How to become a hostess?

May 21 2016 (updated September 9 2020)
You can read this article in 8 minutes.

A good hostess has a genuine smile, connects with people easily and is confident enough to adapt to any situation. To apply for work as a hostess, you should prepare some photos of yourself, know your body measurements, possess the appropriate outfit, and have a valid sanitary-epidemiological certificate.

So, you want to be a host or hostess? That’s understandable – it’s a very popular job among the young and active, and it provides you with numerous skills, which later prove valuable both in your private and professional life. Let’s begin with 10 qualities important in every hostess:

  • genuine, warm smile,
  • slim figure and smooth complexion,
  • openness and sociability,
  • confidence,
  • knowledge of savoir vivre,
  • adaptability,
  • resistance to time pressure,
  • assertiveness,
  • proper diction,
  • reading comprehension.

Do you believe you are able to meet the conditions above? If so, continue reading for our five-step guide for beginner hostesses!

1. Take care of your photos.

To a hostess, her photo serves as a business card, a CV, and an entry ticket to professional agencies. That’s why you should pay special attention to your portfolio. Photos from previous jobs are particularly valuable – especially if they show off the brands you have worked for. They’re worth sharing in a separate album on your social media, so that they’re easy to find for potential recruiters.

Regardless of context, all your portfolio photos should:

  • be clear and in focus,
  • lack special effects (frames, vignettes, face filters),
  • show your natural expression (no sticking your tongue out, blowing kisses, making a “duckface”, etc.),
  • present your natural appearance (no heavily photoshopped photos or artistic makeup – unless it was done as part of a hostess job that you want to showcase).

Remember! Professional hostess agencies:

  • don’t require you to bring passport photos or any other document photos,
  • don’t make you pay for a photoshoot in order to consider your application,
  • don’t allow their clients to pick their own staff based on the photos of particular members.

2. Know your body measurements.

Agencies will need your precise, actual measurements – most often to get you a fitting outfit. Check all three most important measurements on a regular basis and always give the true values to the agency. If you misinform them, you might end up in an outfit that’s too tight or too large. It’s not a good idea to lie about your height, either – clients search for all sizes, and even if you are a bit on the short side, it’s nothing a pair of high heels can’t fix!

Key measurements for women:

  • bust circumference – the widest part of the chest, usually about nipple height,
  • waist circumference – the narrowest part of the abdomen, usually above the belly button,
  • hips circumference – the widest part of the pelvic area, just below the hipbones.

Key measurements for men:

  • chest circumference – the widest part of the chest, usually about nipple height,
  • waist circumference – the widest part of the abdomen, usually below the belly button,
  • hips circumference – the widest part of the pelvic area, below the hipbones.

Key measurement for both genders:

  • height – from the top of the head to the sole of the foot, while standing upright,
  • shirt size – in the S-M-L scale (as used in Poland),
  • shoe size – in the EUR scale (as used in Poland).
main body measurements

Main body measurements

Instructions for taking your measurements:

  • do it in the morning, on an empty stomach and naked,
  • keep your back straight, don’t tuck your tummy in or push it out,
  • start from the top and continue downwards.

3. Get an outfit.

When working as a hostess, most of the time you will be using your own clothes. You might receive a branded t-shirt, but the rest of your outfit is up to you. Occasionally, the agency may provide you with a uniform for the event. It’s very important to care for your outfit and hygiene, as they heavily influence how people react to your presence. The hostess dress code dictates modest, but elegant clothes, attention to details and restrained use of accessories. Your outfit should be well-fitting, suitable for the event and appropriate for the weather conditions. That’s why these clothes are a necessary minimum in your wardrobe:

dress code



Business classic

(conferences,  trade fairs)

  • plain, white, non-transparent shirt or blouse
  • classic, black or dark blue skirt, knee-length at most
  • classic, black or dark blue trousers
  • classic suit jacket, in a colour that matches the skirt/trousers
  • high heels that cover the heel and toes
  • plain, black or flesh-tone stockings
  • matte, tailored, black or dark blue suit
  • white or light blue long-sleeve shirt
  • single-colour suit
  • black, formal shoes
  • socks, the same colour as the suit or darker

Business casual

(trade fairs,
open days)

  • plain, white, non-transparent shirt or blouse
  • classic, black dress, knee-length at most
  • classic suit jacket, in a colour that matches the dress
  • high heels that cover the heel and toes
  • black ballet flats
  • plain, black or flesh-tone stockings
  • matte, tailored suit
  • white or light blue long-sleeve shirt
  • single-colour tie
  • black, formal shoes
  • socks, the same colour as the suit or darker

Smart casual

(promotional campaigns, data

  • plain, white t-shirt
  • black jeans or chinos, without wear or tear
  • knee-length dress or skirt
  • black ballet flats
  • formal shirt
  • plain polo shirt
  • blazer
  • black jeans or chinos, without wear or tear
  • dark, comfortable shoes


