Article Follow these career coaching tips on what to wear to ace that bartender interview! 0 2022 Life coaching Career coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

What to Wear to a Bartender Interview (Career Coach Tips)


What to wear to a bartender interview, coaching tip

So you've got a job interview for a bar. Nice! You're now googling and conducting your own research to give yourself an advantage over the competition by learning some bartending interview advice. Smart!

Applying for a job is not always super chill. It begins the moment you walk right through the door. And because bartending seems casual and laid-back, people often make the mistake of not putting forth enough effort in applying for this job. They usually go underdressed, and sometimes too formal. 

Similar to other interviews in the service sector, bartender interviews are professional but not unduly formal. If you have an upcoming interview for bartending, it is important that you have visited the place prior to the interview, done some research on it, and been familiar with the menu. 

Talent will get you in the door, but character will keep you in the room.

An employer's primary goals in a bartending interview are to evaluate your customer service abilities and see if you'll fit in well with their current crew. They also want to know how proficient you are at making and serving drinks. To make the right impression, you can set the tone and flow of your interview by dressing the part. 

Now, what should you wear to make a lasting positive impression and have a successful interview? Here are some tips from our career coaches.

bartender, coaching tip

What to wear to a bartender interview

How do you even dress for a bartender interview? Is it the same as what we see in movies? Bartending interviews are not about putting on a show, unlike what many people think. 

The easiest way to determine what to wear for your interview is to go out and observe what the bartenders at the bar you’re eyeing and applying for are wearing right now. Take note of and be inspired by their attire. You don’t exactly have to copy them, just take a hint of what they look like and how they present themselves. 

If the staff members don a uniform, try your best to come in the same colors and style. By doing so, you give the hiring manager a glimpse of how you would look in their uniform - could be a plus! 

women smart casual, bartender interview, coaching tip

But if by chance the staff is given more freedom to wear whatever they want to work, they could be wearing clothing pieces that are too casual for an interview, such as T-shirts, jeans, shorts, and tank tops. In this case, put together an appropriate outfit instead. What is an appropriate outfit, you ask? A good rule of thumb is smart casual.

men smart casual, bartender interview, coaching tip

When worn correctly, a smart casual outfit can be appropriate for "casual," "business casual," and even some "dressed up" settings while still making a statement. You'll appear professional during a laid-back bar night. You'll appear confident but professional at a low-key business meeting. No matter where you travel, people will be impressed by your assured appearance. 

But hey, smart casual is not a set of rules you should strictly follow. It’s just a guideline in fashion where your goal is to appear fantastic and presentable everywhere you go. A smart casual ensemble should feel polished, functional, and prepared for anything!

Just never ever show up wearing a T-shirt or jeans. If the bartenders where you want to work dress casually, step up your outfit and opt for a collared shirt for men or a blouse for ladies. You should demonstrate your professionalism by dressing nicely to make it simple for the interviewer to picture you as a good fit in the bar.

Smart casual is not a set of rules you should strictly follow. It’s just a guideline in fashion where your goal is to appear fantastic and presentable everywhere you go. A smart casual ensemble should feel polished, functional, and prepared for anything!

What to wear to a bartending interview checklist career coaching


What to wear as a female bartender?

All the ladies! You probably have some nice pants in your closet - it’s a staple! You can never go wrong with black pants in the bar sector. But if you really want to look good, you may consider picking a design with a good hem that is more form-fitting than loose. Just make sure they are tailored well.

what to wear as a female bartender, bartender interview, women smart casual, coaching tip

Now for the top, go with another color aside from white. Not only will you stand out from competitors who stick to the norm, but you'll also exhibit a certain flair that employers value in this particular profession. 

Aim for subtlety over seduction when selecting a full-length blouse; avoid revealing your belly or cleavage. Close-toed, flat, black shoes and very little jewelry complete the look - nothing over the top.

