When you’re in the process of changing jobs or careers in the healthcare field, the last thing you might be thinking about is what to wear. Usually, your workplace will have a dress code in place that lets you know what is and is not acceptable to wear after you’re hired. Before you’re hired, though, you need to think about how you want to present yourself to potential future employers in the hiring process.
An interview is a first impression that can have a lot of weight attached to it. In fact, this is one of the situations where the clothes you wear matter just as much as the things you do and say. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of professional job interview outfit tips for a range of different healthcare roles.
Do Professional Job Interview Outfits Make a Difference in Healthcare?
While it might sound shallow, an interviewer or hiring manager may decide whether to move forward with hiring you based on your appearance at that initial meeting. A candidate who shows up to an interview in pajama pants and uncombed hair sends a message that he or she doesn’t truly want the job. What’s more, a slovenly or inappropriate interview outfit tells an employer that a future employee may show up to work like that.
If you’re just chilling on your couch watching movies with friends or heading to the grocery store on your day off, you might not care what you look like. That’s your business and your right. When you’re on the clock or working on getting on the clock as a paid employee of a hospital or other healthcare setting, though, you must think about the message that your clothes send. If you think about it positively, you can have an impact on making patients, coworkers, and administrative professionals feel confident in your abilities with smart style.
On the other hand, if you’re putting little effort into your clothes before you’re hired, it can make people doubt your abilities and professional reputation. Whether this is fair or not, it happens every day in every field. Simply put, people do judge each other like they judge books by their covers in an interview setting. You need to prepare to present an image that conveys an air of professional competence.
As a job candidate, though, you should consider how the way you dress might reflect the company for which you want to work. In the healthcare profession, a clean, neat appearance with appropriate clothes tells patients that you’re ready to take care of them in a sanitary, professional manner. A sloppy appearance could make patients, coworkers, and administration think that you’re also sloppy at your job. The last thing you want to do when you’re looking for a new job is to make your potential future employer think that you’re unprofessional. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of professional job interview outfits that are appropriate to wear for a job interview in a range of healthcare settings.
Professional Job Interview Outfits for a Professional Counselor
If you want to work in a drug rehab clinic setting, you’ll want to dress the part during an interview. Depending on your preferred position, you should dress professionally. Instead of worrying about overdressing, consider how you can elevate business casual clothes with a blazer or tasteful jewelry.
In an article on LinkedIn, Nicole Williams shares that “A scuffed shoe, a messy bag, or a low cut shirt can speak volumes. You need to wear your ‘power outfit.” In addition, she explains that “it’s okay to show off your personality through your clothes, as long as you aren’t wearing a lime green mini skirt. Stick to business professional looks.” If you’re looking into becoming a drug and alcohol counselor because you are recovering from a substance use disorder, it’s especially important to demonstrate that you know how to dress professionally so you can set an example for future clients at the rehabilitation facility if you get hired.
Showing your future employer how far you’ve come and how strong of a professional impression you can make with your appearance will be rewarding whether you get the job or not if you’re in recovery from this disorder. Regardless of what brings you to the interview for a drug and alcohol counselor position, the hiring manager will look at you based on the merits of your application and how you present yourself. By putting your best foot forward and wearing a nice blouse, blazer, and slacks as a woman or a button-down dress shirt, slacks, and a suit jacket as a man, you’ll show that you mean business.
Professional Job Interview Outfits for Surgery Professional
If you’re looking to work in a cosmetic surgery practice that deals with breast augmentation, laser hair removal, and related procedures, the same rules apply to the interview outfit. If you’re not sure about the culture of the office or company, staying on the conservative end of dress is wise. For most positions, a business professional outfit with slacks, a professional blouse or button-down, and heels or dress shoes should give the right impression. Even if breast augmentation or cosmetic procedures are important to the healthcare practice where you have an interview, keeping your appearance professional and appropriate is important for an interview.
If you have heavy tattoos or piercings, it can also be smart to cover them up as you feel comfortable. While you don’t want to hide who you are for an interview, some tattoos or piercings may be seen as unprofessional. In the interview stage, you can ask questions about how the employer feels about tattoos and what their dress code policy is regarding tattoos if that’s a concern. Some employers may be open-minded about tattoos and piercings, while others may forbid them for safety reasons. Depending on what role you aim to land in your job search, body modifications may be a dealbreaker for hiring managers.
