What to Wear to an Interview for High School Students

Most high school job seekers aren't interviewing for professional positions. Instead, they're usually looking for part-time jobs in retail, restaurants, babysitting, or even applying for volunteer positions. Accordingly, a teen's interview attire doesn't have to be exceedingly formal. In fact, a teen would look pretty silly in a full-blown business suit.

But, as is the case with any interview, it's important to look well dressed and put together.

Choose Appropriate Interview Attire

Group of high school students
Thinkstock / Stockbyte / Getty Images

When you're dressing for a job interview, your clothing should be in good condition, wrinkle-free and of course, work-place appropriate. Because a teen's level of maturity is a significant factor for employers looking to hire young people, it's especially important that teens dress modestly and tastefully.

This group of young women is appropriately dressed for an interview. Although their varying clothing choices do express some personality, their tops are all age-appropriate and are a great reference point for any teen looking for some interview attire inspiration.

Button-Down With Dark Slacks or Khakis

Young woman with laptop
Boy_Anupong / Moment / Getty Images

While high school job interviews generally don't require formal clothing, it's still important for teens to look well dressed. A  button-down, such as this one, with a tasteful plaid pattern, is a good choice for both young men and women, as it's a look that appears properly put-together, but still relaxed and laid back. Paired with khakis, it's the perfect choice for a first interview.

Polo Shirt With a Skirt or Slacks

Young woman in polo shirt
Gary Connor / Photodisc / Getty Images

A nice polo shirt is a fine choice for a high school job interview, especially if you're applying for a summer job or interviewing in warm weather. Because it's a more casual choice, though, make sure your pants or skirt make up for it. For example, choose khakis, not jeans, or tuck it into a modest-length skirt.

Button-Down With a Sweater and Khakis

Teen in button-down with sweater
Getty Images / Gio Barto
A layered button-down, sweater and khakis is a great option for an interview that might require dressier attire, but not something so formal as a blazer and tie. In fact, this look is a great one to have on hand in the closet, as it's versatile enough that it's appropriate for both casual and formal situations. Plus, having a few different sweaters and button-downs to combine in different ways also means you'll automatically have an effortless selection of multiple interview outfits.

Polo Shirt With Dark Slacks or Khakis

Teenager in library
Jim Craigmyle / Corbis / Getty Images
Polo shirts work for boys, too. Even a "preppy" look, like the one here, bodes well for an interview. Remember to round off the look with something a little dressier, like a pair of pressed khakis, for example. And, both young men and women should take care to avoid sneakers or sandals! In this case, a pair of penny loafers or brown dress shoes would be a great way to finish off the outfit.

Button-Down With a Cardigan

Young woman with cardigan
Getty Images / Jupiter Images
Young women can opt for a button-down, too. Paired with a bright accessory to liven it up - like this orange cardigan, for example - the outfit is classic but contemporary. In this case, navy blue pants provide the finishing touch, but the ensemble would also work well with khaki pants or a skirt, too.

Dress Shirt and Slacks

Teen job interview
Odilon Dimier / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images

A simple dress shirt is the perfect choice for a high school job interview. Paired with khakis, dark slacks, or maybe even tailored darkish jeans, it's a look that is mature and tasteful, but still comfortable. But, without the addition of a tie, a blazer or a sweater, it's important that the shirt be stain-free, ironed and tucked in, so it doesn't look like a random old button-down grabbed last minute from the back of a closet.

A Tie Can Make a Great Impression

Father helping son with tie
Dex Images / Corbis / Getty Images

Just because high school job interviews tend to be more casual, you don't have to rule out a tie! After all, looking a little dressed up never hurt anyone. A solid button-down and conservative striped tie can be a great a choice for a young man looking to make a good impression. You could roll your sleeves to make the outfit feel just a bit more casual, rather than stuffy.

What Not to Wear

Your shoes should be moderate and you should avoid extreme hairstyles or colors. Also, keep makeup and perfume to a minimum. 

​No jeans or shorts, no tank tops, crop tops, or anything especially low cut (shirt or pants) or too short (skirt or blouse) - keeping everything professional is a must.

Read More: Jobs for High School Students | Job Search Tips for High School Students | High School Resumes