Go for the natural makeup look! Makeup should be worn sparingly during interviews, and you know what? This tip does not simply apply to bartending interviews. Put on some very subtle contouring, but avoid looking edgy. To draw attention to your eyes, smudge a little mascara on them but don't go overboard.

What to wear as a male bartender?

For the gentlemen, you may adhere to more subdued shirt colors like white, gray, blue, or mild pinstripes. But let me tell you, black ironed pants work just as well for men as they do for women. 

Avoid selecting a collar that is either too big or too skinny and check to see that the shirt is not so baggy that it drapes over your belt when tucked in. If you’re still in the dark about the establishment's dress code, you can go without wearing a tie, but it should be worn if it is a requirement of the current uniform. To finish the outfit, go for flat, black, plain shoes.

what to wear as a male bartender, men smart casual, bartender interview, coaching tip

Tattoos and piercings

Tattoos may be tolerated by some establishments, but they can also be viewed as offensive by others. So tattoos are a bit of a tricky subject. Can tattoos be casual or classy? Well, that depends. The standards for what constitutes a “casual” or "classy" tattoo vary widely. But of course, it's better to be safe than sorry in any situation. 

Given all this, it’s best to conceal your tattoos and remove any piercings, unless they are ear piercings. For the ears, you should wear a simple earring that does not distract the interviewer. How to do this?

  • You can wear a long-sleeve shirt if your tattoo shows on your hands or if some of it is visible.
  • When wearing a button-down shirt, you can cover anything on your chest by simply fastening the top button.
  • If the tattoo is placed on your neck, get your camouflage skills on because it could be challenging to conceal. But there’s nothing you can’t do, you can experiment with applying some makeup in a neutral tone.
  • You can always try removing the tattoo if it can’t be helped and if the job holds a special meaning for you.


If you have long hair, tie it up or keep it out of your face. It’s not usually talked about, but hair can make or break your whole outfit. Your hair should remain in its proper place since it expresses who you are. Additionally, it gives off a weaker, more careless impression of you if it’s not combed out or styled. 

In order to demonstrate your efforts during an interview, make sure your hair is styled well. You can either put it in a low bun or rock a slicked-back style. After all, a great hairstyle can be your best minimal accessory!

female low bun, female hair style, bartender interview, coaching tip

If you are to become a bartender, remember that the outfit is not the only thing to bring you success at this job. Being social, outgoing, and friendly toward customers will help you sell more drinks and keep them happy. 

Good luck, you got this!


1. Can I wear jeans to a bartender interview?

It’s not advisable to show up wearing a T-shirt or jeans. If the bartenders in your prospective bar dress casually, step up your outfit and wear a collared shirt for men or a blouse for ladies. Even if the staff looks extremely laid-back, you should still demonstrate your professionalism.

2. Do bartenders have a dress code?

Yes, many bars require their bartenders to dress in a plain black long-sleeve shirt, black pants, and black shoes, or they offer personnel uniforms. Because of the darker colors, you will look professional, and accidental spills won't show up as much on your outfit.

3. Should you wear all black to an interview?

Black is a common color for interviews, and it is actually a very imposing color that exudes power, authority, and even drama. This is an excellent hue for an interviewee who is applying for a high-level executive position or for a job in a formal setting such as a law office. But for a more casual vibe such as bartending, you may want to consider other colors to appear more approachable and friendly.

4. How can I get help in acing my interview?

A career coach can give you great guidance on how to ace your interviews, whether in the food/service industry or any other.

Check out more interview tips:

Interview Questions and answers

Interview Do's and Don'ts with sample questions and answers

Interview question tips for the food service industry

IntervIew Fashion

What to wear to an interview

Got a bartending interview? Get fashion tips from a career coach

OtheR tips

Learn how to avoid these 10 job search mistakes


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The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, recommended treatments, or professional advice. Readers should consult with a licensed professional to get advice for their individual situation. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for more information. Copyright Life Coach Hub Ltd 2016. A community of life coaches dedicated to improving your life.
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