What Not to Wear on a Job Interview for Teens

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What Not to Wear on an Interview for High School Students

Group of teenage friends. Local park or campus.
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It's important that teens applying for jobs dress professionally, to impress their potential employers and convey themselves as mature, responsible, and ready to work. Unfortunately, the clothes you might wear everyday to the mall, or out with friends, usually aren't suitable for an interview. To show you what should be avoided on an interview, here are examples of what NOT to wear on a job interview.

Although it's important to keep makeup and accessories to a minimum, and avoid flashy clothes, that doesn't mean it's okay to dress down or look sloppy. You shouldn't look like you just woke up, or just came from the gym. Instead, your clothes should look neat and professional.

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What to Avoid Wearing to a Job Interview for Young Women

Teenage girls standing by blue wall on the street
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There's a good chance that a cute outfit you might wear to go shopping or to hang out with friends isn't appropriate for an interview. For example, as seen in this picture, spaghetti straps and fringes aren't acceptable for a job interview.

Also, it's a good idea to avoid denim and flip flops, as this look is too casual. Use discretion when choosing your accessories, and remember that a modest, professional look is always key.

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What to Avoid Wearing to a Job Interview for Young Men

Young man dressed in hip-hop style spreads his arms and holds a basketball while looking to the side.
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Baseball caps, or any other type of hats, shouldn't be worn on an interview. Also, young men should avoid wearing jerseys or athletic shirts, and opt for a professional button down or polo shirt instead. In addition, girls aren't alone in avoiding over-the-top accessories. "Bling" type necklaces should be taken off before an interview.

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Turn Off Your Phone or Keep it on Silent

Social Networking
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In this example, cut-off denim shorts are certainly not appropriate for an interview. Also, although bright sneakers might be cool on the streets, your best bet is to avoid flashy shoes on an interview. Your interviewer's attention should be on you and your qualities as a potential employee, not on your awesome sneakers.

Phone use on an interview should be avoided - including texting. To avoid temptation, store your phone where it's out of sight and keep it on silent or vibrate.

Here are more etiquette tips for job interviews.

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Leave the Hoodie at Home

Young man smiling
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Young men (and women) should avoid hoodies, especially with the hood up. You should try to look engaged and ready to work, rather than uninterested. Also, this look is too casual for an interview.

Dressing up is always better than dressing down when you're trying to get hired. It's important to make the best impression you can, regardless of the job you're interviewing for.

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Don't Dress Too Casually

Teens hanging out in a parking lot
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These outfits are not appropriate for an interview. Not only are the clothes too casual, but your belly shouldn't be showing. After all, clothes you would wear on the street are most likely not suitable for an interview. It's important to look sharp and professional.

For most jobs, business casual attire is the best choice of interview attire.

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Don't Bring a Drink, Food or Chew Gum

Girls blowing bubblegum
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Don't arrive at the interview with a coffee or soda. Leave the food behind, as well.  Don't chew gum on your interview. Not only does gum chewing look unprofessional, but, it can hinder your ability to communicate and can be distracting to your interviewer. It's always a good idea to throw your gum away before you arrive at the interview.

Remember, it's important to convey a professional, attentive, and interested image.  Here's more about what - and what not - to bring to a job interview.

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Don't Overdo Your Makeup

Black Beauty with Blue Eye Shadow
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For teen girls applying for a job, too much makeup won't be much help. Layering on the foundation, blush, lip gloss, and eye makeup is too much for an interview. While it's good to look well-groomed and pulled together, this can be achieved with minimal makeup. Keep your makeup simple and pretty, and remember that a natural look is best.

Read More: Job Interview Makeup Do's and Don'ts

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Avoid Too Much Perfume or Cologne

A woman gets a sample spray of a traditional perfume
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Your perfume or cologne should not be able to be detected by your interviewer. Keep your perfume or cologne use to a minimum, so it doesn't become a distraction.

Read More: What to Wear to a Job Interview for High School Students | Job Search Tips for High School Students