What to wear to a hospitality interview

What to wear to a hospitality interview Share this article

Now that you've landed an interview at a hotel, it's time to brush up on your interviewing skills and figure out your outfit.

Men can choose from button-ups, dress vests, ties, suit jackets, dress pants, khakis and more depending the establishment's atmosphere. Women can wear any combination of button-ups, blouses, skirts, dress pants and suit jackets as long as everything matches.

Stand out, but not too much
Dressing for an interview can be tricky. It's how you make your first impression well before you shake hands or introduce yourself. Therefore, you want to stand out among the others who will be wearing similar outfits. However, you don't want to come off as too flashy, either. So how do you find the happy in-between that'll get you noticed without being remembered for the wrong reasons?

It begins with perhaps the most basic aspect of an outfit – color. You may be automatically drawn to a black suit. After all, you can't go wrong with such a reliable and neutral hue. But before you start ironing out the wrinkles, consider this: All of the other interviewees are probably pulling their black suits out of their closets. Distinguish yourself from this crowd by going for another equally dependable color, like gray. It still matches everything but isn't too much on the eyes.

Avoid flashiness
If you're not big on jewelry, now isn't the time to try out the look. On the flip side, if you love wearing jewelry, you'll have to tone it down for the interview. You should be the sole focus of the interview. Low-key accessories are OK, but don't go overboard. 

The same goes for your clothes. A pattern can be acceptable, but if it's too intricate, it may draw attention away from you and onto the design. When in doubt, stick to classics such as stripes or small polka dots for women. Solid colors are always acceptable, but if you're wearing a dark-colored suit jacket, go for a lighter hue that'll create some contrast.

Find the right shoes
Comfort and style are essential when shopping for a good pair of interview shoes. After all, if they look great but aren't comfortable, your gait might not be as confident as it could be. Avoid this problem by shopping for dress shoes that look great and don't hurt your feet. If you're confident of your ability to land the job, you can even go the extra mile by investing in nonslip shoes that you can start wearing on your first day of work, which will keep you safe no matter what part of the hotel you'll be working in. 

Tend to personal care
Even the smallest details matter during an interview. If it's been a while since you've had your hair cut or styled, dropping by a barber shop for a trim and some quick tips on easy styling can be handy. After all, when you get the job, you'll have to style your hair every day. 

Bear in mind that hair and nails are especially important if you're looking to work in a position that deals with food. You may only be interviewing for the position, but having your hair up and your nails in pristine condition will show that you're aware of the job requirements and are ready to handle them.

The bottom line is to dress for the part. When you're hired, you'll be representing the hotel, so any details that wouldn't be acceptable on the job shouldn't be part of your outfit. Try out different ones and figure out which one best speaks to your style while adhering to best interview practices.


Brought to you by Shoes For Crews, the trusted leader in safety footwear to hospitality employees for more than 30 years.

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