If you want to make an excellent first impression at a job interview, it’s essential to check what you wear. However, it can be challenging to know what to wear to a restaurant job interview.
But there are practical tips you can try out. For example, it’s important to look sharp without going overboard. Always wear appropriate clothes for the position; don’t just wear any clothes you have.
Also, don’t wear a suit and tie to a server job interview at a fast food joint. Conversely, if you’re interviewing for a position as a chef at a fancy restaurant, don’t wear jeans and sneakers.
This guide will explain essential details about what to wear to a restaurant interview.
Table of Contents
Types of Clothes to Wear to a Restaurant Job Interview
What to Wear to a Server Interview
Restaurants usually conduct interviews right there on the premises. What you wear to a restaurant’s interview depends on the job you’re applying for and the restaurant’s vibe.
Here are the best clothes to wear to a server job interview:
It’s okay to dress casually for a restaurant job interview rather than for an office job. Check the restaurant’s waitstaff uniform if you don’t know what to wear.
Keep the following in mind when applying for a cashier, waiter, bartender, or host:
- Black dress shoes
- A black button-up top
- Black slacks
Black is an excellent choice for interviews because it’s:
- often worn by restaurant wait personnel to hide food and drink spills;
- allows the interviewer to focus on you.
What to Wear to a Supervisor Interview
If you’re interviewing for a supervisory position, the attire should reflect that position. If it’s a casual restaurant, consider the following attire:
- A polo shirt or a button-down collar;
- Slacks that go with a suit or khakis;
- Office shoes or flats.
It’s better to be professional for mid-scale or elegant restaurants. If that’s the case for you, consider the following clothes:
- Wear dress pants with a blazer or a suit;
- Wear a pencil skirt or evening dress;
- shoes for formal events.
What to Wear for Cashiers, Cooks, or Kitchen Help Positions
Usually, it’s best to look neutral when interviewing for a cook, kitchen helper, or cashier. However, if it’s a fast-food job interview, consider the following clothes:
- Wear something simple, like a t-shirt or polo. You can have a crisp, pressed white shirt. You can also wear a polo or a button-up over your shirt.
- You can wear jeans of any color, but preferably black or blue.
- Wear shoes with closed toes. Fast food workers typically wear black socks with their uniforms, so feel free to do the same.
Avoid wearing loud or distracting colors and stick to more neutral tones. You can wear a formal outfit but don’t overdo it like wearing a suit jacket and a tie.
Dress pants or pencil skirts with a button-up shirt and a casual yet presentable hairstyle are ideal.
If you’re going for a job where you’ll be handling food, trim your hair and beard before the interview. Most restaurants prefer short hair and beards for health and safety reasons.
Other Factors to Consider for What to Wear to a Restaurant Interview
There are numerous factors to consider when deciding what to wear to a restaurant interview. Since they have such an impact on your choice of attire, let’s take a closer look at them:
The Location of the Interview
Interviews have evolved from the traditional ones, where you sit across a table from the interviewer and answer a set of questions. Instead, companies are now interested in your intellectual, mental, and emotional knowledge.
So hiring managers now use more natural settings rather than in conventional offices. They are interested in seeing how well you can fit in with the group and interact with the people and surroundings.
Consider the Interviewer
One of the key factors you should consider is the interviewer. The first thing to remember is that you’ll likely encounter viewpoints that don’t agree with yours.
These views are sometimes the product of influences that seep into their worldview in one form or another. As a result, their perspectives inform their preferences, decisions, and selections.
It’s not that they’re awful people. But if you can put yourself in their shoes, you’ll have a much easier time winning them over. So the best move is to get background information about the interviewer in this situation.
Some interviewers expect you to dress formally, no matter where you are or your job. Others may not care about your attire if you otherwise fulfill their requirements.
If the restaurant places a premium on grooming and attire, you should dress formally for the interview. Remember that your clothes make a statement about who you are and boost your self-confidence.
Tips for Interviews at Coffee Shops and Restaurants
Restaurants are not searching for just anyone. If you want to land a job in a restaurant, you need to follow the below points strictly. Also, you must have answers to common questions most likely to be asked during the interview.
1. Dress Appropriately
Regarding clothes, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to dress professionally. This means wearing jeans or slacks that fit well and aren’t too baggy (you don’t want anyone to see your underwear).
You also want to wear shoes that look appropriate for an interview—not flip-flops or sandals with no socks. And finally, it’s important not to show up looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed.
The interviewers will think badly of you if they see how unprepared you were for this opportunity!
2. Make Sure You Wear Comfortable Shoes
You shouldn’t wear open-toed shoes, high heels, or flip-flops. The restaurant may want you there in a dress. But it’s still considered casual attire and will not be too formal for the interview.
It’s also essential to avoid wearing sandals or crocs because they make you look like a tourist. Instead, you should look like someone with several years of experience.
3. Do Your Research
You should do your research on the restaurant before going for the interview. If you don’t do your research well, you come off as ignorant on several things, which may not get you the job.
Be ready to share what you know about the restaurant and why you’d love to work there. Then, you can share your experience as a selling point to the hiring manager.
4. Highlight Your Relevant Skills and Experience
Your dedication and experience are crucial in restaurant job interviews. If you want to join a new team, you must show that you’re not just qualified and capable; but also very keen to learn new methods of doing things.
The most effective approach is briefly discussing your academic and professional credentials before discussing your work experiences. Highlight accomplishments and show that you’re a team player.
You can also include any milestones you’ve achieved, including any waste reduction achievement.
5. Show That You Can Handle Difficult Customers
A restaurant’s success depends on its customer base, so even difficult customers must be handled politely. So expect the hiring managers to ask you about your experience dealing with a challenging customer.
You should be able to come up with specific instances of how you handled yourself with a difficult client. Think of at least two examples before going for the interview.
Show how you prevented a problem from getting worse by:
- taking the initiative to find a solution,
- how you prevented a small complaint from becoming a major one, and
- how you used your communication skills to keep customers calm about their delayed orders,
Always emphasize the result’s good aspects.
At the end of the day, what to wear to a restaurant interview is to look your best. But you also have to be comfortable and confident in your clothes.
It’s better to follow the same rules as other job interviews. Do your best to present a nice clean image by donning freshly laundered, wrinkle-free clothes. To a certain extent, the position you’re interviewing for will determine what to wear to a restaurant interview.
Finally, be well groomed. Make sure:
- Your hair is clean and tidy.
- Your nails are clean and trimmed.
- You wear deodorant, underarm spray, and aftershave lotion if you have dry or sensitive skin (or both).
- Can I wear jeans to a restaurant interview? Yes. It’s acceptable to wear jeans to most job interviews. But we recommend wearing dark clothing, slacks, or any other dress pants of your choice.
- Can I wear sneakers to a restaurant interview? Don’t wear sneakers unless you’re interviewing for a position that requires creativity. If possible, avoid wearing sneakers with a suit like the GQ model style. The outfit’s unique and trendy style won’t help you land an interview. Also, wearing sneakers makes you look overeager and immature.
- Is it okay to wear jeans to an interview at a restaurant? No. Jeans are not appropriate attire if you’re going for an interview at a restaurant. Even though there are some exceptions, it’s generally a good idea to play it safe and not wear denim to a job interview.
- What should you not wear to a restaurant interview? There are numerous attires that are inappropriate for a job interview. Some include wedge sandals, tank tops, ripped shorts or jeans, flip flops, strapless dresses, and tops.