OK to wear nice pants on interview for staff nurse?


Hi, I was gonna GOOGLE this, but thought THIS site was the best place to ask!!!

I've been wearing a very formal dress and heels to interviews, but have noticed several people wearing

nice pants-----is this okay???

I know first impressions are HUGE, so I don't wanna ditch my nice dress if that's what I SHOULD be wearing!

Hoping some hiring managers will see this and answer....

My plan is to wear a nice, crisp blouse, nice pants and low heels---it's for a staff nurse position.


diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

yes, with a nice jacket is a completely appropriate.

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,102 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.

Dress professionally... slacks and jacket are preferred.

Just remember, you're going to a job interview, not an evening formal or nice restaurant.

Hang out in a physician's office and note how the drug reps dress - Almost always in suits, not in formal dresses and heels.

NeoNurseTX, RN

1,803 Posts

Specializes in NICU Level III.

I have always worn a suit.

Specializes in Foot care. Has 14 years experience.

I have to say right up front I'm way more liberal on clothes that most people. I'm from the camp that says if it's clean, pressed, well fitting and in good repair, it's appropriate, even gasp!, if it's made from that devil material, denim. Just don't wear sequins or gold lame. :-)

Having said that I know that most advice I've read says "wear a suit." And some specifically say wear a skirt suit, not a pant suit. I happen to love the ease of a dress -- given a simple shift without a zipper, slip it over the head and voila! C'est fini! You could add a coordinating jacket to finish it. The point definitely is to wear something you can work in, even if you'll be wearing scrubs on the job. I think that old chestnut "dress for success" said to dress for the position you desire. Probably best not to wear fire engine red.

Myself, I wear nice slacks, comfortable shoes, a simple shirt; or a jersey and a jacket. I usually add a simple piece of jewelry; either a lapel pin or a casual necklace.

Still unemployed, though.

Good luck!

I know nothing, but i would steer clear of wearing a dress and wear a nice professional suit. You want to come across professional but also that your right for the job...... and the job isn't dressing up ;) so i think there is a fine line to toe..... to look professional but also that your tough anough to handle the job. slacks give a persona of being a little 'tougher' imho good luck and whatever you do DONT wear denimn..... i think its important to say you cared enough to make an effort.

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,102 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.

Think about it this way: You're not going to alienate anybody by wearing a professional suit... They probably won't even notice how your dressed... which is the whole point. They will simply see a professional standing/sitting before them.

The further you deviate from that, the more likely you are to encounter someone who will notice what you're wearing, and potentially not care for it.

IMO, a job interview is not the time to consider convenience or even, primarily, comfort (though you want to be comfortable enough not to be distracted, sweating, squirming, itching, etc). Your clothes should communicate, "I am a high-end professional."


274 Posts

I've never hired a nurse, but I did used to work in HR and I would nix the dress. There aren't a lot of dresses that can look professional instead of "dressed up" like you're headed out for an event.

I second (third?) the suit idea either pants or skirt. If you're going to wear dress pants and a nice top you should also wear a jacket in a solid color that matches.

Ideally you will be hired on your resume not your clothes but right now everything you can do to get ahead counts.

I honestly once had a woman come in to interview w/ a very nice resume and all that my boss could talk about after she left was that her roots were showing. I honestly never even noticed so it wasn't like they were an inch long or something but that's all that my boss could see, so much so that she really didn't pay attention to what the lady was saying during the interview.

You never know what kind of person will be interviewing you (don't get me started on the shallowness of that particular boss!) so always put your best foot forward.


181 Posts

Has 12 years experience.

I would recommend a suit. Choose a conservative color, preferably grey or navy blue. Get a suit you feel confident in. A pump with a low heel . Hair should be very neat. Get a haircut if you need one. Keep the jewelry to a minimum, or better yet, none at all, or a wedding band only. Nails. Keep them short and neat with a coat of clear polish. Makeup. Keep it minimal. Let your natural beauty shine through. Bring all of your credentials with you in a blue folder. Resume, Transcripts, professional references, letters of recommendation, nsg license, BLS, ACLS. Smile. Shake your interviewer's hand at the beginning and end of the interview. Maintain eye contact. Did I say smile? Oh, get a thank you card, fill it out immediately after the interview while its still fresh in your mind. Take it back to the interviewer and thank them again. GOOD LUCK!!!!


1,216 Posts

I only went to one interview and have worn an elegant pants,though I didnt get the job:loveya:

I have an interview tommorow and a day after tommorow and I intend to wear pants and rather high shiny hills:)

Ps.Make sure you dont wear too much make up and pull back your hair,one piece of jewerly is fine


Specializes in NICU. Has 14 years experience.

I'd nix the high shiny heels, actually. They may look glamorous, but you want an interviewer to think "professional," not "just off the runway." Low heels and conservative colors are preferable in this situation.

Otessa, BSN, RN

1,601 Posts

Has 19 years experience.

Never worn a dress to an interview-suit or dress pants and business type top-button up with minimal jewelry, neat hair, clipped and clean fingernails and NO perfume or other ointments that smell. Minimal makeup-I've seen some come in thinking they are going on a hot date-not a job interview :D