How to Dress for a Customer Service Job Interview

So here you are.  You have taken the time to make a great resume, you sent it in, and now you’ve been called back for a job interview.  Just like that, it seems as if the worst part of it all is now behind you.

Ha, just kidding.  While a resume is a crucial first step towards getting that customer service job that you’ve always dreamed of, it’s still only the first step.  Getting the attention of a prospective employer is important, but the job interview is where you really need to shine.  And since first impressions are key, you’re going to need to know how to dress for a job interview.

How Formal Do I Have to Dress for a Job Interview?

Businesspeople with various facial expressions

It’s important to look your best for a job interview.  With that said, customer service jobs aren’t always going to be on the same level as other professional jobs.  If you’re interviewing for a job at, say, a quick service restaurant or a casual mall retail store, don’t worry about going out and spending your hard earned money on a suit.  There is such a thing as overkill.

Still, you should still look as professional as possible for a job interview.  If you’re unsure as to what is expected of you, it’s perfectly okay to ask a manager or a current employee what you should wear.

If that’s not something you’re comfortable doing, then it’s okay to visit the business and “spy” on what the current employees are wearing on the job.  Keep in mind that this isn’t alway the most effective way to get an idea as to how to dress for a job interview, since certain jobs require their employees to dress in casual attire (for example, a clothing retail store).

At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  If you don’t want to do the research, then go ahead and follow the instruction below.

How Men Should Dress for a Job Interview

A conservative look is usually the way to go for a job interview, and men have it the easiest when it comes to this since there isn’t much in the way of variation.Shirt: long sleeved, collared, solid color.  Black, white and blue are always excellent, safe bets.Pants: slacks.  Black and dark grey usually match with most shirts.  Khaki is also an option if you are wearing a black shirt.Tie: solid color or limited design.  It should match the shirt and pants.  Make sure the tie you choose doesn’t have an obtrusive logo.Shoes: black or dark brown professional shoes.Belt: a basic belt with a standard-sized buckle.  Here’s a biggie: make sure that it matches the shoes.  Black shoes go with a black belt, brown shoes go with a brown belt.Socks: dark colored.  Whatever you do, don’t wear white socks, as they are considered unprofessional.

How Women Should Dress for a Job Interview

For better or for worse, women have a few more options when it comes to dressing for a customer service job interview.  Though it’s still important to stay conservative with job interview attire, women have a little more room to add variation. Wear clean and neatly pressed clothes. Consider wearing a conservative skirt or a tailored dress pant alongside a professionally looking blouse with small pattern or a solid color.Accessories and shoes.  Limit your accessories when going for an interview. Consider wearing a trim belt, a conservative tie, a watch, low-heeled pumps or leather flat shoes, and simple earrings.Hair and nails.  Make sure that your hair is clean, neatly styled and off of your face.  Keep your nails neatly polished or short, clean and neat.

Leave the Jeans at Home


Let’s talk about what you should never wear to a job interview.  Jeans, t-shirts and other casual types of clothing should never be considered.  This includes hats, chains, sneakers, and sunglasses as well.

Though this may sound obvious, you’d be surprised at to how many people think it’s perfectly fine to wear their everyday attire to an interview.  As a former manager at a fast food restaurant, I encountered several “prospective” employees who showed up to their interview dressed as if they wanted to hang out with me.  They didn’t get called back.

Moral of the story: even if the job is within the range of minimum wage, casual clothing is a no-no.  It’s okay if you didn’t know this–now you do, so make sure to not repeat the mistakes of your competition.

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