Job interview outift
July 10, 2012 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Is this outfit appropriate for a job interview at a nice restaurant?

I recently got an interview at a new restaurant opening in my area. I'm interviewing to be a server or a bartender. The restaurant is eco-friendly, not a chain, and connected to a microbrewery. They serve local beer and "designer" sandwiches, that sort of thing, so a little upscale. The application text was playful and stressed wanting "curious," "adventurous" types. My only restaurant experience was about a year at a small coffeeshop, where I interviewed in the summer dress I happened to be wearing when I turned in my application. Most of my jobs have been in a bank or office, so I've interviewed in a nice blouse + skirt + sensible shoes.

For this interview I feel like I should dress professionally, of course, but perhaps with a stylish touch? Most threads I've seen here recommend a black shirt + black pants for a restaurant, but I don't have any dress pants and I don't have a lot of money to buy new interview clothes. What I have now is: this dress, a black shrug (looks pretty professional), this necklace, and silver earrings (either studs or hoops). I was thinking of wearing a high bun and professional makeup. For shoes, I am lacking, but I have a pair of attractive/new/clean/stylish brown pennyloafers, or else black heels/flats. When I tried everything on today it felt cohesive. My main concern is that I look a little "look at me!" and not customer-service-oriented enough. Unfortunately as they're not open yet, I can't stop by to observe the level of dress. Any thoughts?
posted by stoneandstar to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, and the reason I don't use my proven-successful office-style interview outfit is that it's a little odd for summer (tweed pencil skirt), and definitely erring on the side of square-- if they're at all looking for a "good fit" personality-wise, I don't think it would do me any favors. But I'm open to wearing that if it's a better idea.
posted by stoneandstar at 6:41 PM on July 10, 2012

I wouldn't wear brown shoes if you're going to wear the black shrug.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:41 PM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]

Do you have a black blazer by any chance to wear over the dress?
I'd pair the dress with the blazer and either the black flats or heels.

I really like the dress and think it can be appropriate for your interview. The brown pennyloafers could add to the "curious"/artsy personality they seem to be looking for, but I agree it's probably best not to mix black and brown.

The high bun idea is good!
posted by shortyJBot at 6:46 PM on July 10, 2012

I think you would look just fine in that outfit. Go with the black heels or the flats, rather than the brown. Good luck!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:48 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'd wear that dress and necklace with super light/simple makeup (you are applying to work in a restaurant, after all) and the penny loafers. The loafers sell you as quirky and fun.

Do you have anything else to wear over it besides the black shrug? Maybe a light cardigan in a color that would complement the dress and brown shoes? Or something off-beat? Deep mustard yellow could be interesting, or periwinkle, lavender, or maybe cobalt blue?

I would absolutely NOT NOT NOT wear a suit, anything suitlike, or anything that gives off a corporate vibe. I also work in a creative casual field, and when someone comes in for an interview in a suit (or worse, a wannabe "I'm broke and don't own a suit" amalgamation of office looking things), they immediately look like they're trying too hard, don't fit in, and don't understand the culture of our work environment.

I typically wear a cute dress (not unlike the one you linked) with a cardigan to job interviews, or if it's a very low key interview that is mostly a formality, nice jeans and a blouse (but still, not too corporate).

A messy bun (but not too messy, again, this is food service) would be perfect, hair-wise.
posted by Sara C. at 6:57 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wear the shoes that you will be comfortable in. I would go with black shoes rather than brown. Unless you have a cream shrug, shawl, or cropped bolero sweater or something light and neutral then you can do the brown shoes. If you are going to wear a black shrug, then go with black shoes.

Good luck!
posted by Yellow at 6:59 PM on July 10, 2012

The outfit sounds perfect; I agree go with the black shoes; and I am buying that necklace right now.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:43 PM on July 10, 2012

The rule that's made the most sense to me is "something you could go to work (there) in, but nicer than an average day".

I don't go to bars, ever, but in my limited experience bartenders do wear a ton of black, just so they don't go insane trying to get stains out. I'm having trouble imagining someone working as a bartender in that dress. If bartender is your most desired position there, I wouldn't wear it.

I could see a hostess wearing that dress, so if that kind of thing is what you want to do most then I would wear it.

On a side note, black pants are very, very easy to find at thrift stores. If you can spend a couple of dollars (like, 5$) and you're not a very odd size, you can almost certainly find some. They're kind of a wardrobe staple.
posted by anaelith at 4:42 AM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just had the interview; wore the dress and necklace with the pennyloafers and a blue cardigan. It went really well! Thanks, everyone!
posted by stoneandstar at 6:26 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh, navy and the penny loafers! That would been really good, too. Glad you're feeling good about it!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:57 PM on July 11, 2012

For the record, I got the job! Thanks everyone!
posted by stoneandstar at 3:28 AM on November 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oh, and since the links are rotting, the first link was a bright red A-line dress with a tiny turquoise/navy repeating pattern, and the second was a chunky turquoise "collar"-style necklace.
posted by stoneandstar at 3:30 AM on November 16, 2012

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