Fast food restaurant interviews are pretty standard, yet so many people find it challenging to pick out what to wear to the interview. White-collar job interviews usually have a formal setting, so you know formal is the way to go. But what do you wear to an informal interview?
When going to a job interview at a fast-food restaurant, you should wear one step above the job you’re applying for. If you’re interviewing for a food line cook position, wear a casual outfit. However, if the interview is for a position as a manager or supervisor, wear a business casual outfit.
Job interviews are the first step to getting a job in the fast-food industry, and if you want to impress your future employer, you need to look the part. This article will give you tips on what you can wear, precisely to an interview at a fast-food restaurant.
The Perfect Fast-Food Job Interview Outfits
In fast-food restaurants, unless you’re applying for a position on the backend, the chances are that you’ll be coming face to face with customers and clients of the restaurant quite a lot. You’ll want to dress properly for the position you’re applying for, and it all starts on the day of the interview.
The position that you’ve applied for is the most critical factor determining your outfit choice.
Like any other job setting, there’s a hierarchy of positions in a fast-food restaurant, which should show in your outfit. When you go for the interview, it’s essential to dress the part. Don’t underdo it, and don’t do an overkill either.
Best Outfits for Line Cooks, Cashiers, and Kitchen Helps
If you’re applying for a line cook, cashier, or kitchen help position, a neutral look is best. Here is what I would wear to a fast-food job interview:
- Upper-body: You should wear a plain t-shirt or polo shirt. Make sure your shirt is stainless and well-ironed. Over your shirt, you can also choose to wear a button-up or a polo.
- Lower-body: I recommend wearing either blue or black jeans.
- Shoes: Make sure you wear closed-toe shoes. You can also wear black socks as they are usually required for your fast-food uniform.
Make sure you don’t wear flashy colors, but instead, choose neutral colors. A formal outfit isn’t out of place either but maybe not as extra as a suit jacket and a tie. Dress slacks and pencil skirts coupled with a button-up and a semi-formal look are best.
Important: When applying for food preparation jobs, make sure you cut your hair and beard before the job interview. Beards and long haircuts are often not allowed for sanitary purposes.
Best Outfits for Managers and Supervisors
If the position you’re going in for is that of a manager or supervisor, then a polished look between a business and casual is best. Going formal with a tie and suit isn’t out of place and most advised. Try on a skirt, business dress, or pantsuit couples with a blazer and low heel shoes for the ladies.
A suit with button-downs and a tie is best.
Outfits You Should Not Wear to a Fast Food Job Interview
Even with the change in venues, it’s essential to remember that it’s still an interview, and you have to deliver some sense of responsibility, modesty, and class when going in. There are certain clothing items you should never make a part of your outfit for an interview. Even when the setting is casual, you need to find a way to put some formality into it.
Here’s what you should not wear to a job interview:
- Low cut outfits
- Revealing dresses and shirts
- Gym clothes/athleisure
- Sandals or flip-flops
- Loud jewelry
- Extra tight clothes
- Too much makeup
- Wrinkled or stained clothing
It is crucial to look good to make a great first impression. An interview at a fast-food restaurant gives you a bit more freedom, which ultimately means you have more choices than at an office interview.
This means that you can wear jeans, a casual shirt, and most likely sneakers to your interview. And, considering that you won’t need to wear something formal like a suit, you’ll be a lot more comfortable in your own skin. This should give you a lot more confidence to answer the questions.
Other Factors to Take Into Account
Finally, there are many factors to take into account when dressing for a fast-food job interview: the interview location, the time of the interview, the interviewer, and your personal preferences.
Let’s take a look at these factors in detail as they play a big role in how you should dress.
The Interview Location
Gone are the days where interviews are accustomed to stuffy offices where you sit across the table from the interviewer and answer a series of questions. Interviewers are now more concerned about their applicants’ intellectual, emotional, and mental knowledge.
This process involves shifting interview locations from typical offices with four walls into everyday locations. Interviewers want to see how their applicants can adjust to their immediate environment and naturally relate to the things and people around them.
Why Dress For the Appropriate Location
Your outfit is one of the many that influences a decision.
If you’re coming in for an interview, the chances are that it’ll be held at a similar or same establishment. Here, you’ll be in the typical environment where you’ll soon work, maybe even a side table. Coming in all suited up to meet such an arrangement is overkill.
The interview location might even be a park or a coffee shop in some cases.
So, when looking to pick a suitable outfit for your interview at a fast-food restaurant, it’ll do good to know the location and venue of the interview.
The Time of the Interview
When going to an interview, you’ll need to consider the time of your interview. It’s easy to get carried away with the modalities of the interview and what you’re going there to say that your outfit becomes a last thought.
At the same time, you may get so carried away by dressing that you fail to consider the time of the day when going in for an interview. Here are the questions you should ask yourself when considering your outfit:
- What time is the interview?
- How long will the interview last?
- Do you have another place to be?
- Or will you be coming from another place for the interview?
If your interview is slated for the latter part of the day, you most likely will have something to do or somewhere to be by the early hours of that day.
If it’s in the early hours, you can have another place later in the day.
