What to Wear to a Bartending Interview [Male & Female]: Tips for a Professional Look

what to wear to a bartending interview

Landing a bartending job might seem like a fun and thrilling endeavor, but like any other profession, it requires a good first impression during the interview process. One key aspect to nailing that first impression is choosing appropriate attire for a bartending interview. Dressing the part not only showcases your professionalism but also helps portray your personality, allowing potential employers to envision you as a part of their team.

When considering what to wear to a bartending interview, it’s important to balance professionalism with a touch of personal style. Since bartending is a customer-facing role, employers want to see potential hires who can present themselves well and exude a level of style and confidence that suits the establishment. Taking into account the atmosphere and overall vibe of the bar or restaurant, as well as their dress code, will help guide your clothing selection.

Although it’s essential to dress to impress, remember that comfort is key in the bartending business, as the job requires standing, moving, and engaging with customers for extended periods. Opt for clothing that allows you to move with ease but still conveys your sense of style and competence. With the right attire, you’ll be one step closer to mixing up drinks and building a rewarding career behind the bar.

Preparing for the Interview

Research the Establishment

Before attending a bartending interview, it is essential to research the establishment. Look up their website, social media profiles, and online reviews to get a clear understanding of their vibe, dress code, and clientele. Knowing this information will help you choose the appropriate attire for the interview and demonstrate your knowledge of their business during the conversation.

Understand the Attire Expectations

Once you have an understanding of the establishment, make sure to dress accordingly for optimal success. Typically, bartending interviews require candidates to wear professional yet comfortable attire. Here’s a general guideline for interview attire:

  • Men: Button-up shirt, slacks, and closed-toe shoes
  • Women: Blouse, skirt or slacks, and closed-toe shoes

Remember, it’s always better to slightly overdress than underdress. Avoid wearing anything too casual, like jeans, sneakers, or graphic t-shirts.

First Impressions Are Crucial

In the bartending industry, first impressions play a significant role. During the interview, showcase your confidence, professionalism, and personable nature, as these are qualities employers seek in bartenders. Part of making a strong first impression involves your physical appearance – make sure your attire is clean, well-fitted, and wrinkle-free.

Additionally, pay attention to your grooming – style your hair neatly, trim your facial hair (if applicable), and opt for minimal makeup and accessories. A polished appearance shows the interviewer that you take the job seriously and can maintain professionalism in the workplace.

General Dress Code Guidelines

Professional Attire

When attending a bartending interview, it is important to dress professionally. This means opting for conservative, clean, and well-fitted clothing. Choose items such as suit pants, blouses or dress shirts, blazers, and closed-toe shoes. Consider the following points:

  • Suits in dark colors like black, navy, or charcoal are preferred.
  • For both men and women, wear closed-toe dress shoes in a neutral color.
  • Avoid flashy accessories or overly bold patterns.

Smart Casual

If the establishment has a more relaxed atmosphere, smart casual attire may be appropriate. This is still polished but more comfortable than full professional attire. Here are some guidelines:

  • Opt for tailored pants, chinos, or skirts.
  • Women can wear blouses, while men can wear collared shirts or polo shirts.
  • Sweaters or cardigans can be worn instead of a blazer.
  • Choose shoes that are clean and in good condition; avoid sneakers.
  • Keep makeup and jewelry minimal and tasteful.

Remember that you want to look put-together and professional while still appearing approachable and friendly. Take cues from the establishment’s current staff and environment to determine which dress code is most appropriate for your bartending interview.

Specific Attire Suggestions

Male Bartender

When dressing for a bartending interview, male applicants should consider wearing dress pants, such as black or grey dress pants. Pair them with a collared shirt, like a white or blue button-down shirt. Tuck the shirt into your pants for a polished look.

It is optional to add a tie, but if you choose to wear one, select a solid color or a subtle pattern that complements your outfit. A suit jacket is also optional but can add a sophisticated touch. Finish the look with clean, black dress shoes.

AttireColor OptionsSuggestions
Dress PantsBlack, GreyWell-fitted
Collared ShirtWhite, BlueButton-down
TieSolid, Subtle PatternOptional
Suit JacketMatching PantsOptional
Dress ShoesBlackClean, Polished
Male bartender in a bar

Female Bartender

For female bartenders, a well-fitted blouse in white or light blue paired with black or grey dress pants or a skirt is a suitable choice. Opt for a conservative, knee-length skirt if you choose to wear one. Alternatively, a modest dress in neutral colors like black or grey can work for your interview attire.

