What to Wear to a Waitress Interview: Essential Tips

Securing a job as a waiter or waitress can be quite competitive, and dressing for success is vital during the interview process.

The right attire not only shows respect for the interviewer and the establishment but also reflects the candidate’s professionalism and ability to fit in with the restaurant’s atmosphere.

In this article, we will discuss what to wear to a waitress interview for various types of restaurants to ensure you make the best first impression.

When preparing for a job interview as a waiter or a waitress, it’s essential to consider the style of the restaurant and find an outfit that reflects your personal style while remaining professional.

Your choice of attire can vary depending on whether it is a casual establishment, a mid-scale restaurant, or a high-end fine dining venue.

To ensure you present yourself appropriately, it’s important to research the venue beforehand and follow the guidelines provided for each specific scenario.

First Impressions Matter

In a waitress interview, the first impression you make can greatly impact your chances of getting hired.

It is important to dress appropriately, conveying professionalism and a sense of responsibility while still reflecting your personal style.

Selecting the right outfit can help demonstrate that you understand the expectations of the role and are prepared to meet them.

For women, choosing attire such as nice pants or a skirt paired with a blouse or a casual dress is recommended.

You should avoid t-shirts and crop tops, as they may appear too casual for an interview. Opt for a basic, long-sleeved top in a darker color or even a plain dress of moderate length.

For the jacket, steer clear of denim or leather and try wearing a light cardigan instead. Men can opt for clean, wrinkle-free khakis or slacks with a nice button-down shirt.

When selecting footwear, it is essential to be presentable from head to toe. Closed-toed shoes, flats, heels, or oxfords are suitable choices.

Avoid wearing distracting or bold jewelry, and instead opt for classic pieces that complement your outfit. Stick to muted colors and conservative styles in order to create a professional appearance.

While the work environment of some establishments may be casual, you should still choose an outfit that leans more towards business casual for your interview. Ensuring a good first impression can help show your prospective employer that you take the opportunity seriously and are committed to performing at your best in the role.

Dress Code for Waitress Interviews

Formal vs Casual Restaurants

When preparing for a waitress interview, it is important to consider the type of restaurant you are applying to.

The dress code may vary depending on whether it is a formal or casual establishment. For a casual restaurant, you can usually opt for business casual attire.

For example, dress slacks or khaki pants, a button-down top, or a polo shirt would be appropriate. On the other hand, if you are applying for a position in a mid-scale to upscale restaurant, it is recommended that you dress more professionally, such as a dark business suit, dress slacks, or a blazer along with a button-down top.

Appropriate Attire

Regardless of the style of restaurant, some general guidelines for appropriate attire apply. It is crucial to choose a conservative outfit.

For women, this can include nice pants or a skirt with a blouse or casual dress. It is best to avoid wearing t-shirts, crop tops, denim, or leather jackets.

Instead, consider wearing a long-sleeved top in black or a darker color, a plain dress of moderate length, or a light cardigan. For men, clean, wrinkle-free khakis or slacks with a nice button-down shirt are recommended.

It is also essential to prioritize comfort and confidence when dressing for a waitress interview.

As a general rule, dress one step up from what the employees of the restaurant typically wear. In this way, you will show that you are prepared and serious about the position, while still feeling comfortable in the interviewing environment.

What Not to Wear

When dressing for a waitress interview, it’s important to avoid attire that might make you appear unprofessional or too casual.

Foremost, do not wear any casual materials such as denim, jeans, or shorts, as these can give off an unprofessional vibe.

Although you might be tempted to don a T-shirt, it’s best to skip this option in favor of more professional clothing, like a blouse or button-up shirt.

T-shirts, especially those that are worn, wrinkled, or unfitted, can appear too casual even when paired with a blazer or cardigan.

Footwear is another crucial aspect of your appearance. You should avoid wearing sandals, sneakers, or heels that are difficult to walk in.

Opt for sensible yet fashionable shoes that allow you to move around comfortably during the interview.

When it comes to accessories and jewelry, subtlety is key. Choose pieces that complement your outfit without being too bold or distracting.

Following these guidelines will help ensure that your attire reflects both professionalism and style during your waitress interview.

Personal Grooming and Hygiene

Hair and Makeup

Ensure your hair is clean, neatly styled and pulled away from your face. For long hair, consider a ponytail, bun, or braid.

For men, facial hair should be trimmed and tidy. Keep makeup minimal and natural-looking. If you choose to wear makeup, consider foundation, mascara, and a light touch of blush or lip color.

Nail Care

For a waitress interview, it is important to have clean and well-groomed nails. Avoid wearing long, acrylic, or brightly colored nails as it may not be practical for a restaurant environment.

Consider a short, neat manicure with a neutral or clear nail polish if desired.

Perfume and Cologne

Be mindful of strong scents and avoid using heavy perfume or cologne prior to your interview.

You’ll be working in close proximity to both coworkers and customers who may have sensitivities to strong fragrances.

Opt for a mild, unobtrusive scent or simple deodorant instead.

Accessories and Additional Tips


Choosing appropriate footwear is important when dressing for a waitress interview. Opt for clean, well-put, formal shoes that give a professional impression.

Women can consider wearing flats or modest heels, while men should stick to oxfords or loafers.

Ensure your shoes are comfortable, as the job involves long hours on your feet.


When selecting accessories for your interview outfit, it’s important to keep them minimal and complementary to your overall look.

You don’t want any distractions from your ensemble or demeanor during the interview. For both men and women, simple and elegant jewelry, such as a wristwatch or small earrings, is acceptable.

You can also wear a belt if it coordinates with your outfit, but it’s not mandatory.

Additional Tips:

  • Ensure your clothes are clean, well-ironed, and wrinkle-free, indicating attention to detail and professionalism.
  • Stick to a conservative outfit even if you’re applying for a job at a casual restaurant. This shows respect for the interview process and the employer.
  • Opt for light-colored, neatly tucked-in blouses or shirts, avoiding overly bright or distracting patterns.
  • Remember that confidence is key, so ensure you feel comfortable in your chosen outfit, allowing you to focus on the interview itself.


When preparing for a waitress interview, it is essential to ensure your attire reflects professionalism and attention to detail.

Opting for a conservative outfit is recommended, despite the interview taking place at a casual dining establishment. For men, consider wearing clean, wrinkle-free khakis or slacks paired with a button-down shirt.

Women can choose from dress slacks or a skirt, combined with a blouse or a casual dress.

In a more upscale restaurant setting, it is crucial to lean towards a business professional look.

This includes darker dress slacks or a business suit, a blazer and a button-down top. Additionally, footwear plays a significant role in completing your outfit, and closed-toe shoes are highly recommended.

Don’t forget to pay attention to personal grooming, as this communicates a lot to a potential employer. Keep your hair neat and presentable, considering that you may be required to tie it back while working as a waitress. Lastly, remember that confidence and preparedness will take you far during your interview, so be sure to practice and familiarize yourself with common waitstaff interview questions.