Most people in situations like this prepare two outfits so they don’t look over or underdressed for the rest of the day. When it comes down to picking outfits for the interview, a wise way would be to select an outfit that works best for most of the day.
At times, the interviewer defies all odds. All of the above-listed factors don’t matter where the interviewer is concerned.
The first thing to note is that people generally have different opinions that will conflict with yours.
These opinions are sometimes born from perspectives that one way or the other finds their way into the way they see things. Their decisions, preferences, and choices are made based on these perspectives.
While this doesn’t make them bad people, understanding them makes it much better to land on their good side. Getting information on your interviewer is an intelligent way to go in situations like this one.
For some people, regardless of the setting, location, and position, you’re expected to dress as formally as possible. While some other interviewers don’t precisely care about whether what you wear matters or not, provided you meet the requirements they need.
If the restaurant you’re applying for is huge on dressing and appearance, you’ll want to go formal to hit the standard. Remember that your outfit is the first impression and also helps your confidence.
In all you do, always remember never to leave yourself out, as essential as your appearance might be. Your comfort and preferences shouldn’t be overlooked when picking out what to wear for your interview.
Whether you realize it or not, your outfit does affect your confidence, comfort, expression, and overall energy. Your interviewer wants to meet the real you and how well you fit into the establishment’s vision as an individual.
Don’t try too hard to look a certain way that you find it even harder to be yourself in front of the interviewer.
You need to be confident in what you wear and how you wear it. If you like, you can ask a friend or family member how you look for the extra support a compliment from them can bring or maybe even a correction to make things better.
Do you find it hard to be yourself in a tie? Then try other options that are just as formal. When you get past comfort and preferences, it shows in your interview and how you relate to your interviewer. People who are reasonably fit in their outfit, both in body and mind, are more confident in their interviews than those who don’t.
Beyond looking good enough for the position, how you look affects your mind. Especially when you’re applying for a high-level management job, your body, soul, and mind have to be tuned to convince your interviewer that you’re the one for the job.
An excellent way to kick that off is with your appearance, i.e. how you dress for the interview at that fast food restaurant.
What To Wear to a Job Interview at a Fast-Food Restaurant
So now that you know what factors to consider when preparing your outfit for your job interview at a fast-food restaurant, let’s now discuss the different scenarios you might need to dress for.
Lunch interviews are where you meet with your interviewer for lunch, and they are quite common today. If you’re applying for a position at a fast-food restaurant, there’s a high chance of it being a lunch interview.
There are many reasons why the fast-food restaurant interviewer might choose a lunch interview, and you don’t want to dress in the wrong type of outfit for the place you’re going to. In cases like this, you should first research the place online to know if it’s a casual or extravagant spot.
This information will help you prepare well in the right direction. A casual lunch setting would mean relaxed clothes with more breathing space than a full suit would give. Remember that you’re not the only one at the location, as many other people will also be there getting lunch.
You don’t want to dress outlandishly, stand out too much, underdress, and look out of place. To avoid any of these, here are two other options to try out, so you blend in perfectly with a little bit of formal spark.
You can research dress code ratings through restaurant dress code ratings on sites like Yelp and OpenTable. You can pick out your outfit very quickly with the dress code rating information.
Visit the Lunch Location Before the Interview
If you have a day or two before the interview and you wouldn’t mind the stress that comes with the extra effort, you can visit the interview location given to you.
Not only does this help you get more accustomed to the route and the location, but it also gives you time to observe the venue, dress codes of customers, and learn the scenery. It helps your confidence and gives insight into the perfect outfit to blend in the right way.
Either way, a relaxed, polished, easy-going look that’s just in between the business and casual is your best pick. A head-to-toe business look should be out of the question. Instead, choose boat shoes or flats, and buttoned-downs, khakis, or colored slacks.
If the lunch location is on the exuberant side, you can throw in a blazer over the button-down and replace the flats with low heels.
However, if the lunch location is set at a hotel restaurant with more than four stars, then a full business attire like a suit or a formal dress with hosiery and closed-toe footwear is much preferable.
Go light on the colors to give you a relaxed yet polished look.
Interview at the Job Location
What do you do when your interview location is at the fast-food restaurant itself? There are two ways it could play out. You can either have an in-office interview or have one at the table in the restaurant.
Either way, the same tips as for another establishment also apply here.
Since you applied for an interview at the establishment, it’s safe to believe you know a bit about the restaurant and its operation. This detail includes the standard of the restaurant and the customers that visit the place.
A short visit before the interview will make things much easier.
You can take in your environment, get accustomed to the scenery and get a hint on the dress code. Depending on the position you intend to get at the establishment, it could be by observing the customers, the waiters, or other workers and getting a sense of direction on your outfit.
Whether a lunch interview at another establishment or a fast-food restaurant, mind your manners just as you would in an office interview. Always remember these tips:
- Always arrive at the venue earlier than the stipulated time.
- Put your phone on silent and avoid receiving calls during the interview.
- Don’t leave your interviewer hanging while you divert your conversation and attention to an acquaintance you came across at the interview location.
- Mind your table manners and be smart when ordering for the menu.