Tips for Succeeding on Interview Day

Before the Interview

  • Make sure you know where the interview location is and you know how to get there. Google directions if you are unfamiliar with the location.
  • Make sure you arrange for reliable transportation well in advance of the interview date.
  • Plan to get to the interview location 10 to 15 minutes early BUT not too early!
  • Rehearse mock interviews with friends or family.

What to Wear

First things first. Do not feel like you have to go out and buy clothes for the interview. If you don’t have any of the items listed below, consider borrowing from a friend (or even a parent, or a friend’s parent), or if you think you might be doing more interviews in the near future, check out the local thrift stores. Lots of great deals to be found for clothes and shoes at thrift stores for these kinds of clothes.


  • You do not need to wear a suit.
  • Nice pants (khakis or slacks).
  • Button-down shirt or a shirt with a collar. (A tie is not necessary but if you have one, it never hurts to wear it.)
  • Nice shoes if you have them.
  • Sweatshirts and t-shirts are not appropriate for interviews.


  • You do not need to wear a suit.
  • Nice pants (khakis or slacks).
  • Skirt  (Note:  skirt should come down to just above the knee at minimum. NO short skirts.)
  • Shirt: nice blouse (avoid sleeveless blouses), button-down shirt, nice sweater. Avoid showing any cleavage.
  • If you wear a dress, follow the rules for the skirt length and shirts.
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum.
  • Shoes: avoid flip flops or sandals.

Other Things to Consider:

  • Hair: neat and away from your face. If you have a habit of pulling on or playing with your hair, pull it back for the interview so that you are less likely to do this. (It gets distracting from an interviewer’s perspective.)
  • Do NOT chew gum during an interview.

During the Interview, Relax and Be Yourself

End of the Interview

  • Thank the interview panel for their time and shake hands with each member.
  • Write a short follow-up thank-you note to the interview committee. Believe me, they will remember this extra effort.

These tips were adapted from the article "Scholarship Interviews: How To Prepare for Them" at College OPTIONS.