Whilst it’s tempting to throw on your trusty pantsuit for every interview - since some say dress for the job you want not the one you have - it’s important to consider what is appropriate for the role you wish to land. About to interview for a waitress position at a hot new restaurant? What type of outfit will make the best impression and secure the job?
Be Neat and Well-Groomed
Clothing is secondary to a well-kept appearance. Even if you cannot afford the latest fashions, being neat and presentable is key. Make sure you’re freshly washed and groomed. You don’t need to spend hours curling and straightening your hair, just make sure it’s clean and brushed.
Make sure any skin blemishes are covered with foundation makeup because you’ll be a front-facing part of staff, and need to look presentable. Keep makeup light; you don’t want to give off a high maintenance impression.
Choosing the Right Clothes and Shoes
When choosing the right outfit, keep in mind the role and level of seniority you will have. If you’re interviewing for a team leader role, you may want to dress up more than when interviewing for a new waitress position. Whatever you wear needs to be freshly laundered, and free of debris - cat/dog hair, deodorant stains, and so on.
Be conservative in your dress. Don’t show excess skin - no shorts or revealing blouses. Don’t wear jeans and a t-shirt under any circumstances, or, worse, a midriff baring top. Even if your uniform will be casual when you work at the restaurant itself, you don’t want to show up as if you’re going to the beach, the gym, or lounging around at home.
Smart casual is a recommended style. It’s not too dressy (i.e. a corporate-level suit), but not too casual. It may be best to choose muted colours, and not wear, say, a lime-green blouse. If you’re stuck for what style to wear, consider donning a jumper, or blouse and coordinating pair of trousers or a skirt (but not one that’s too short).
Footwear is important too. You want to be presentable from top to toe. Don’t wear sandals, or shoes that display your toes as this can be offputting to a potential employer. Try and wear a low pair of heels or some sensible, closed-toe flats in a coordinated, yet muted colour.
What Not To Do
Although it’s tempting to smell good too, don’t wear too much perfume (if any at all). You’ll be working in the food industry and customers will want to smell the fragrance of the food, and not your latest Chanel fragrance. The same goes too for interviewing; your interviewer will not want to smell you coming through the door.
Even if you feel like the above dress suggestions will tone down your personal rights to expression, remember that you can showcase your personality once you’ve landed your job, but the interview is not the place to dress in a hippy, goth, or rainbow unicorn style! You want your interviewer to take you seriously, and think you’ll perform the job with proficiency.
So now you know what to wear...but do you know which questions will be asked?
Now that you’re perfectly attired, what questions should you expect in the interview itself? Click below to find out common waitress interview questions: