Leddy Group recruits for job openings in several different industries, one of which is light industrial. A significant number of our candidates are placed in positions like forklift operator, janitorial, machine operator, HVAC mechanic, or picker/packer—also known as “blue collar” jobs. Dressing for a blue collar job interview doesn’t have to add a layer of stress to an already stressful process, so we like to offer the following fashion advice for our blue collar candidates:

Dress for the job you are interviewing for. If you are new to the industry, you can either ask friends who are in that same type of position what they wear to work, or you can do a search on the internet for pictures of someone in that same position.

Take it up at least one level. In other words, if the standard garb for a forklift operator is jeans and a t-shirt, make sure the jeans you wear to the interview have no rips, tears, or holes. Your t-shirt should not have any offensive words or graphics, rips, tears, or holes. You can bring it up one more notch by wearing a button-down shirt and khakis, especially if you have aspirations of moving up the blue collar ladder.

Definitely never wear shorts, tank tops, sweatpants, spandex, dresses, hats or sneakers, unless you are specifically told to do so by the hiring manager or your recruiter.

Safety is a huge concern in light industrial companies; show that you can be safety conscious by not wearing loose clothing or dangling jewelry, and if your hair is long, tie it up.

If there’s any question in your mind that something may or may not be unacceptable, err on the side of caution and don’t wear it. When using a recruiting firm like Leddy Group, seek advice from your recruiter; after all, they have inside knowledge of what attire is acceptable at their client’s job site.