Can I Wear a Hat To An Interview? #Reasons #Considerations #Exceptions

Hats are trendy and make a person look good. But when you go for an interview the interviewer does not like to get distracted from your attire. It’s advised to keep the dressing minimum. Hats are okay to be worn at some jobs where it’s mandatory. That’s not an issue.

However, hats tend to make a very bad impression in general for a white-collar job interview for teenagers or seniors. Hats are unprofessional and are often seen as a symbol of disrespect to a recruiter. We will discuss the issue further:

Can I Wear a Hat To An Interview?

Can You Wear a Hat to An Interview?

The short answer to that is a strong ‘no’. Hats are chic and can be perceived as styled and classy. But it’s not interview clothing and wearing it will give you a bad impression. There is a unique quote that says, “First Impression is your last impression”. You might know how the Human Resource Department of any company selects applicants.

They look at the candidate’s CV and then select candidates that they think will be promising in the future. Similarly, What you wear can decide the trajectory of any interview. If you wear a hat an interviewer might perceive you as a non-serious person applying for the job. First Hats are informal and second of all you are not serious enough to dress properly for the interview.

To steer clear it’s best to not wear a hat, especially where it’s not required in the job itself. If you are a construction worker or line repair man then you can wear a hat as essentially the hats are part of the job, but that’s not true for many jobs, especially those part of service sector companies.

Can You Wear a Hat to An Online Interview?

Online interviews are perceived non-seriously since many people think that online interviews tend to be informal. This is not at all true. Instead Online interviews require more preparation and discipline. When we are at home, we tend to behave callously. There are various instances where people showed up to their zoom interviews wearing dirty and shabby clothing.

Homes are our safe space. This is where we rest and become comfortable. However, that comfort can be a nightmare if you emulate that comfort in your interview. You are expected to be professional in the interview.

You have to wear ironed clothes, wear formals with the hair properly combed and then sit for the interview. If your CV requires mailing, do it beforehand. You have to project your seriousness for the position. Then they will be compelled to recruit you.

Reasons Why You Should Not Wear a Hat to An Interview

It Will Distract the Interviewer
Imagine in an interview you are the only person who has decided to wear a Hat. And this can very well happen, you need to know not a lot of people wear hats for interviews. The interviewer will easily notice that you seemingly look different because of a different attire and that’s not in a good way, in a rather unsettling way.

That might make an interviewer get distracted from a well-built resume. It’s best to dress properly in formal and neutral colours. Rather than putting bright colours. Simply, the interviewer wants to know you in person and if you put a lot of show on your attire, most likely the interview will take a back seat.

It Portrays You Did Not Have Time to Prepare Your Hair

As stated above, First impressions are last impressions. In many instances, these last impressions happen because we frame stereotypical notions about any person. But this is How most Interviewers perceive it. There is not a lot of doubt that Interviewers can easily perceive that you were unable to comb or make your hair, that’s why you came wearing a hat.

It tends to show an image of you as a reckless, unsettled, and rather disorganised person who is completely not in control of their life. That shows a bad image professionally.

It Makes You Look Eccentric

Eccentricity in normal circumstances can be good. But it’s not the best trait to test when going for a professional interview. The interviewer might perceive that the reason you are wearing a hat is that you are making a desperate attempt to stand out. This trait when seen from a broader perspective makes you desperate for attention and also unwilling to co-opt as a team. This can be an issue as many office spaces in today’s time work on the interconnectedness between seniors, bosses, and freshers.

Relationships that cut across many departments. Hence, trying to look different can spoil your chances to get a job if such kind of assumption happens from the interviewer.

Exceptions – Where Is It OK to Wear a Hat for An Interview?

Hats are okay in spaces where you need hats as part of your work. Manual jobs require a lot of input. Manual workers need to put on hats, and shield glasses where they need to protect themselves from the volatile work that they do. For instance, construction work cannot be done without headgear. So, that’s exactly the case in case you are a worker who is a tradesman, lineman, electrician, car repairer, and motor repairer you can wear a hat.

Here, hats are allowed since these jobs do not depend much on your appearance. These jobs require technique and skills that supersede much of the attire. You have to just display the willingness to work and that’s it. In a corporate setup, that’s not the case considering you have an appearance to maintain and you require sharp and adequate dressing to meet clients, pitch ideas, or even give presentations. Hence the variation of skillset projects that difference.

