What to Wear to a Restaurant Interview: 6 Answers
From keeping things professional to sticking to a monochromatic ensemble, here are six answers to the question, “What should someone wear to a restaurant interview?”
- Sharp and Hospitality Professional
- Neutral Colors
- Slacks and Button-Down Shirt
- Reflect the Restaurant’s Dress Code and Culture
- A Mix of Professional and Practical
- All Black
Sharp and Hospitality Professional
A restaurant interview requires an individual to be well-dressed while making a professional impression. Wearing a suit or blazer would likely overdress and may signal a poor fit for the interviewer.
However, you should also not dress overly casually, as you still need to make a good impression. The ambiance of the restaurant is also an important factor. Wearing a collared shirt, slacks or skirt, and closed-toe shoes are a good bet.
Wearing all black can give you a server-like image, and it is a good idea to wear brand-new black non-slip shoes to show you already have the tools necessary for the job. Remember: your clothing should complement an amazing resume!
There’s one rule that always works well: Stick to neutral colors. Whether it’s a casual or family restaurant, opt for classic and timeless colors like black, navy, gray, or beige.
Restaurant interviews differ greatly from other kinds of job interviews because restaurants vary in their styles and approaches, making it difficult to adjust your outfit for every interview. However, these neutral colors are elegant, professional, and suitable for any occasion.
Slacks and Button-Down Shirt
When you attend a job interview, the goal is to dress for the job that you are attempting to obtain. In most restaurants, servers or managers wear slacks and a button-down long-sleeve shirt.
Black slacks and a white shirt are a good choice and will make it seem like you are ready to work. This can vary depending on the type of restaurant that you are interviewing with. However, to ensure that you aren’t over- or underdressed, ensure that you visit the restaurant location to see what the current staff are wearing. You can do this as a casual diner without bringing notice to yourself.
Reflect the Restaurant’s Dress Code and Culture
Meeting in a restaurant takes the interview to the next level, making it necessary to dress professionally while also adhering to the restaurant’s dress code and culture. If the restaurant dress code doesn’t say otherwise, men should wear a suit or dress slacks with a jacket, a well-fitted shirt, dark socks, and dress shoes.
Adding a tie can also elevate the outfit to reflect a more formal tone. Tailored pants or skirts, a button-down shirt or blouse, or conservative dress shoes are great options for women. Avoid anything too revealing or tight-fitted. Opt for comfortable yet classy shoes that will allow you to move around the restaurant easily.
If the restaurant atmosphere is easy-going and loose, you may have more flexibility in your outfit choice, e.g., forgoing a tie or wearing elegant black jeans. It’s always better to err on the side of being slightly overdressed than underdressed for an interview. Appearance can influence your interviewer’s first impression.
A Mix of Professional and Practical
It’s essential to make a great impression and show you’re serious about the job. Going for a mix of professional and practical will set the right tone. Avoid overly casual attire such as shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, or ripped jeans.
Try to wear nice pants, a skirt or dress, or a collared shirt. Also, wear presentable, but comfortable shoes. Typically, in a restaurant, closed-toe shoes are required, so follow that practice from the start. Lose the high heels and try flats that look nice, but aren’t tennis shoes.
Dark, professional clothing is always a good choice for an interview. Dress in conservative attire that won’t draw attention away from your professional demeanor and avoid bright colors or items that may be prone to stains like spaghetti sauce.
Avoid anything that looks too casual, such as jeans, shorts, or T-shirts. A button-down shirt and slacks can be a good option, with a nice belt to complete the look. Women may also opt for a blouse and skirt. Make sure that your clothes fit properly, avoid wrinkles, and select items that are not too revealing.
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