What to Wear to a Minimum-Wage Job Interview

What to Wear to a Minimum-Wage Job Interview

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To make a good impression, it’s important to dress the part. And most interviewers expect you to wear business attire. However, should you adhere to the same dress code when applying for a minimum-wage job?

For a minimum-wage job interview, casual business attire would be ideal. This dress code typically means a collared shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes for men. For women, clothing options include a top, blouse, skirt, or slacks paired with closed-toe shoes. 

While the clothes you wear aren’t as important as your qualifications and experience, they can significantly impact the impression you make. Let’s dive in!

It’s Not Overkilled to Go to a Minimum-Wage Job Interview in a Suit

A suit and tie are always appropriate, even for low-income employment opportunities.

Going to a minimum-wage job interview in a suit is not overkilled. While most candidates like to play it safe and stick with casual business attire, a suit shows that you’re taking the opportunity seriously and want to make a good first impression.

Candidates in suits are usually remembered by their interviewers and are more likely to be offered the job. In a sea of candidates wearing casual clothing, like jeans and a t-shirt, dressing in a suit will help you stand out.

If you don’t own a suit and can’t afford to buy one, consider borrowing from a friend or go to a thrift store and find one that you could alter to fit you perfectly.

5 Tips to Dress for a Minimum-Wage Job Interview

Example of business casual attire that you can wear for entry-level job interviews.

While casual business attire works best and is easy to come by, it’s crucial to keep these tips in mind when getting ready for your interview.

1. Do Your Research: Each Company Has It Own Dress Code

Each company has a dress code policy; some may be more lenient than others. For example, it’s appropriate to go with a casual outfit for a fast food job.

It’s crucial to research the company you’re applying to and figure out what their employees typically wear and what to avoid. If there’s no dress code, play it safe and dress like you’re going to a job interview at a more formal company.

2. When in Doubt, It’s Better to Be Overdressed Than Underdressed

If you’re worried about looking overdressed for an interview, don’t be! While going for more formal options is essential, it’s best to avoid looking too plain, or like you’ve just stepped out for a stroll rather than a job interview.

Showing up underdressed signals a lack of professional work ethic and will communicate to the company that you are either not interested in the job or that you’re too nonchalant and won’t make a good fit. 

Taking the time to dress nicely shows that you take the interview process seriously and are willing to make an effort.

3. Dress Conservatively

Women should avoid inappropriate dresses and tops that show too much cleavage.

You want to avoid showing up at an interview wearing anything that’s too revealing or too ‘out there’. By dressing with the proper etiquette you show your employer that you take the interview process seriously, which will have a positive impact on the outcome.

If you’re unsure about what to wear, err on the side of caution and choose something more conservative. Dressing conservatively means avoiding anything too tight, short, low-cut, or revealing.

4. Stick to Solid Colors Rather Than Prints

When you’re looking through your clothes and deciding what to wear, choose solid colors as far as possible, as prints can be pretty distracting. Solid colors also look neat and professional and allow the interviewer to focus exclusively on you. If you choose to wear a patterned shirt or blouse, ensure that the design is small and subtle.

5. Keep Your Hair Neat and Tidy

A neat hairstyle is a must before any job interview, and it’s best to avoid anything too wild or attention-grabbing. 

If you have long hair, ensure it’s pulled back away from your face. You want the interviewer to be able to see your facial expressions and body language throughout the interview without getting distracted by your hair.

5 Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs When Dressing For a Minimum-Wage Job Interview

Now that we’ve looked at what you should wear, let’s talk about what you should absolutely avoid wearing to a job interview. Here are a few ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind before the interview.

1. Don’t Wear Something Too Casual

Even if it is a low-income job, you should still wear professional clothing.

Remember that while your job may involve casual interactions, the interview process is still a formal event. As such, it’s best to avoid wearing things like jeans, t-shirts, shorts, or sweatshirts. While they have their place, clothes like these can make you seem a bit unconcerned about the job.

2. Don’t Wear Something Flashy

It’s best to dress in simple clothes with plain colors and to avoid anything too off-beat, short, or revealing. 

You want the interviewer to focus on your qualifications and not your clothes or body. As such, avoid wearing anything too trendy or attention-grabbing. Instead, stick with classic colors and styles that are professional and understated.

3. Don’t Wear the Wrong Shoes

While this is a no-brainer, it’s worth mentioning anyway – your shoes should match the attire you’re wearing. So if you’re wearing a suit, wear dress shoes or formal footwear and avoid wearing flip-flops, sneakers, or anything too casual under any circumstances.

Wearing the wrong colored shoes is also a big no-no as it can throw the interviewer off. If you don’t have too many choices, stick to black shoes as they go well with most outfits and it’s a safe color.

4. Don’t Forget About Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is perhaps the most important aspect of the interview process, so ensure you’re well groomed and looking pepped up for the interview. Proper hygiene includes showering, brushing your teeth, and styling your hair appropriately. It’s also best to avoid wearing strong perfumes or colognes.

5. Don’t Wear Unprofessional Clothes Like a Hat or Jeans

You can’t wear a hat for a minimum wage job interview, as hats can seem unprofessional. Some hats even block your view, preventing the eye contact necessary to engage an interviewer. If you want to make a good impression, it’s best to leave your hat at home.

So things like sunglasses, headphones, and scarves are a big no, and if you’re unsure whether an accessory is appropriate, it’s best to be cautious and leave it at home.

The same goes for jeans. Jeans are considered too casual for an interview setting, even if the salary is minimum wage.


I hope this article has helped clear any confusion about what to wear to a minimum-wage job interview. While your clothes may not land you a job, they can significantly boost your success by helping you make a good first impression.

Your goal should be to look professional and put together a neat outfit that’s not over the top or excessive. Ideally, your interview attire should be neat, clean, and simple, so you look presentable and ready to work.

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About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a labor market expert. He is a mathematician who graduated from EPFL.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job search engine where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.