We get this question a lot here. 14 year olds, typically in 8th grade or their freshman year of high school, are not exactly known to be the most professional dresses. In some industries, this does not matter. For example, if you are going to be working on a farm or a construction site, you are going to need to wear clothing that protects from the elements while simultaneously being flexible enough to get the work you need to get done. Blue jeans serve the purpose perfectly, as they can be comfortable while still protecting your legs as you get on on off the ground or dirt. However, wearing blue jeans, especially if overly ripped, or baggy, or whitewashed, or whatever other stylistic trend is ‘en vogue’ is likely not appropriate in a job interview scenario.
Here are some does and don’ts for teenagers when thinking about what the wear for that pivotal job interview.
Don’t: Wear what you would normally wear to school
Do: Dress appropriately for the working environment. Are you going to be a greeter at a local bank? Then a shirt and tie for men or a blouse or dress slacks for women is appropriate. Are you going to be working at a local, healthy, fast food restaurant? Nice, clean jeans and a tucked in polo shirt (in DARK colors so it does not show food spills! Standard rookie mistake) should do just fine.
Don’t: Wear athletic shoes or trainers, especially not untied.
Do: Wear black or brown dress shoes that match whatever belt you are wearing. They don’t need to be extremely nice dress shoes, but at Nordstrom Rack or Zappos other type places you can find decent, rubber soled dress shoes on sale for under $40, and they should last you through high school dances as well.
OH AND NEVER WEAR FLIP FLOPS OR OTHER OPEN TOED SHOES (MEN). Women, if in nice high heels, can get away with open toe, but it is not recommended, as it will likely look a bit showy on teenagers.
Don’t: Leave your shirt untucked
Do: TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT! This is one of the most simple ways to dress up whatever you’re wearing, not look sloppy, and be respectful to whomever is considering paying you money.
Don’t: Show off your piercings
Do: Remove those, which can be removed. If you have facial piercings besides your ears, you should remove them for the interview (if you can) and let the person interviewing you know that you would like to wear understated jewelry there if possible. Asking is a great way to show you are respectful.