(banquets, galas)

  • cocktail dress, knee-length at least
  • sandals or court shoes that match the dress
  • scarf that covers the shoulders, for cold weather
  • plain, black or flesh-tone stockings
  • dark suit
  • long-sleeve shirt
  • tie
  • socks, the same colour as the suit or darker
  • black, formal shoes

The effect of even the most elegant of dress codes can be undone by lack of proper hygiene. Unpleasant smell, bad breath or dandruff on the shoulders can make any interaction unpleasant, and in the worst case – lead to being reprimanded or fired by the agency, if the issue is constant. Taking good care of your hygiene is a sign of respect for the agency and your co-workers – not to mention your own health!

4. Obtain a sanitary-epidemiological certificate.

If you work in a place in Poland where food and drink is sold or served (markets, restaurants, coffee shops, food fairs), you need a valid sanitary-epidemiological certificate (formerly known as a “Sanepid booklet”). The document is necessary for any worker who could potentially infect consumers – even if they don’t actually have contact with the food, but they work at one of the aforementioned places. 

The procedure of getting the certificate takes 5-14 days. You need to apply for it at a sanitary-epidemiological station, where you will be tested for the presence of Salmonella and Shigella bacteria. Then, you take the results to an occupational medicine physician. They gather your medical history and may conduct additional tests (chest X-ray, complete blood count, ESR, urine test), and based on that they declare no contraindications, temporary or permanent contraindication – the last two cases render you unable to work in the places mentioned before.

The certificate doesn’t usually have an expiry date (strange, given that your health may change, but that’s how it is). If yours happens to have one, however, it is in your best interest to make sure to prolong it by attending another check-up. Agencies won’t cover the cost of getting a certificate (about 150 PLN) and won’t wait for you to get a new one. If you don’t have a valid certificate on the job and there’s a sanitary control, you will have to pay a several thousand zloty fine. Be wary of “get a certificate in one day!” scams – using a fake certificate is a criminal offence, much like using a fake personal ID or driver’s license!

polish certificate for sanitary-epidemiological purposes

Medical certificate for sanitary-epidemiological purposes

Legal details regarding the sanitary-epidemiological certificate can be found in the Act of 5 December 2008 on Prevention and Combating Infections and Infectious Diseases in Humans (i.e. Dz. U. (Eng. Journal of Laws) 2016 it. 1866) and the Act of 25 August 2006 on the Safety of Food and Nutrition (i.e. Dz. U. 2017 it. 149).

5. Apply to a good hostess agency.

If you’re ready with points 1-4, it’s time to start looking around for a hostess agency! Every agency has slightly different requirements, so make sure to visit their website and follow their instructions. You might be wondering, however, how to tell a good agency from a bad one? We’ve prepared a few suggestions of what you should keep an eye out for:

  1. Experience – find out for how long the agency has been active. The longer, the more experience they have, and the more time they’ve had to get to know the local market and hostesses.
  2. Portfolio – take a look at the agency’s documentation of events they’ve staffed. An experienced agency works on many projects and posts photos and stories from them on their website and social media.
  3. Opinions – particularly those on social media. A good agency takes pride in their Facebook reviews. Many of them are left by former hostesses, so it’s a great opportunity for you to find out how the agency would treat you.
  4. Supervising – make sure that the agency, for which you want to work, has a supervisor to guide you every step of the way and react in case of emergencies. Depending on the event, the supervisor might be available remotely or in person.
  5. Legality – work exclusively with agencies that are willing to sign a legally binding contract with you. If you don’t want to risk your money, well-being and civil liability, you should stay away from spoken agreements, since they can’t be verified later.

How can you benefit from working with SALLY Agency?

We’re a Polish agency that has been providing promotional and event staff since 2011. Every day we work with dozens of young men and women aged 18-26, and the total number of workers at our disposal all around the country exceeds 8000.

We bring to life the most ambitious projects for hundreds of clients from all around Europe, from promotional campaigns and conducting polls, through business and entertainment events, to modelling jobs. Our staff promotes dozens of well-known brands, such as Uber, Sony, Apple, Lotto, Virgin Mobile, Renault, Tous, Firestone, Adidas, Converse, Lotos, Samsung, Kia, Canal+, Jeep, TLC.

We’re sponsors of Viva! – an international movement for animal rights. By working with us, you have the option to support the cause, as soon as when you’re signing the SALLY contract.

The people we recruit always praise our cooperation. We provide the things important to you – constant contact with the project supervisor, convenient commute, and a paycheque on time, while in return we expect your commitment and responsibility. We always provide our hostesses and promotional staff with legal contracts and make no issue of paying out the money they earned.

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