How to Dress for a Nursing Interview


Once you secure an interview for a nursing job, you need to be sure that you give the right impression upon first glance when arriving at the interview. Everyone, including those at the front desk, will be drawing opinions about you based on the message you send, and this begins before you get an opportunity to say a single word. This article is full of tips to make your best visual impression at your next nursing interview.

Your Appearance Speaks to Your Professional Value

Your appearance speaks volumes about you and your value. It tells the interviewer(s) how much you care about the position for which you are interviewing and shows respect to those who are taking time to interview you. It is a cue as to how professional you are as a worker. It can imply experience you have beyond that stated on your resume. This doesn’t mean you must wear expensive clothes to tell them you are worth more; the cost of the outfit you wear has little to do with the message you send, but your appearance does need to be put together thoughtfully.

Do Your Research and Ask Others Who Have Recently Been Hired as Nurses

In order to find out what is appropriate attire at a nursing interview, you’ll need to know what is the norm during a formal meeting for an interview versus working on the floor performing nursing duties. You will be best off if you ask someone who has recently interviewed and been hired for the type of nursing position you are hoping to acquire. Interview attire expectations change somewhat over the years because our culture as a whole changes and fashion changes. Attire expectations can also vary from company to company. It may take some work to find the right people to speak with, but this is a step you shouldn’t skip. Getting current, real-world advice from nurses that recently got hired is invaluable. A bonus to doing this research and picking appropriate attire is you will walk into your interviews with added confidence.

If you would like to be placed in a healthcare job within the United States, please fill out the form below or call us at 602-468-6300.

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Simplicity In Clothing and Accessories Imparts Confidence

When your clothing is simple to wear, such as a professional shirt combined with well-fitting and professionally pressed pants or skirt, you will find yourself less worried about whether your outfit looks appropriate. You will also be more comfortable. This will cause you to be more relaxed than if you are wearing a super-fussy outfit that is too tight or hard to keep free of wrinkles.

This also goes for your accessories. Leave the jewelry at home that makes jangly sounds, is super flashy, or moves around enough that you have to constantly adjust or check it. Also, leave behind the purses that have their own agenda, such as ones with heavy patterns and logos, or oversized and floppy purses. These purses are fun in personal life and might be fine when you get hired, but during an interview your purse should be the last thing they notice; keep it to a size that holds your necessities and keep it to a design that goes with all of your professional outfits so you don’t have to worry about choosing a different purse each time you interview.

Your shoes should be easy to move in. If you are buying shoes specifically for your interviews, you need to wear them ahead of time for at least a full day to make sure they stay comfortable and you can move in them gracefully. Make sure your shoes look new if they actually aren’t. Your interviewers will notice worn heels and scuffs. Always wear closed-toed shoes to interviews and keep your heels no higher than two inches for the nursing industry.

Solids are soothing. As a general rule during an interview, solid colors rather than prints and patterns are easier on the eye for all parts of your ensemble and help the interviewer pay attention to your words rather than your attire.

If you don’t iron clothes regularly, you probably don’t know how to iron your clothes for a professional setting. Save yourself stress and time by investing in getting clothes professionally cleaned and pressed for your interviews.

Makeup for Your Nursing Interview Should be Natural

Only wear makeup if that is who you are. And if you are someone who wears makeup, keep it as simple as possible so you are confident it looks the way it did when you put it on. When you interview you are nervous. When you are nervous your body will heat up. When your body heats up, makeup can melt surprisingly quickly. During interviews, your mouth commonly gets dry. Less moisture in the air coming out of your mouth means your lips and lipcolor will dry out more than usual; if you are wearing a really noticeable lipcolor, it will show cracks and flaking more readily. Additionally, if your mouth gets dry, you’ll be more inclined to drink from the glass or bottle of water they will probably offer you; if you are wearing a darker lip color, it will leave a mark on the bottle or glass and will likely wear off your lips. If you don’t wear lipstick, consider wearing lip balm so you don’t suddenly notice dry lips during your interview. The less “made-up” you look, the better it is for you.

Hair for Your Interview Shouldn’t Be Fussy or Overwhelming

Keep your hairstyle to something simple that you’ve worn before. Attempting a hairstyle that is new to you can easily go south when getting ready for a nerve-wracking event like an interview. Keep your hairstyle to something that looks good on you but is as simple as possible. If your hair is long, it is a good idea to pull it back because it will keep your hair in check and neat in appearance the entire day and keep the interviewer from wondering if you plan to wear your hair down in the workplace.

Don’t Smoke, Wear Perfume or Body Spray on the Day of Your Interview

All of these things are distracting. They can also easily communicate negative messages. And it is quite common for fragrances to trigger allergies. If you smoke, figure out an alternative before putting on your clothes; many people are super sensitive to smoke and will notice even if it has been hours since you last smoked.

Are You Looking for a Nursing Job in Arizona?

Desert Medical Careers has a high demand for registered nurses and nurse practitioners. We are typically able to easily place full-time and part-time nursing positions throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. With over 20 years’ experience placing healthcare employees throughout the Valley, DMC is an expert at matching healthcare workers with their ideal work environment. Contact DMC today at (602) 468-6300.

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