How to Dress for Success at an Interview for a Blue Collar Job
If you're in doubt as to what to wear to a blue-collar interview, contact the receptionist or secretary for the human resources department and ask. Don't worry about your uncertainty showing when you ask for guidance on interview attire – it's a sign that you care enough about getting the job to want to follow unwritten rules for what you should wear. If you're still confused about interview attire and protocol for a blue-collar job interview, a dark- or neutral-colored casual suit will work every time, suggests Randstad.
Business Casual Suit
You won't be looked upon negatively if you wear a casual suit to an interview for a blue-collar job. In fact, it will probably make you appear to be an applicant who takes your job search seriously and that you respect the interview and selection process. A casual suit is less formal than a three-piece suit with matching pieces, as explained by Primer Magazine.
However, if a suit and tie for men, or a suit with a skirt or slacks for women make you feel overdressed, wear an equally professional ensemble that projects a profession image. As long as you're professionally dressed and you feel comfortable in what you're wearing, your attitude will reflect confidence in your appearance and your abilities.
If you've made it clear to the interviewer – or, even suggested – that you want to move up in the organization and are interested in a ground-floor opportunity that involves blue-collar work, then wear a suit to the interview. As an aspiring professional or someone who wants to move up the ladder, wearing a suit to an interview for a blue-collar job signifies that you're following the adage: "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."
Women's Interview Attire
Dressing for success for an interview for a blue-collar job if you're a woman shouldn't be any more challenging than an interview for any other job, unless you're going for a job at a high-end, upscale fashion boutique. Dress conservatively, yet comfortably. You may need to demonstrate your ability to move throughout the facility on a tour during your interview, so high heels, open-toed shows or strappy sandals won't be your best bet.
Focus more on projecting a business casual image rather than a trendy or couture style. Wear a nicely fitting, plain but stylish suit or coordinated separates with slacks and a sweater or a skirt and cardigan. Reasonable height heels are more appropriate than the latest platform style. Also, keep your accessories to a minimum.
Men's Interview Attire
Men who don't want to wear a suit to an interview for a blue-collar job can usually get away with a sport coat and slacks or a pair of slacks, sweater, shirt and tie. Even if you don't wear a jacket or sport coat, always wear a tie. Dark or neutral color slacks are the best color for interviews. Stay away from khakis or other slacks that are too casual. The office environment might have a business casual dress code or even a relaxed blue-collar dress code for non-customer facing positions; however, you're a job candidate looking for a job. You can make a good impression with a professional appearance at your job interview.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.