What to Wear for a Walmart Job Interview

man in dress shirt putting on tie in kitchen
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Have you applied for a job at Walmart, Target, or another major retailer and now have an interview coming up? Not sure what to wear? While it's true that the dress code for both the interview and work shifts at big box retailers are less formal than at a corporate office, you still shouldn't show up looking sloppy. The human resources department 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, 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.

If you're interviewing for a higher-level position in management or a leadership role, the proper attire is typically a suit, which Walmart mentions on its career page.

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 either too casual or sloppy.

Choose a shirt color or pattern that is not too loud. Khaki, gray, black, or blue slacks are muted, conservative choices. 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

With three in ten Americans having tattoos, retail giants including Walmart, Target, and Staples embrace a progressive stance on self-expression. While facial piercings are not allowed on the job at Walmart, employees may display non-offensive tattoos.

But not so fast, because a recent 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 toward body art. So conceal your tattoos and avoid wearing flashy jewelry to the interview. After you're hired, you can embrace Walmart’s liberal 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 working pen to write down important details, such as the interviewer's name and title, or the date and time of your second interview.

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 Sears.” Review your notes while you wait in the lobby.

Beyond the Attire

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. In between bad hygiene and cargo shorts on the list of interview no-no’s is arriving late. 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 fragrance, have clean breath (throw out your gum or mint!), appropriately dressed, and ten minutes early. Meeting all of these imperatives will add to your overall presentation and allow you to go in with a clear head and quiet confidence. Good luck!