Things to Consider If You Had to Wear a Hat For Your Interview

When you have to choose a hat because either you go for an interview for a job related to manual work. Or simply you are permitted to wear one by the panel. You have to look for hats that keep the attention more on the skills rather than pondering about the kind of dress you wear. Here are some pointers regarding your hat’s choice:

  • Consider wearing dress hats and do not wear comfortable hats. Comfort Hats such as Panama and Cowboy hats are big but comfortable. In an interview that shows you are keener to dress up and the interviewer will be distracted by your hat. It’s advised to wear Dress Hats. Some Dress Hats include Trilbies, Fedoras, and even Flat Caps.
  • Try to avoid informal caps which can be a projection of being carefree regarding the interview.
  • Wear smaller caps as opposed to larger caps. That’s why you need to steer away from Comfort Hats. Comfort Hats are large, trendy, and seem comfortable. But they look unprofessional. It’s best to stick with small hats.
  • Hats when chosen should compliment your dress. Wear neutral and lack-luster colours that are more plain and placid as opposed to shiny and bright.
  • Black, White, Off-White, and Cream are the best colours for wearing an interview hat. These are very tamed colours that do not draw the attention of the interviewer. Though the best idea is to completely avoid wearing hats altogether. In case, for some reason, you are bound to wear a Hat, make sure that they are formal and plain colours. Other colours also include some muted colours such as black, charcoal gray, or navy blue. These colours are denser and hence do not become bold and highlight you.

Are Hats Unprofessional?

Hats cannot be described as ‘unprofessional’ simply because they are not. In many professional settings whether you are a Foreman, Fireman, Mail Men, etc. you have to wear a hat. Construction workers and even in some companies workers have to put on a hat. But the problem is not with wearing a hat. The problem lies in wearing something that is not required in an interview setting.

You need to develop your common sense here. Wearing a hat at your workplace and having it mandatory is not the same as deciding to wear it in an interview. When a team calls you for an interview they expect you to be the utmost professional as soon as you enter the room. You are expected to be sharp and well groomed. Wearing a hat does not present that case, even if your work is informal, you will be judged if you decide to wear one.

Is it Disrespectful to Wear a Hat to An Interview?

Yes, it is, and many people believe that to be true. As many as 25% of recruiters believe that their hiring process is very much in tune with how an aspiring candidate dresses. In case they wear something that’s distracting and not ethical as per the workplace guidelines, they often reject them. Many interviewers perceive wearing a hat disrespects them. A lot of it stems from the workplace point of view.

Recruiters stereotype you as not being serious about the job while wearing a Hat for an interview. They presume if you cannot take care of yourself, there is no way you can take care of the company. So, yes they feel a bit of disrespect when basic interview attire is violated by wearing a hat.

Is Headwear Okay to Wear to An Interview?

Headwear is not okay to wear at an interview simply because it deviates the recruiter’s attention. They have to think more about your dressing sense, and your attire than your skill set. It’s not only hats, various other headwear from headphones, head scarves, bandanas, even caps should be avoided. The only way you can expect any exception is if you wear any Headwear for religious and cultural reasons. Then you might be given a pass on it. Other than this reason you can be assured you will not be given a pass.

Moreover, even for some reason, they select you out of running out of choice, they still may presume the worst of you. That’s a bad impression at the workplace. You will find it harder to get projects and people might think wrongly of you. Avoid wearing bright colours and headwear to any professional setup be it an interview or a corporate meet. It can simply throw off a person and focus more on the unnecessary details about you.

Are Headbands Allowed in An Interview?

A resounding no for this one. Not at all, Head Bands are very unprofessional. They will make a joke out of you and people involved in the selection may perceive you wrongly. They can assume the worst of you. Headbands are usually for people who work out and go to the gym. It’s not at all a type of attire for anyone to wear in any formal setting.

If you show up wearing one the panel can behave with you normally but instead, on the other hand, they will reject you for the job after the interview. You can be certain that you won’t bag a joining letter nor any 2nd interview if there is any if you show up wearing a headband.

Things to Not Wear to A Job Interview

We have discussed why hats are not a preferred choice to wear in an interview setting. But Hats are not the only piece of clothing that you need to avoid. Many such clothing and apparel choices are unprofessional in an interview setting. You need to wear formal clothes with muted colors and avoid the following:

  • Do not wear graphic Tees or Tank Tops. Graphic Tees are very unprofessional and make you look like an undisciplined juvenile candidate. Even if you are skilled at your job most certainly you will be ignored for the job because of wearing graphic Tees.
  • Do not go to any interview without knowing the appropriate dress attire of the company. Going for an interview can catch on your nerves. Sometimes suits can be uncomfortable and can make you sweat. To avoid it from happening, you can look at the dress code of the place. If they allow casual dressing. You can go in a Tee having a muted colour and put on casual shoes. However sneakers can be a turnoff, rather choose suede-coloured shoes.
  • Try to avoid accessorising. Accessories can be a big no-no as it’s with the hat. The hat itself is an accessory and that’s why it should be avoided. Wearing rings, necklaces, bracelets. Nose Rings should be avoided too. Guys should avoid wearing anything except a suit, shirt, pants, and shoes. They can wear something if it’s fundamentally important to their beliefs.

Final Say

Hats are not the preferred piece of clothing to wear for a job interview. They can make you look unprofessional and even unsettling. They can bring in lots of prejudices and preconceived notions. It’s better to avoid wearing them. Hats are also considered unprofessional and are often seen as a mark of disrespect while sitting for an interview with a recruiter. You can wear hats for manual jobs such as applying for Foreman, Fireman and Postman, or Mailman.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years.
Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.

About the Author

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years. Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.