of my shop work hours.


So.. just be mindful of the precedent you're setting. Do it if it's you - don't do it if it's not the typical you.

Edited by Loric
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