What Should I Wear To My Oxbridge Interviews?

First impressions are important, so choosing what to wear for an Oxbridge Interview can cause unnecessary stress for students. We answer your attire related questions to reduce your stress levels.

Author: Adi Sen

Table of Contents

First impressions are important, so choosing what to wear for an Oxbridge Interview can cause unnecessary stress for students.

When preparing for Interviews, Oxbridge Interview clothes may not be three words at the top of your priority list. Or maybe they are, and it becomes one more thing to worry about. In this guide, we’ll go through your questions to reduce your stress levels around the smaller aspects of your Interviews. 

Why Are Interview Clothes Important?

Oxbridge Interview clothes are important because, as with any Interview, when you walk in through the door to the tutor’s room, what you’re wearing will be the first and only thing the person deciding on whether you get a place at Oxbridge has to judge you on. Hence, if you rock up to your Medicine Interview in pyjamas, it’s unlikely that you’re going to give a good impression.

Caring about your appearance is also likely to show that you care about other aspects of your life, such as learning. Until your Interview starts, the tutor has no other way of knowing whether you are suitable for the course or not. Of course, we all know it’s wrong to judge someone based on how they look, but first impressions do stick! The Interview is a big deal so make an effort for it, this won’t go unnoticed. 

Attire aside, it’s important to focus on the areas of the Oxbridge Interview that will make a significant difference to your performance.

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What should I wear to an Oxford or Cambridge Interview?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a rulebook on what’s acceptable to wear to any occasion (just a list of unwritten laws about social faux pas). While the complete white tie get-up may be going a bit far, you need to show that you realise this is an important occasion. So, if you’d like to wear a suit, go for it.

Should I wear a suit to an Oxbridge Interview?

Wear one! If you feel more confident in a suit, if it helps you concentrate or puts you in the right mindset, even if you just think you look more professional in a suit, then go right ahead. However, if you feel more relaxed in jeans or a day dress, go for that too. I wore jeans and a jumper to my Interview and nobody set off an alarm.

What if dressing up makes me feel uncomfortable?

Another important factor to consider when choosing your Oxbridge Interview clothes is whether you will feel comfortable in what you have chosen to wear. Yes, you need to make an effort, but if wearing a suit and tie makes you sweat and you have difficulty breathing, then perhaps that isn’t the right way to go.

Instead, you could wear a pair of smart shoes and trousers, but consider wearing a shirt with the top button undone and no ties, with a smart jacket to match. If you’re a girl, consider a smart blouse or jumper, nice trousers, and smart shoes, not a glittery cocktail dress.

But what if my Interviews are online this year?

What to wear to an online Interview?

The same rules apply, wear what you find comfortable whilst also making an effort. You can still wear a suit to an online Interview or something else that is smart, but we advise that you wear the whole outfit, don’t wear the shirt, tie and jacket and then have your pyjama bottoms on underneath. You’ll also feel more in the right mindset if you dress the same as you would if the Interview was in-person. 

What shouldn't I wear to a University Interview?

It’s really important that you don’t wear a t-shirt with a slogan on it that some people could find offensive. Even if it’s obviously a joke, you don’t want to run the risk of your Admissions Tutor thinking that from your Interview clothes you’re racist or rude.

Be respectful of other people, and show your interviewer that you’re an upstanding person, who really wants to study here. Don’t wear something confrontational – it’s a good idea to not wear overly revealing clothing too (that goes for all genders). Beyond that, you have free rein.

Final words

Ultimately, the key is to be comfortable in your Interview clothes, as this will allow you to not have to worry about this aspect, so you can focus on what you’re being asked and what you’re saying. You don’t want to get distracted by an itchy label or an uncomfortable seam when you’re trying to make the best intellectual impression of yourself. Make as much of an effort as you can, and that’s one less thing to worry about for the big day! Interviews are stressful enough without worrying about the clothes you’re wearing. 

Aside from knowing what to wear, the most effective way to reduce stress for Oxbridge Interviews is through early preparation.

Our Interview Programmes are designed to give you the highest chance of an Oxbridge offer at the Interview stage. Your expert Oxbridge tutor will work with you based on your specific subject and personal circumstances to craft a strong Interview strategy that truly gives you an advantage that can make the difference between an offer and rejection.

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