What To Wear To a Job Interview As a Teenager in Canada?

If you’re a teen due for a job interview, you’re probably stressing yourself out before walking through the door (or joining the Zoom meeting) How should you behave? How should you talk? And what to wear to a job interview as a teenager?

If you agree that a suit is too much, I’ve compiled a list of great outfits that are neither too casual nor too formal, which are sure to leave an impression on the interviewer. 

Check them out!

What To Wear To a Job Interview as a Teenager in Canada?

Part-time and seasonal job opportunities are popular among teenagers in Canada. Aside from helping you gain professional skills, it’s also a good way to earn some money.

First impressions matter so here are the most professional teenage outfits for interviews.

Business Casual Teenage Girl Attire

Let’s go over some typically accepted interview outfits for girls.

Button-Down White Shirt

This outfit gives the impression of being professional and put-together. It’s conservative and not too revealing, decent-looking, and relatively comfortable to wear.

Plus, it’s super easy to combine, meaning that dozens of formal outfits for a teenage girl can be pulled off with a single shirt.

Blazer

While teenage girls may be too young to wear a blazer as part of their everyday attire, they can definitely wear one during a job interview.

It helps you look smart, experienced, and able to contribute to the company.

You may find this relevant: 17 Best Canadian Clothing Brands

Suit Pants

It might not be common for a teenage girl to dress in dress pants, but it’s positive in the eyes of employers. It tells you’re dressing to impress, and that you’ve entered adulthood, despite your age.

However, this one depends on the job position. If you’re looking to score a summer bear bar job, this might be a bit too much.

Flat Shoes

Heels are a bit off-putting when worn by a 15-year-old girl. That’s why you should always opt for flat shoes. 

That said, you should also avoid sports sneakers. Ideally, look for some neutrally-colored loafers.

Casual Job Interview Outfit For Boys

Now let’s dress the boys.

Button-Down Shirt and Khakis

Remember the thing about button-down shirts? That’s also true when it comes to boys as well.

A nice shirt, paired with khakis, can leave a great impression on your potential employers. It shows stability, maturity, and willingness to provide efficiency.

Polo T-Shirt With Dark Slacks

A polo shirt is a perfect business yet casual teenager attire. You can purchase it in almost every store around Canada, and it is one of the most popular pieces of man clothing out there. 

Polo t-shirts go well with practically anything, but when it comes to job interviews, it’s best to pair them with black or dark slacks to appear more serious.

Sweater and Khakis

Sweaters are considered to be formal-casual attire, something an adult would wear at work. That said, you can grab a sweater and combine it with khakis to look presentable.

What is more, sweaters are super comfortable and keep you warm, so it’s a win-win situation, eh?

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What To Avoid Wearing To a Job Interview as a Teenager?

What to wear or not to wear to a job interview as a teenager in Canada generally depends on the position you’re applying for.

If you’re applying for seasonal jobs like a lifeguard, or a skiing instructor, your clothing should suit the occasion, so definitely no suits.

However, if you’re applying for a job in the retail or hospitality businesses, let’s say, you should look more professional – but not too formal at the same time.

That being cleared, here’s our list of job interview outfits for teens to avoid.

You may be interested: Highest Paid Jobs in Canada

Clothing That is Too Big or Too Small

While they may be perfectly fine for a walk in the park, baggy clothes will make you look disrespectful when it comes to job interviews.

Simultaneously, wearing clothes that barely cover your body is also a big no. Try to find clothes that fit just right in order to appear professional and put-together.

Ripped Clothing

Ripped clothes can make you look sloppy and careless, which is how adults typically perceive teenagers, so you definitely want to avoid that.

Save your ripped clothes for the club and buy normal clothes for your job interview.

Athletic Attire

Teenagers who show up in athletic clothing at a job interview send the signal that they’re not ready to step into the responsibilities of adulthood, except if they’re applying for the position of a gym instructor.

You can still put on a casual outfit for the interview, but try to avoid leggings, sports bras, windbreakers and gym shorts.

Open-Toed Shoes and Sandals

If you’re not applying for a summer job at a local surf bar, open-toed shoes are usually considered to be a bit off-putting.

If you’re a girl, look for some loafers or neutral-colored sneakers, and if you’re a boy, go for white sneakers or dress shoes.

Shorts and Skirts

Skirts are usually considered typical formal attire, however, when I say skirts, I mean knee-long skirts, as opposed to mini skirts, which are a big no when it comes to job interviews or professional attire in general.

As for boys, steer away from shorts and always pick long trousers if you want to leave a good impression.

Stained or Wrinkled Clothing 

This one is a bit self-explanatory, but your clothing has to be clean. 

Even if you purchased something at the thrift shop, a clean outfit is the number one priority. So make sure that your perfect casual or professional interview outfits are ironed and washed a day prior to the interview.

Low-Cut Shirts

Aside from sending mixed signals, wearing V-neck shirts and a deep cleavage can be distracting for both you and the interviewer.

Note that sometimes companies do not oppose a strict dress code that prohibits you from wearing low-cut shirts, however, it’s generally best to err on the side of caution.

Hats and Caps

Hats and caps should be worn to keep the sun out of your eyes and protect you from heat. 

This being said, hats and caps might be part of a summer job interview outfit, but definitely not an accessory that speaks positively about your level of maturity and professionalism.

Hoodies

Avoid wearing hooded clothing or any garment that you put on with the hood up. Wearing a hood indicates that you somehow want to avoid being seen, which may make you appear disinterested in your job or the interviewer.

Furthermore, this typical street style is too casual for an interview and looks way too lazy to be part of a business interview attire.

T-Shirts With Stickers Or Applications 

Though graphic tees are an everlasting trend, they are much more suitable for casual occasions. Opting for a t-shirt with an application for a job interview may come across as unprofessional.

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Mismatched Bright Colours

While wearing loud colours certainly does grab attention, avoid them at job interviews. Even if you’re dressed properly, wearing bold and mismatched colours can be distracting. 

Usually, business casual attire consists of shades of navy, white, black, blue, or brown. Incorporate them in your outfit for a perfect touch of colour and a good first impression.

Heavy Makeup

If you’re aiming to look professional, save the glam makeup looks for your next night out. Minimal makeup is the right move for your job interview, as it will highlight your best features just enough without distracting your interviewer. 

Likewise, a neat and freshly shaved look will certainly get you some bonus points. 

Too Much Perfume or Cologne

Smelling good will surely leave a positive impression on your interviewer. Nevertheless, highly potent perfumes might have the opposite effect. 

Notes of jasmine, water lily, or lemon tree make the best day scent, perfectly complementing your overall look. As for men’s perfumes, softly scented colognes with a minty scent work best. 

Accessories Overload

Accessorizing is an essential part of every outfit. But when it comes to interview attire, less is more. A dainty bracelet and necklace, small hoops or studs, and thin rings are acceptable, as long as your jewelry is subtle and practical.

Unusual Grooming Choices

Even though more and more workplaces have accepted trends like tattoos or vibrant hair colours, some employers still consider these choices unprofessional. 

Additional Tips To Consider When Dressing For An Interview 

Finally, I prepared some additional advice for teenage job-seekers looking for interview tips:

Research the Company’s Dress Code 

Many companies are transparent about their dress code policies and publish them on their websites. Plus, you can check out some company photos to see how employees dress and choose your outfit accordingly.

Wear Clothes You Feel Comfortable In 

Wearing comfortable clothes can significantly boost your confidence during interviews, as well as eliminate any discomfort you may feel from wearing new shoes or an ill-fitted shirt.

Dress According to the Role 

Different jobs have different responsibilities, and with them, distinct dress codes. For instance, a button-down shirt and slacks are perfect for an office job, whereas a summer student job allows for a more casual style.

Finishing Thoughts

If you’re looking to save a dime or simply want to help your parents carry the burden of raising a child in Canada, getting a job is an excellent idea.

However, aside from your skills, your appearance can be a crucial element in landing your dream job. Follow these tips, and you’ll definitely be one step closer to a great career start.

FAQ

What Should a 16-Year-Old Bring To A Job Interview?

Looking and feeling confident is the key to any interview. You can achieve a sharp, confident look by avoiding too much jewellery, makeup and bright-coloured clothes.

What Should I Wear To a High School Interview?

For a high school interview, swap out casual attire with business casual for a sharp look. Ladies can go for a skirt paired with a shirt or a cardigan, while dress pants with a shirt or sweater are a great choice for the boys.

What To Bring To An Interview as a Teenager?

Looking sharp and professional and bringing a positive attitude is crucial. If you were wondering what to wear to a job interview as a teenager in Canada – aim for business casual instead of simply casual.

What to Wear To a McDonald’s Interview?

According to McDonald’s dress code and recommendations, trousers or dress pants, and a collar tie or a polo shirt are acceptable to wear during the first interview.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Mila is an English literature student and a devoted animal's rights advocate. Despite her love for the written word, she's a keen observer of the everyday world and an excellent researcher with a bright and fresh perspective. When she's not doing research, you're most likely to find her out for a walk with her dog or binge-watching a TV show.

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