Tips on Dressing up for OCIs: Surviving in Style
OCIs—I wasn’t even sure what that acronym stood for when I arrived at Queen’s for my first day of law school.
Toronto On-Campus Interviews take place in the fall semester of 2L and make for a stressful couple of months leading up to the big day when employers make the trip up the 401 to conduct the first round of interviews for summer positions.
While most students’ focus leading up to OCIs is on the substantive portion of their interviews (as it should be), something that always seems to cause a bit of last minute unnecessary stress is the appropriate style/wardrobe choices for the day.
Whether you are more of a conservative dresser—dark suit and white shirt/blouse—or more of a risk-taker when it comes to your wardrobe, the most important thing to remember is to feel comfortable in whatever it is that you decide to wear that day.
I personally feel most comfortable in shorts, flip-flops, and a t-shirt. But if you are like me, by no means am I suggesting you make yourself that comfortable!
Feel free to rock a pocket square, throw on a tie clip, shine your shoes, and go for the coloured shirt—or don’t. It is entirely up to you, and it will likely have no impact on how those across the table view you. What is important, however, is that you feel comfortable in your own skin (and your own clothes) so that your focus can remain on your performance and not your appearance.
Before you rush off to plan your outfit, here are a few Dos and Don’ts to help you narrow down your options. Keep in mind these are just suggestions!
- Bring Tide To Go. You will need to fuel up throughout the day to keep your energy levels high and there is nothing worse than spilling coffee on your white shirt minutes before your next interview.
- Do up your top button if you are wearing a tie. As uncomfortable as it can sometimes be, don’t risk exposing an undone button in the event your tie slides down.
- Wear a watch if you have one. Ensuring you remain on schedule is incredibly important throughout OCIs and you should avoid pulling out your phone at all costs.
- Hair (facial and otherwise) should be styled neatly. Obviously this does not directly relate to clothing, but it does relate to your overall appearance.
- Wear a dark or grey suit.
- Iron your shirt.
- Consider getting your attire dry-cleaned beforehand and ensure you leave enough time so that you can pick up your clothes BEFORE OCI day.
- Wear white socks. Not cool.