Open interview this weekend but I'm clueless about what to wear.
March 13, 2014 1:59 PM   Subscribe

I'll be attending an open interview at a local bar. What do I wear to an interview at a bar? Along those lines, what do I wear at most entry level jobs?

A local bar is holding open interviews this weekend. They specialize in Craft Beer, and they're adding a kitchen. I'm guessing the jobs are related to the new kitchen, but I have no knowledge of that. On the plus side, I'm into craft beer, on the negative side, I doubt that will help, and I'm probably a few years older than most people that will apply.

The ad basically says "If you love beer and having fun, come down for open interviews". I need a second job and I'd like to apply. But, I have no idea what to wear, and I don't want to stick out even more than I probably already will by being slighly older.

I'm guessing no suit, probably no tie. But kakis and a polo? Tucked in? Button down with jeans? I really have no idea. In fact, I have no idea what to wear to any similar entry level job, whether it be a Barista or File Clerk.

The weather isn't really an issue (60 degrees). Any suggestions or tips on what to wear would be greatly appreciated.
posted by ratherbethedevil to Work & Money (15 answers total)
I'd go find out what the bartenders at the bar are wearing. I'd use that as a baseline, and then wear a slightly dressed-up version of that.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:07 PM on March 13, 2014 [8 favorites]

Where are you located? Clothing expectations can be pretty regional.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 2:07 PM on March 13, 2014

Assuming you're interviewing to work at the bar, as opposed to a job interview for some other kind of work that is being held in a bar, I refer you to this previously. I'm gathering that you're male, but the spirit of the question and answers may shed some light.
posted by Sara C. at 2:07 PM on March 13, 2014

If they have a website, photos of staff may give you an idea into how they want to portray the "mood" of working at/visiting that bar. Dress like that, but like 15% more formally.
posted by jessicapierce at 2:14 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nice jeans, casual button down shirt tucked in with belt, casual blazer, decent shoes but not dressy and not sneakers You want to look comfortable and stylish, but not over the top.
posted by raisingsand at 2:45 PM on March 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

What bartenders and waitstaff wear in the restaurant is a good starting place. Polo shirts are rare; non-knit shirt with buttons is pretty standard. Not white, because white shirts are "part of the uniform" (imagine every swarm of caterers you've ever seen).
I'd go with black pants rather than khakis because (a) it's not the middle of summer (b) more formal, and (c) all restaurant staff wear black because lighter colors show spills, therefore black is never too formal in a restaurant.

Solid-color button down with black jeans; shoes euro-sneakers or slightly nicer.
posted by aimedwander at 2:48 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would lean toward a button down more than a polo, and something with a more modern/slim fit. Could even have a subtle pattern or a plaid (probably not flannel though) but solid is easier to pull off. Tucked in. If you have darker wash, straight leg jeans that would be good, chinos/khakis in a darker color (black, navy, charcoal, dark olive, dark brown) would likely also be OK. Wear a belt. I'm neutral on a blazer, probably not necessary. Leather shoes.

I would think this would be pretty acceptable at most/all food service and retail jobs (except really high end), always guided by the "style" of the place. For an office-based entry level job (like a file clerk), you should dress more professionally: at least a blazer and a tie for an interview. Depending on the field (does the boss where a suit everyday?) a suit would not be out of place as long as it fits you and is not wrinkled from being in storage, but not required if you don't have one. No jeans.

And not that you asked, but don't be down on yourself about being "too old". I bet the owners and maybe managers are not super young and would greatly value a down-to-earth, mature employee. Just go in there confident and like you belong there.
posted by dahliachewswell at 3:00 PM on March 13, 2014

That ad sounds like a casting call! I find restaurant jobs to be 95% personality. Figure out their vibe beforehand and emulate that. Upscale? Too cool for school? Hey brau wassup? Preppy? Know in advance whether you want front-end or back-end work helps too. They will train you the skills if they like who you are so don't worry about your level of experience.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 3:04 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

This place doesn't sound like a khakis and polo vibe. If you can't find out the style beforehand, either by dropping by or getting a sense off their website, I think a pretty safe guess would be something like black or charcoal pants (or nice, dark jeans), button-down shirt (maybe with a nice pattern, but nothing too flashy), and suede bucks, desert boots, or nice Euro-type sneakers. (This is also assuming you're male.)

Definitely don't feel bad about your age. Skills and and personality count so much in jobs like this!
posted by scody at 3:30 PM on March 13, 2014

Seconding "something with a more modern/slim fit." Have a browse through the J. Crew catalogue and
posted by kmennie at 4:03 PM on March 13, 2014

Really think if at all possible you should try to pop in beforehand and see what people who work there already wear. Then replicate that but slightly smarter.
If it's a newly opening bar or for any reason that's not a possibility I'd try to scout out a couple of similar bars in your neighbourhood and take your cue from them. Liking craft beers will be a big plus I'd imagine. And not being an early 20s flake could well stand in your favour.
Best of luck.
posted by stevedawg at 4:27 PM on March 13, 2014

Response by poster: Sorry guys. It's the south. And the the servers are mostly female and basically shorts and the bars tshirts with sneakers. Basically it looks like they can wear what they want, with some wearing less than others. The guys are only behind the bar, and wear tshirts with jeans.

So far I'm getting no polo, button down, and slim, dark jeans? The only jeans I have are more blue and a little too big. Guess a trip to the store is coming up.
posted by ratherbethedevil at 5:54 PM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, no tucked-in anything. Nothing construed as formal. Not for a craft beer place, let alone in the South.

Wear some variation on this.

It's not Super Stylish, but it's not Not-Stylish either. It just kinda says "Hey, I'm an upstanding guy who cares. I'm laid back, but am also responsible. I pay attention to details, but I'm not fussy. I'll treat your customers like friends. I like good beer on hot days, and I probably have a cool dog."
posted by ulfberht at 7:54 PM on March 13, 2014 [7 favorites]

You should dress like the Diageo Master of Whisky guy on Bar Rescue named Peter O'Connor.
posted by WeekendJen at 6:08 AM on March 14, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks guys! Not sure I got the job, but it won't be because I was over dressed :)
posted by ratherbethedevil at 6:58 PM on March 17, 2014

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