How to Dress for a Restaurant Job Interview


Dressing appropriately for a job interview is one way you can make a good impression. Yet, it can be quite difficult, since the restaurant and hospitality industry is pretty diverse. From fast casual to upscale, the attires vary. Fortunately, the basic rules apply to all.

  • Wear clean, wrinkle-free clothes.
  • Do not wear jeans or hats.
  • Take off distracting jewelry, piercings and accessories.
  • Keep it professional and avoid revealing too much skin.
  • Trim fingernails and facial hair.

Here are some wardrobe tips for specific roles:

Chefs and Managers

For these roles, you should dress in a suit, or the minimum, a dress shirt and tie; as these positions are the key players in restaurant management. If the restaurant you are applying for is more laid back, business-casual, such as khakis and a button-down shirt, is suitable.


Servers are the faces of the restaurant floor, so it is important to look tidy and fresh. For formal restaurants, men should wear a suit or dress pants with a shirt, tie and blazer; for women, a pant suit or knee-length skirt is acceptable. For other types of settings, familiarize yourself with the restaurant’s standard uniform and wear clothing that is similar in style.

Cooks and Supporting Roles

The wardrobe for these staff is typically flexible, because, more often than not, they are not seen by patrons. However, it does not mean sneakers or a t-shirt are appropriate. Wear casual dress pants or slacks with a collared top, and a pair of shoes.

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How to Answer the Most Common Restaurant Job Interview Questions


As with any other interview, there is always an uncertainty in the types of questions you may be asked by the hiring manager. However, the best approach in tackling interviews is preparing in advance. So to start, here are some common questions that you may face:

Tell me about yourself.

Typically, this will be the very first question you will be asked. Provide a brief, one to two minute introduction about yourself. Summarize main points, such as, the specific position you are applying for, past positions/roles that you held and general experience. Also, inform the interviewer of your times of availability.

What is your greatest strength?

This is the chance for you to highlight yourself. Focus on your key strengths and speak with positivity. In addition, make sure your strength is relative to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying to be a prep cook, it is best to not state that you are a good writer. Instead, mention how you are hard working or that you are comfortable in fast-paced environments.

What is your greatest weakness?

Following most strength questions, the interviewer may ask you about a weakness. The best way to respond to this daunting question is with the 'two-part answer' method. First, make the confession, then recover. Describe in short what you are weak at, then spin that response to how you would be to able to overcome or resolve the issue. Managers like to hear about the positives, rather than the negatives. 

Tell me what you know about our restaurant.

Before the interview, do some research. Find out what you can about the restaurant and the person you will be interviewed by. Has the restaurant been in the news? Is it particularly known for something? Who is the person who is in charge of hiring and what is their professional background? From your answers, recruiters will try to find out whether you have genuine interest in the business, and see if you will be motivated to work there, as opposed to another restaurant.

What qualities make you a good addition to the team?

Here, explain why you are an excellent candidate for the position. Recount an experience where you performed exceptionally. If you are seeking a job as a server, tell about a time you provided great customer service. Discuss how you were a team player and were able to bring satisfaction to the patrons.


 Looking to work in Hospitality?

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