Not every job interview requires you to wear a formal business suit. You'd look very out of place if you decided to put on your business suit for an interview for a waitressing position. But you want to avoid going too far in the other direction too. No matter how casual the job is, never wear jeans or anything super casual to your interview. As a waitress, you're acting as the face of the restaurant. You want to show your potential employer that you have a pulled-together appearance.
The Pants Question
Jeans or any sort of denim are off-limits for a job interview. That includes pants styled to look like jeans, such as khakis with jeans pockets and a zip fly and corduroys. While the University of Illinois Extension recommends wearing a skirt to any type of interview, you can wear pants in some instances for an informal job, such as waitressing. Stick with trousers that have a crease on the front and which are made of material such as wool. The trousers shouldn't be too tight or sit too low on your hips. Choose a neutral color, such as navy blue, charcoal or black.
When choosing a skirt to wear for a waitress interview, go for one that falls to your knees. Longer is OK; shorter is not. If you're unsure whether your skirt is an appropriate length, pick another. Go with one that's simple in design, such as a basic gray or black pencil skirt or a skirt with a slight A-line. Skip any skirts that have embellishments on them, such as exposed zippers or studs. Printed skirts also aren't a good idea for your interview, unless the print is subtle enough not to be noticeable.
Just as jeans are a no-no for a job interview, even for a very casual restaurant, so are T-shirts and tank tops. Choose a simple blouse, either a pull-on style or a button-up style, in a color such as blue or white. Avoid anything with ruffles or other distracting details. The top should fit you well. If the buttons gap or pull when you put it on, it will look too tight and could be distracting for the interviewer.
Shoes and Accessories
When you work as a waitress, you're going to spend most of your shift on your feet, walking around. If you show up to an interview in flip-flops, high-heeled sandals or another impractical style of shoe, you might convey to your employer that you don't understand the demands of the job. Stick with basic, low-heeled shoes in black or another dark color for the interview.
Makeup and Details
Keep your makeup and jewelry simple and conservative for your waitress interview. The interview isn't the time for thick eyeliner or heavy blue eye shadow. Skip the perfume, since you won't be able to wear it on the job. Wearing a lot of jewelry can be distracting for the person interviewing you. It can also be a liability when you're a waitress, so it's good to keep it to a minimum. A single-strand necklace or stud earrings are acceptable.
Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.