Everyone knows how to dress for a traditional corporate job, but things can get a little confusing when you are interviewing for a warehouse job or other industrial, blue-collar job. What do you wear to an interview when you will probably never have to wear a suit and tie to work?  

While it’s easy to default to whatever you rolled out of bed and threw on that day, you do need to put some thought and care into the outfit you put together for a general labour interview. The old saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression is true, so you will want to put your best foot forward.  

Follow these tips to dress well and impress in your next industrial job interview. 

Do Not Go Overly Casual When Choosing Interview Attire  

It’s safe to assume that in a warehouse, manufacturing or other industrial environments, that workers will typically wear some kind of uniform to ensure proper mobility and safety on the job. Those uniforms or jumpsuits are hardly formal, so you don’t need to go to your interview in formal business attire, but that doesn’t mean you should show up looking like you just rolled out of bed.  

Why? Because you want to make the right impression. Imagine that you are the person in charge of general labour interviews at a large company. You see dozens of applicants every single day. What would make a better impression on you? Someone who showed up in a rumpled t-shirt and dirty jeans or someone who took the time to put on a clean shirt with a collar and a nice pair of khakis?  

A good rule of thumb to follow for manufacturing interview attire, warehouse interview attire and other general labour interview attire is to dress similarly to the way people in the workplace dress but kick it up one notch. 

How To Choose General Labour Interview Attire 

Follow these suggestions to choose the right outfit for your manufacturing, labour or warehouse interview: 

  • Choose a nice pair of slacks, trousers or chinos. Skirts are not required for women but can be worn. Just choose a knee-length, straight skirt. 
  • Wear a shirt with a collar (button-up or polo). 
  • You can wear a tie and/or jacket, but it is not required. 
  • Choose close-toed shoes that are in good condition. Loafers or dress flats are preferable. 
  • Try to wear neutral colours. Nothing too loud or flashy. 

What Not To Wear To A General Labour Interview  

Dressing for a warehouse, manufacturing or other labour interviews certainly requires less formality than interviewing for a corporate job, but you should always apply a level of common sense when planning your interview attire and determining what is appropriate. Never wear: 

  • Clothing that has not been pressed 
  • Clothing that is dirty or stained 
  • Clothing with holes – even if they were purchased that way 
  • T-shirts with band names, slogans, logos, etc.  
  • Tank tops 
  • Shorts 
  • Other revealing garments 
  • Open-toed shoes 

If you have to think twice about whether wearing something is appropriate, err on the side of caution and do not put it on. 

Other Factors To Consider When Dressing For a Warehouse Interview 

It’s not just the clothes on your back that contribute to your appearance during a job interview. You must also factor in some other considerations, as well.  

Tattoos and piercings. 

Employers today are much more open to tattoos and piercings than they were 15 years ago, but it’s good to err on the conservative side during your interview. Wear long sleeves and long pants, wear a high-necked shirt and remove piercings that are not in your ears. You don’t want your tattoos and piercings to be a distraction during your interview, and if you get an offer, you can talk about what the policies are about tattoos and piercings at work.  


The best rule of thumb is to wear the least amount of jewelry possible, as it can be distracting during a job interview. You can wear a nice watch, earrings and a ring or two, but if your jewelry makes noise or flops around, consider removing it.  


Forego the cologne and perfume before a job interview. Not everyone likes fragrances, and some people are even allergic to them.  


Take a shower and make sure your hair is clean before a general labour job interview. If you have a mustache or beard, make sure that it is clean and well-trimmed, as well. Also double-check to ensure your fingernails are cleaned and trimmed. 

Don’t Forget These Light Industrial Interview Tips  

It’s good to spend a lot of time preparing your interview attire and appearance, but don’t forget these other important for a general labour job interview: 

Practice answering interview questions. 

Work with your recruiter or someone you trust to help you practice answering common interview questions. The more you practice, the better. It’s never a good idea to “wing it” through an interview because your nerves could get the best of you.  

Review information about the company. 

Take time to study up on the company. If you know nothing about what they do, you send the message that you are not taking the interview seriously, that you do not respect the interviewer’s time, and it paints a negative picture of how you would approach the job. 

Study the job description. 

This seems obvious, but it’s an important step and one that many general labourers skip. Read the job description closely because it will help you understand what the interviewer is looking for. When you know that, you can speak to key requirements that match your skills and experience.  

Arrive at least ten minutes early. 

If you are late for your interview, even if your bus was late or you hit traffic, you will damage your chances of landing the job. Leave much, much earlier than you think you need to, just in case you run into an issue. If you do hit traffic, call the company and let them know. If you arrive extremely early, sit outside or in your car and use the time to relax and make final preparations. 

Bring a resume. 

There is often debate about whether it’s necessary to bring a resume to a general labour interview, but it is always better to be overprepared than to be underprepared. If twenty other people are interviewing and you are the only person who showed up with a resume, you’re going to immediately stand out as someone who takes their work seriously. 

The Way You Prepare For A Job Interview Will Impact Your Confidence  

Taking the time to prepare and dress well for a general labour interview will boost your confidence and help you feel more comfortable in the hot seat. When you are confident, it will shine through, and you will make a positive impression on the hiring manager.  

Are you looking for general labour jobs in Ontario? HCR is the leading light industrial staffing firm in the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario. Browse our current job openings or contact us today to learn more.  

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