While a power suit and designer briefcase may be appropriate for a job interview at a bank, your outfit might scare off an employer in the fast food industry. You never want to look like you’re way too qualified when you go for an interview. Even when it’s management you’re after, you don’t want fast food hiring managers to think you’re just looking for something to tide you over until you get to the place you deserve to be. You need to look like you belong.
Cleanliness is vitally important in the food industry, so the most important aspect of your attire is that it’s clean and neat. Your clothes should be pressed and clean and fit you well. Show that you don’t abide by stains and wrinkles; this will make you come off as an orderly person who values cleanliness. Additionally, make sure that just as your clothes are clean, so is your body. You don’t want to offend anyone with body odor or clinging odors from smoking.
Chances are you’ll be wearing a uniform, or at least a company shirt with a logo, so you want to give the impression that you’ll wear the more casual attire with style. Business casual is the most appropriate, because it shows that you respect the interviewer and the company. While you may end up wearing a T-shirt on the job, for example, don’t wear a T-shirt to the interview. A blouse or pullover sweater is more appropriate. Stick to conservative, casual wear and leave the neon tops and capris at home.
You won’t impress hiring managers with your cleavage at any job interview. Fast food restaurants expect employees to be presentable to the general public and that means modesty in all its forms. Don’t wear a plunging neckline, a short skirt or any outfit that hugs your curves and displays your sexuality. Recruiters need to know you’re all business and can be counted on to set an appropriate example for the workers you will supervise.
A fast food restaurant is not the place to show off your style by the kinds of jewelry you wear, either. For one thing, items like rings can get in the way of doing your job properly and the company may even have rules about how big your earrings can be and policies about long necklaces that could get caught up in the fryer. A small set of stud earrings and a watch won’t make the interviewer wonder whether you can easily follow those mandates. To be sure, visit the place or another franchise and check out what the manager is wearing on her ears and wrists, and follow suit at your interview.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."