When it comes to footwear, closed-toe flats or low, comfortable heels are advisable. Accessorize modestly, with minimal jewelry and a belt if needed. As with the male bartending attire, a suit jacket is optional, but can elevate your look if paired well.

AttireColor OptionsSuggestions
BlouseWhite, Light BlueWell-fitted
Pants/SkirtBlack, GreyDress Pants/Knee-Length Skirt
DressBlack, GreyModest, Optional
ShoesNeutralClosed-toe Flats/Low Heels
AccessoriesMinimalBelt, Minimal Jewelry
Suit JacketMatching Pants/SkirtOptional
Female bartender in a bar wearing white and grey

Tattoos, Piercings, and Personal Style


When it comes to tattoos, it’s essential to consider the establishment’s culture and clientele. Some bars may have a more relaxed or alternative atmosphere, where visible tattoos are accepted or even encouraged. In these cases, feel free to show off your ink.

However, some establishments may cater to a more conservative clientele, making it necessary to cover up tattoos for the interview. A good rule of thumb is to do some research beforehand to gauge the dress code and environment. When in doubt, opt for covering your tattoos, as you can always ask about their policy during the interview.


Similar to tattoos, piercings can vary in acceptance depending on the bar or restaurant. Generally, small, subtle earrings or piercings are likely to be acceptable in most places. However, it’s essential to know the establishment’s policy on more noticeable piercings, like septum rings, gauges, or multiple facial piercings.

Before the interview, try to do some research and perhaps even reach out ahead of time to inquire about their policy on such body modifications. In some cases, removing or downsizing jewelry might be a suitable compromise for establishments that may not be fully against piercings but prefer a more conservative look.

Facing an interview for a bartending position also involves showcasing your personal style while adhering to the establishment’s dress code and image. Pay attention to elements like clothing fit, appropriateness of attire, and overall cleanliness. Aim to strike a balance between expressing your individuality and maintaining professionalism. This can be achieved through well-fitted clothing, a neat hairstyle, and minimal yet tasteful accessories.

While it’s crucial to demonstrate your capabilities as a bartender, keep in mind that your appearance and personal style can impact the interviewer’s perception of you. By taking the time to research and appropriately address tattoos, piercings, and your overall look, you’ll set yourself up for success in securing a bartending position best suited to your unique qualities.

Grooming and Hygiene


Keep your hair clean and well-groomed. It’s essential to maintain a sophisticated appearance, as it demonstrates professionalism. For men, a clean-shaven look or neatly trimmed facial hair is advisable. For women, hair should be pulled back or styled in a way that doesn’t interfere with work.


Subtle makeup is recommended for those who choose to wear it. Opt for natural shades and avoid heavy or glittery makeup, as it may be distracting or come off as unprofessional.


Ensure that your nails are clean and trimmed. It’s important to showcase excellent personal hygiene, as bartending involves handling glassware and serving customers. For clothing, choose items that are freshly laundered and free of stains or wrinkles.

Perfume or Cologne

Wearing perfume or cologne to a bartending interview can be a double-edged sword. Although it can contribute to a positive first impression, it’s important not to overdo it. Stick to subtle scents and avoid strong fragrances, as they may be overpowering or irritating to the interviewer.

The Bartending Interview Process

Questions to Expect

During a bartending interview, the interviewer or manager will likely ask you a series of questions to assess your skills and experience. Some common bartending interview questions include:

  • What are your top skills as a bartender?
  • Can you discuss a time when you had to deal with an underaged customer?
  • What is your favorite drink to make and why?
  • How would you handle a difficult colleague?

Prepare for these questions by reviewing your resume and reflecting on your bartending experiences.

Demonstrating Your Skills

A successful interview will require you to demonstrate your bartending skills. The manager may ask you to make a few drinks to see how you handle yourself behind the bar. To ensure you stand out among the competition, practice making popular cocktails and be confident in your technique. Showcasing your knowledge of the hospitality industry can also be beneficial.

Discussing Your Bartending Experience

When discussing your bartending experience, highlight your strengths and be honest about your weaknesses. Talk about specific examples where you excelled in a bartending job or encountered challenges that you overcame. If you have limited experience, emphasize your enthusiasm for learning and your dedication to the craft.

Closed-toed shoesSexy
Dress for successOverdressed

When it comes to what to wear for the bartending interview, opt for tailored, closed-toed shoes, and remember to dress for success. Avoid being overdressed or underdressed, as well as wearing overly sexy clothing.

To prepare for your bartending interview, do your homework, learn about the establishment where you’re being interviewed, and practice making drinks to demonstrate your skills effectively. With a bit of preparation and a confident approach, you’ll be on your way to securing that bartending job.

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