How Should I Dress For A Physician Associate Interview
Advice & Insight From PA Application Specialists
What to Wear
You should wear professional attire, and dress how you would want a physician associate treating you to be dressed. Physician associates and doctors in the UK dress identically, so think about how doctors dress when they are not in scrubs. If you are male, or identify as male, then wearing chinos and a plain shirt, with a smart and sensible pair of shoes, is a failsafe choice. You may choose to wear a suit – this is certainly acceptable and a good idea if it is an option that you feel comfortable in. If you are female, or identify as female, then a blouse and smart skirt is the most traditional option. You could also consider a jumper and blouse, or a suit. Again, try to find something in which you feel comfortable, but which best shows you as professional and smart.
Try to avoid particularly bright colours, or anything that would stand out in the memory of an interviewer. The goal is to stand out through what you say, rather than through what you wear. Your outfit should merely fit an interviewer´s notion of a smart outfit, and when it has done that it should fade into the background.
Below is an image of physician associate trainees at a UK Physician Associate University. All four students are dressed professionally, as one would expect someone studying to be a doctor or a PA to dress. These outfits would be a good choice to wear at your interview – note that there isn’t much variation between what they are wearing. This is perhaps a good indicator that you shouldn’t try too hard to break the mould either.
Prepare your outfit and test it
Get your outfit ready well in advance. If you need to buy any part of it, you will want to do this in advance so that there is no rush as your interview looms on the horizon. You will also want to make sure that it all fits well, and that you feel confident, comfortable and natural in it. Ideally, you should give yourself ample opportunities to wear it in advance of your interview. Wearing a smart and professional outfit on work experience placements is expected, so why not try to maintain a couple of professional outfits throughout work experience that will be suitable for wearing at an interview as well? If you are able to make the clothes feel somewhat more lived in, and more natural for you to wear, then you are far more likely to feel confident in them and therefore more likely to perform well in them.
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Why your outfit matters
Your outfit is likely to be the first thing that an assessor judges you on, even if this judgement is subconscious. Whilst interviews now are more structured, and there is less place for subjectivity, you must remember that an interviewer will still be making decisions based on your professionalism, and that this image of you may well affect their wider decision making. When interviewing Physician Associate applicants, an interviewer is interviewing for future professionals, rather than just for students. They are therefore looking for people that can uphold the standards of the profession. They must be organised, professional, smart and respectful. To some degree, it is easy to see these qualities reflected in your outfit. If you are able to find an outfit in which you look just like the physician associates that you have shadowed, and it is well-ironed and neat, then you are already part of the way to confirming to the interviewer that you are what they are looking for.