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Interview Tips for a Medical Assistant, and Nursing Assistant

You’ve heard the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” many times during your life. While this concept rings true in every aspect of life, perhaps the most important time to stop and consider what this means is when preparing for a job interview.

Often job seekers are unsure about what appropriate professional appearance is, yet many of Allen School graduate’s employers list it as an important factor in getting hired. The overall impression that you make begins, and in some cases ends, with your appearance.

The moment you are introduced to a job interviewer, he or she forms an initial impression based on your appearance. When you have a chance to interview for a job that you want, it is important that you do everything that you can to make a positive impression on the interviewer. “In an interview situation, you’re marketing yourself as a product, and so you want and need to have the best image possible”, keep in mind that projecting a professional appearance doesn’t just mean on the interview.

If you pick up the application in your dirty gym clothes you may still be remembered as the smelly gym guy by the employer. You never know when you could be offered a job on the spot! Present yourself in a professional manner during your entire job search and even after you get hired.

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Appropriate Attire

You should dress appropriately for the position you are interested in. This usually means at least a dress shirt and slacks for men and a nice skirt or slacks with a blouse for women. Take note of how employees seem to dress. When in doubt, stay on the conservative side.

That being said, remember that your appearance, like your resume, is a way of marketing yourself. For example, if you are applying at a hip clothing store, then your showing off your trendy sense of style may be acceptable. But wearing a miniskirt to your interview at a medical office may show that you are unprofessional and will project the wrong image to clients.

Presenting a Polished Image

One of the most important things to remember about creating a professional image is cleanliness. This means clean, unwrinkled clothing in good condition (no frayed hems or stains). Shoes and purses should also be clean and in good condition. Make sure you bathe well and use a good deodorant. Check your fingernails for any dirt and grime. Lastly, make sure hair is clean and neatly styled. Men, remember to shave or trim facial hair.


The attire for the interview should present a professional image. For any interview, more conservative, corporate attire is appropriate. Classic suits in blue, black and gray with light colored shirts and blouses, classic style ties and shoes are recommended.

For women, be conservative with makeup and jewelry. Employers don’t care about the brand labels in your clothes; they are looking for someone who is clean, put-together, and confident.

Both men and women should maintain well groomed hair and nails. In order to avoid the possibility of falling victim to an interviewers personal preferences, remove multiple ear piercings, all facial piercings and make sure that tattoo’s are not conspicuous. The goal is to ensure that the focus of any interview is on what you have to say and not what you are wearing.


  • Navy, black, charcoal gray colored suit
  • Polished black dress shoes
  • Solid white pressed shirt
  • Conservative, professional tie
  • Black, calf-length socks
  • Attaché
  • Belt to match shoes
  • Hair; clean and recently trimmed
  • Nails, clean and short
  • Facial hair (if any) neatly trimmed or clean shaven face with no shadow
  • Avoid flashy ties or printed shirts, keep it simple and understated.
  • Jewelry should be limited to a watch and one ring
  • Don’t wear cologne or aftershave
  • No smoking or chewing gum
  • Bring a good quality pen
  • No visible tattoos or body piercing


  • Suit or tailored dress in a solid or very subtle print
  • Clean closed-toed shoes with basic shape and medium heel
  • Attaché or small handbag, not both, match to shoes
  • Hosiery in neutral skin tone or sheer black/navy NEVER darker than your shoes
  • Skirt should be knee length or longer, no extreme slits
  • Hair should be simple and neat
  • Nails should be clean and short, no polish or a subtle color with no chips
  • Make-up should be minimal, in neutral tones and non-distracting
  • Simple jewelry; small hoops or studs for earrings, watch, one ring per hand, necklace should be simple
  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne
  • No smoking or chewing gum
  • Bring a good quality pen
  • No visible tattoos or body piercing

Once you’ve prepared the outside package, make sure your attitude matches. You should convey the air of someone who is bright, alert, and enthusiastic and motivated. Look the employers in the eye, smile, and give him/her a firm handshake.

Above all, KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! Relax and let who you are shine through. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer – they will too!