In addition to dressing appropriately and professionally, you should think about professionally styling your hair. If you have very long hair, putting it in a bun, ponytail, or another neat updo can look more professional than letting it hang at your waist. If you have brightly colored hair, you might want to consider asking the employer beforehand whether they allow hair colors that don’t occur in nature.
Professional Job Interview Outfits for a Clinic
If a recruitment firm reaches out to you and asks you to interview for a position at a hearing aid clinic, you’ll want to dress appropriately for the occasion. As with most other interviews, keeping your professional job interview attire tasteful and professional will go a long way. If it’s cold outside or cold in the office, consider wearing a blazer or cardigan in a professional style to elevate your look while warming you up. Additionally, leave any large bags or backpacks in your car or at home if you take transit.
Ideally, you should dress one level of professionalism above the position. This means that if you’re taking on a patient-facing customer service coordinator role, you should at least dress business casual for the interview. For an administrator role, wearing a skirt or pantsuit and tie as a man will send the right impression. At a hearing aid clinic, you will probably work with patients from time to time if not often. This means that it could be helpful to dress in a way that would reflect well on the company to patients. Your future employer will appreciate that you present a strong professional image to their clients. As for yourself, you can feel confident and comfortable acing the interview in your professional interview attire.
Professional Job Interview Outfits for a Dental Practice
Whether you just received your certification as a dental hygienist or you’re looking to work in a dental practice as an administrator, you’ll want to dress smartly for the interview in one of your best professional job interview clothes. While you’ll probably wear scrubs on the job as a dental hygienist or technician, the interview is a time to wear professional clothes that might not be well-suited for practicing dental care. If you’re used to wearing scrubs at school and you don’t have any professional job interview outfits, you can usually snag professional clothes quickly over the internet at an online womens clothing boutique.
When you’re shopping online for interview clothes, you should make sure that you give yourself some extra time for the clothes to arrive. For example, if your interview is on Monday, you should not order your clothes Sunday night and hope that they get to your house in time for the interview. If you just got an interview on short notice and you don’t have time to go to the store, ordering interview clothes with express shipping can be a costly solution. However, if you need interview clothes and you can’t go to a physical store location, it may be worthwhile.
A happy medium between ordering clothes online while hoping they arrive on time and wasting precious time at the store can be ordering interview clothes for pickup at a nearby store. This way, you can save time by selecting items online and picking them up at the designated location in the store or parking lot. If you’re still in school and you’re interviewing for placement in an externship or internship, this can save you time and money.
No matter where you buy your professional job interview outfits for a dental practice, you should show up to the interview in clean, professional dress. This means that you shouldn’t have any stains or wrinkles in your clothing. You should also plan to start getting ready for the interview early so you can show up early. There’s no such thing as being fashionably late to an interview – tardiness or even being right on time to an interview can mess up your chances of getting hired.
Professional Job Interview Outfits for a Rehab Therapy Clinic
As with any other healthcare interview, you’ll want to choose a professional outfit that reflects your seriousness about pursuing a position in a rehabilitation therapy clinic or setting that provides natural hormone replacement therapy. In these settings, you may work in a patient-facing role. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider how you’ve seen other professionals in the clinic dress and aim to up the professionalism a notch.
In general, you’ll want to wear a clean, professional blouse or dress shirt, blazer or suit jacket, and slacks or dress pants. Keeping jewelry minimal and tasteful is also wise. Depending on the clinic’s policy, you may want to wear clothes or makeup that covers up tattoos. You may also want to take out optional piercings or minimize their appearance. For example, if you usually wear large hoops, you can switch them out for small studs. For piercings that are impossible or difficult to remove, covering them with a bandaid and asking your future employer whether they allow piercings may help you avoid missing out on this job opportunity because of your piercings.
You could wear a skirt or dress to the interview, but depending on the role, that may not be practical. When you’re emailing or speaking over the phone with the hiring manager, you can ask what to expect for the interview. This will help you determine what’s best to wear. If the interview only involves sitting down and chatting with the interviewer about your experience, you may be able to get away with wearing a skirt or more constricting clothing. If you’ll need to show that you can perform certain job-related duties, it’s wise to dress in looser, more comfortable fabrics while maintaining a professional appearance.
Although an employer shouldn’t discriminate or hire people based on their physical appearance, it makes good sense that a healthcare employer considers candidates’ professional job interview outfits when making a final hiring decision. If they have two equally qualified candidates, they may choose the candidate who came off as more professional from an appearance point of view. If you want to work in healthcare, you’ll have to dress for success in professional attire for the interview.