Bar Interview Attire – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly
Bar interview attire can be tricky to get right. You must be careful not to dress too formal as it is usually not the environment. Do your research and go to the bar to see what the staff are wearing. You want to craft an outfit that shows your professionalism as well as your personality, but still maintain the ‘bar’ image and not be too formal. Always try to dress just a step above the current staff.
When looking in your closet think of something you’d wear to a casual but nice dinner. Dinner with a respected friend / colleague or in-laws. Another tip is to ask the interviewer what kind of bar interview clothes they would like you to wear when they call to schedule the interview.
“How should I dress for this interview? For the position or business casual?”
For ladies, Black pants are your best option. Make sure they are tailored well. Your interviewer won’t be impressed with pants too long, or too low on the hips, it will give a bad impression. Don’t show any more skin than you would at school. No mid-drifts! and be mindful of how low cut your top is. The interviewer needs to respect you too. Wear a top that’s fitting to your form to look subtly sexy but smart looking. I recommend choosing a dress shirt that is a complimentary colour. This way you will stand out from other applicants dressed in all black. Wear flat shoes and very little jewellery. The bar owners will only look at you as a safety hazard with 5 -inch heels and bangles hanging loosely, ready to snag at anything. Behind the bar can be a dangerous place. Try to look like your ready to work.
For the Gentlemen, Black dress pants are your best option. Your top should have a collar and fit well. Too big looks sloppy, or worse like a hand-me-down. White might come across as too formal, so try a blue or grey. Pin-stripped clothes look good on both men and women. In regards to ties, unless the staff are wearing ties, you probably shouldn’t. Of course, this could be your way of showing some personality, in which case make sure it’s obvious. Mens shoes should be black and look somewhat dressy. Make sure you wear shoes that won’t slip or are not too shiny. Give the impression your ready to work.
Tattoos, like all interviews except for at the Tattoo Parlour, should be covered and piercings should be taken out.
Having been in the bar industry for many years as a Bartender, Manager and Consultant, First appearance is important. Looking smart is always better than sexy. Good luck finding your bar interview attire!
Summary for Bar Interview Attire (Ladies):
Tip 1 – Black dress pants. Not too long, Not too low on the hips.
Tip 2 – A dress top in a good colour. Not too low cut.
Tip 3 – Flat shoes. Preferably black.
Tip 4 – Simple jewellery.
Tip 5 – Cover tattoos.
Summary for Bar Interview Attire (Gentlemen):
Tip 1 – Black dress pants.
Tip 2 – A fitted collared shirt.
Tip 3 – Black shoes.
Tip 4 – Cover tattoos.