Can I Wear a Hat to an Interview

A friend of mine called me one-day asking, ‘can I wear a hat to an interview?’ She went ahead to ask if it’s appropriate to wear a hat to an interview or disrespectful.

You should not wear a hat to a job interview to avoid looking like you’re showing off or hiding something, except for medical or religious reasons. You should present a doctor’s note to the interviewer explaining why you wear the hat. Otherwise, you’re not permitted to wear a hat to an interview.

One certain thing is this; what you wear to a job interview has what it speaks about you. It can speak something good or bad about you. That’s why people are always urged to ensure they go for an interview wearing something presentable and not distracting.

In my last article, I wrote about wearing a cap to an interview; then, it occurred to me that I was missing something. Based on my friend’s question, I decided to make this post because Even though caps and hats are both headwear, they are different and have a different way to look while wearing. For example, the way a cowboy hat makes one looks is different from how a baseball cap or fascinator makes one looks.

Hat: An Overview

A hat is something to cover our hair against any weather condition, whether from cold or dust. Many people wear a hat for ceremonial or religious reasons. One can even wear a hat as an indicator of social status.

For example, in the Eastern part of Nigeria, in Igbo land, to be precise, there is this red cap men do wear. Only titled men wear the hat. You have to be at a certain age and certain status to be qualified to wear the hat, and it has to be presented by the king of the land.

Nowadays, hats are part of fashion. Anyone can dress up and wears a hat to complement other things such as clothes and shoes. There is this type of hat worn by women of a particular age. It’s big and round. You mostly see such hats in church. It can be very distracting yet beautiful to behold.

There is, of course, a cowboy hat that is unique in its respective way. A cowboy hat has this special way it presents someone wearing it. A friend of mine once said that cowboy hats make someone extremely attractive.

Cowboy hats make one look extremely attractive, especially when you pair it with cowboy boots, as wearing a cowboy hat without the cowboy boots may seem off.

Can I Wear a Hat to an Interview?

No, it is not OK to wear a hat to an interview because it may distract the interviewer and place their attention on your hat instead of what you have to say. The only way you are permitted to go for an interview with a hat is if you have any medical reasons, and there should be a doctor’s note to back up the claim. You can also wear a hat if you have any religious reasons to do so.

One thing you should never do while being interviewed is causing a distraction. If the interviewers are distracted, how are they going to pay attention to the things you say? Don’t you think that wearing a very fancy, well-designed big hat or a cowboy hat can create a focal point on your head instead of what you have to say?

However, while some interviewers may be OK with you wearing a hat to the interview, some may not. That is why you should not wear it in the first place. Let’s examine the example below.

Interviewer A:

This lady has qualified credentials from one of the prestigious schools in the world, she answered her question very well with full confidence without going out of point, but the hat she wore has too many designs on it and looks too stylish. It seems as if she is showing off and therefore not fit for the job. We don’t want someone that shows off a lot in our company.

Interviewer B:

Yes, the lady is OK with her credentials and, of course, her social skills and the confidence with which she answered all the questions yet staying on point, but the problem is that, even though she is wearing a hat, she doesn’t seem to know how to wear the hat, so it doesn’t distract us from paying very much attention to her.

From the interviewers’ words above, we’ve understood that what interviewer A noticed and wants from the applicant is different from what interviewer B noticed and wants from the applicant. And if you look well, you will also notice that the hat is sitting in between the applicant getting the job.

While interviewer A complained the hat looks too stylish, Interviwerer B complained that the hat is OK, but it looked too distracting. For this reason, the best thing to do is not to wear a hat at all for an interview, except you have a medical or religious reason for doing so.

However, while wearing a hat to an interview, either because of a medical or religious reason, please know the type of hats to wear. Do not wear a hat that is too distracting and be in the same situation with the applicant above in mind of the interviewer A and B.

Don’t take advantage of the fact that you have a medical condition or your religion permits you to wear hats to an interview to overdo it. The reason is that, despite the doctor’s note or religious permission, the company can still choose not to give you the job if they notice something strange about the hat. Be cautious and respectful.

Reason to Wear a Hat to an Interview

You only have two major reasons you should wear a hat to an interview, and the reasons are religious reasons and medical reasons. Aside from these two reasons, you are not permitted to wear a hat to an interview.

However, if the reason why you want to wear a hat to an interview did not fall into any of the two reasons stated above, yet still important, you can make it known to the interviewer so that they can feel comfortable interacting with you.

Is it Disrespectful to Wear a Hat to an Interview?

It may be disrespectful to wear a hat to an interview, especially if the interviewer is elderly. He or she may feel disrespected. However, this depends entirely on the interviewer. While some may feel disrespected, others may not. Some may feel that you are showing off because those interviewing you don’t have any hat on their head.

Therefore, wearing a hat to an interview is as disrespectful as wearing a hat in school.

Is it Appropriate to Wear a Hat to an Interview?

No, it is not appropriate to wear a hat to an interview because, by dressing code, you are not supposed to wear a hat to an interview except when need be.

Even when the need arises, you have to make sure the hat is not distracting else; it may affect your chances of getting the job. The last thing you want to hear is that you ruined the opportunity you have to get your dream job simply because you wore a hat to the interview.

Why not make your hair well? Arrange your hair. Style it appropriately, in a way that is not distracting. The way that makes you look presentable and smart and go for your interview. The truth is that you have a high chance of getting the job than when you wore a distracting stylish hat to the interview.


Just do the right thing. Dress well for your interview. Make your hair and leave a hat behind for the interview. If possible, you can wear the hat to the interview ground but take it off before being interviewed. However, if you must wear a hat, make sure the hat is presentable and not too stylish to avoid distracting the interviewers from paying attention to things you will tell them.

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