If you are not sure what to wear to your interview, we've got advice. Our first tip: Don't show up looking sloppy. While the dress code for both the interview and work shifts at big box retailers are less formal than at a corporate office, it's still important to make a good impression. The company cares about your appearance and professionalism, no matter where you're working.
When you interview, making the best possible impression will require dressing neatly and appropriately to convey confidence and reliability.
Interview Attire for Hourly and Management Jobs
If you've applied for an hourly job, you can choose a business casual outfit. That means neat, clean, and well-fitting attire. Men should pair a button-down shirt or a shirt and vest with khakis or slacks. Women should wear neat, coordinated separates—a skirt or slacks and sweater or blouse.
Options for Men
Though men have fewer options, there are still some rules you must follow to achieve a neat, conservative, and professional appearance. Always wear your shirt tucked in—shirttails are unattractive and may give off the impression that you're too casual or sloppy. (Since you're tucking in your shirt, it's also a good idea to wear a belt.)
Choose a shirt color or pattern that is not too loud. Khaki, gray, black, or blue slacks are good options. Even if you don't wear a suit jacket, a tie is always a nice touch and helps convey the message that you're serious about the impression you give prospective employers.
Options for Women
Women have the option of wearing slacks, a skirt, or a dress, provided you keep the hemline and neckline conservative.
Check the length of your skirt or dress while sitting to make sure it's not too short. For women, a blouse or sweater is appropriate. Keep the color and pattern conservative, and avoid overly casual tops, such as graphic T-shirts, crop tops, and tank tops.
Piercings and Tattoos
A Salary.com poll revealed that 76% of respondents think tattoos hurt an applicant’s chances of getting hired. Though our cultural norms have changed, hiring managers may still have an unconscious bias concerning body art.
So, consider concealing your tattoos and avoid wearing flashy jewelry to the interview. After you're hired, check with your manager on what's appropriate, so you're in compliance with Walmart’s policies.
What to Bring to the Interview
It's a good idea to bring extra copies of your resume (if you need one), a few questions to ask the interviewer, a list of three references, a pad of paper, and a pen to write down important details, such as the interviewer's name and title, or the date and time of your second interview. A resume isn’t required for hourly positions.
Before the interview, write down things you want to remember to tell the interviewer, like your available hours or any particular experiences you feel will help you get the job. You might jot down, “Talk about experience working in the women’s apparel department at JC Penney.” Review your notes while you wait in the lobby.
How to Ace the Interview
Though dressing for success is imperative, ultimately winning the job comes down to your personality, preparedness, and interaction with the interviewer. Follow these tips to knock the interview out of the park:
Research the company. Before the interview, learn about Walmart’s workplace culture and policies by reviewing the company’s LinkedIn page and website. Take it a step further and visit a store to talk with associates and get the lay of the land.
By researching the company and even visiting a store, you’ll better understand how the company—and even the specific sales floor—functions, which will impress the hiring manager.
Walmart conducts behavioral interviews so that the hiring team can get a good sense of your thought process and how you would mesh with existing employees.
Arrive ten minutes early. Arriving late is high on the list of interview mistakes to avoid. Doing so suggests poor time management and a lack of respect for the company, the position, and your interviewer. Not to mention, the stress you’ll feel will damage your confidence and inhibit your ability to think clearly. So be sure to give yourself an extra ten minutes to reach your destination. That way you’ll still be on time even if there’s some light traffic.
Stay relaxed and present. To effectively calm your nerves before the interview, take three deep breaths. For each breath, inhale for three seconds, hold for three seconds, and exhale for three seconds.
Remember that your body language conveys so much about you. It's important to look and feel confident. Therefore, avoid slumping back in your chair and instead lean slightly forward. Showing your hands—a sign of honesty—is also proven to significantly improve your odds of getting hired. So, place them on the table, as opposed to on your thighs or (even worse) in your pockets. Finally, ask questions, listen, and hold eye contact!
Today’s the day. You are freshly showered, light on the perfume or cologne, have fresh breath (throw out your gum or mint), are appropriately dressed, and ten minutes early. Meeting all of these guidelines will add to your overall presentation and allow you to go in with a clear head and quiet confidence. Good luck!