Candidate Advice: What To Wear To A Bartending Interview

what to wear to a bartending interview
Joe | Last Updated: November 24, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

So you’ve secured a bartending interview and want to make sure you give off the right impression by dressing smartly and appropriately.

Great news, by just clicking on this post and researching what to wear to a bartending interview, you already have the advantage over other candidates.

As a bartender, you’ll not only be judged on your skills and experience but also your personal presentation, especially in high-end establishments.

No bar manager wants to hire someone who dresses inappropriately or lacks personal hygiene, that’s why it’s essential you choose your outfit wisely and dress to impress.

So whether you’re interviewing for a high-end cocktail bar or your local pub, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at the perfect outfit for your interview to give you the best chance of securing the job.

Does What You Wear To A Bartending Interview Matter?

Yes, what you wear for a bartending interview matters A LOT. It’s your first impression and a reflection of your professionalism, attention to detail, and cleanliness.

As a bar manager myself, I can tell you from experience that appearance is everything and the hiring manager will be judging you by what you’re wearing.

I’ve interviewed candidates in the past that have come underdressed and it immediately puts doubt in my mind about their abilities and judgment, candidates NEED to be able to present themselves appropriately to work in a bar.

Bartending is a customer-facing role where you’ll be representing the establishment, so it’s essential to dress in a way that aligns with the establishment and its atmosphere.

Every customer that walks into the bar will see you, and if you can’t dress appropriately they’ll judge the establishment based on the bartender.

what to wear to a bartending interview
Photo by bruce mars

You’ll want to dress nice, smell nice, and be confident in your clothes.

First impressions matter in bartending, and by dressing correctly the hiring manager will be focused on your skills and experience as opposed to what you’re wearing.

Some bars may even have specific dress codes or uniforms, so it’s a good idea to research this before your interview to get a feel for what to wear.

You wouldn’t want to turn up to an interview in jeans and a t-shirt if the dress code for that establishment is a Tuxedo, so be sure to do your diligence.

If in doubt, overdress.

It’s MUCH better to be overdressed for an interview than underdressed to show that you’ve put thought and effort into the interview.

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What To Wear To A Bartending Interview

When it comes to dressing for a bartending interview it’s essential that you keep in mind the establishment’s style which will give you an idea of what to wear.

High-end establishments will require you to be looking your absolute best and pull out all the stops, whereas local pubs and rural bars likely don’t require you to dust off your Tux.

Let’s take a look at some guidelines to follow when it comes to dressing for a bartending interview.


You’ll need to ensure that you’re giving off a first impression that portrays you as a professional, this means clothes that are clean, wrinkle-free, and smart.

NEVER show up to a bartending interview in jeans and a t-shirt, even if this is what the employees there wear, you should take it up a notch.

For most bartending interviews, men should wear smart trousers with a belt, a collared shirt, and smart shoes. Whereas women may want to wear a neutral-colored blouse, a smart shirt, and a blazer.

However, if you’re interviewing at a high-end establishment then it’s a good idea to wear a smart suit for men or a nice dress for women.

Use your judgment here, smart professional attire is a good guideline to go by, but be sure you’re comfortable and relaxed in the clothes you choose.


Consider the establishment that you’re interviewing for.

If it’s a high-end cocktail bar then you’ll want to be wearing your best, but if it’s a sports bar or casual pub then clothing can be a little more relaxed.

All establishments have a slightly different style and atmosphere so keep this in mind when choosing your clothing, and remember, if in doubt, overdress.


The interview process can sometimes be lengthy, so be sure that you’re wearing smart and comfortable shoes that you can wear all day without being in discomfort.

DO NOT wear trainers under any circumstances, even if they’re black and “look like” shoes. Trainers are not professional and will give off the wrong impression.

Ladies, no don’t need to wear heels to look professional, you may find that after a few hours, they become painful or difficult to walk in so best to avoid them in most cases.

Close-toed black shoes are a great choice most of the time, keep smart and formal with the shoes and you can’t go far wrong.


This is a BIG one.

The number of times I’ve interviewed candidates that straight-up smelt like they haven’t showered in 3 weeks is jaw-dropping.

HOWEVER, generally wearing cologne or perfume is a big no-no for interviews, the hiring manager may have asthma or allergies that could be a threat, so best to avoid them altogether.

what to wear to a bartending interview
Photo by Ono Kosuki

Just be sure that you’re clean, fresh, and use deodorant before you attend, you don’t want to have a nasty stench that could ruin your chances of being hired.

Don’t forget about keeping your breath fresh too, brush and floss your teeth right before the interview.


Another one that is often overlooked by candidates is grooming. It’s very important that you’re well-groomed for your interview to give off the right impression.

You wouldn’t want nasty nose or ear hairs dangling mid-interview as it can ruin your professional look, so be sure to groom yourself thoroughly before the interview.

Presenting yourself at your best will give you higher chances of getting hired, so please don’t overlook grooming as it can be very offputting if you’re sat looking like Chewbacca from Star Wars.

Dressing For The Position

Keep in mind the position you’re applying for within the establishment as different positions may require you to change up your interview attire.

Whilst most positions will be fine in smart professional clothing, if you’re applying for an executive or director position you should always appear in a smart suit and look your best.

what to wear to a bartending interview
Photo by Royal Anwar

This doesn’t mean that if you’re interviewing for a barback position you can get away with jeans and a T-shirt, but more so those interviewing in high-end establishments or senior roles should be aware of the position they are applying for.

Wrapping Up

To sum up, candidates for bartending roles will want to dress smart and professionally to give off a great first impression to the hiring manager.

Keep in mind the establishment’s style and atmosphere and take the time to research the establishment’s dress code to give you a guideline.

Whether or not your applying for an entry-level or senior position, you should always present yourself at your best, which includes dressing appropriately, grooming well, and smelling fresh.

Follow the guidance above and you won’t go far wrong with your bartending interview attire, and I wish you the very best of luck and have my fingers crossed for you.

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