What to Wear to an Interview for a Summer Job

Are you interviewing for a summer job? Whether you are interviewing for an office job or camp counselor position, you should always look well groomed and neatly dressed for an interview. 

Even though these jobs are short-term in nature, interviewers will still be looking for applicants who are professional and responsible. What you wear to an interview helps show that you have those qualities. 

Here's what to wear for a summer job interview, including interview attire for male and female job applicants, how to accessorize, and what to bring with you. 

Female Summer Job Interview Attire

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Women should wear nice pants (khakis or dress pants) and a blouse. Dresses and skirts are also appropriate and will help keep you cool, but they should be knee-length. The outfit should be free of wrinkles and any rips or holes.

It is acceptable to wear a sleeveless blouse, but the shoulder-width should be at least one inch; avoid spaghetti straps or tops that show your bra straps. Also, stay away from blouses that are tight, sheer, or low-cut.

Some employers, especially in resort communities or for jobs at parks and amusement parks, will allow you to wear shorts, particularly khaki or linen shorts. However, unless you are absolutely certain the employer will not mind you wearing shorts, stick with pants, a dress, or skirt for your interview.

Accessories: Keep accessories in moderation: limit your perfume, makeup, and jewelry. Keep your hair neat as well. 

Shoes: Wear closed-toe shoes that are not sneakers; heels are fine as long as they are not very high. 

Male Summer Job Interview Attire

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Young men do not have to wear a tie to a job interview, but should still dress professionally.

Shirt: A button-down shirt, khakis, and a belt are appropriate, as is a collared t-shirt.

Pants: Some employers, typically when interviewing for casual summer jobs at a resort or park, for example, will allow you to wear shorts; however, many men’s shorts are somewhat baggy and inappropriate for the workspace. Khaki and linen shorts are more professional than cargo shorts and denim shorts and are therefore more appropriate for interviews. Unless you are absolutely certain the employer will not mind you wearing shorts, stick with khaki pants or men’s dress pants.

Make sure your pants and shirt are wrinkle-free, and that your shirt is tucked into your pants. Your pants and shirt should not be too baggy or too tight and should be free of holes.

Shoes: Wear closed-toe shoes that are not sneakers, such as dress shoes or boat shoes. You should also leave the baseball cap at home; caps are considered unprofessional. 

What Not to Wear to an Interview for a Summer Job

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 Your interview outfit should not be sloppy or unprofessional, even if you'll be wearing more casual clothing if you land the job. Dress to impress! 

On your interview day, you should avoid wearing denim, t-shirts, open-toed shoes or sandals, and anything that's wrinkled, stained, or dirty. Similarly, stay away from outfits that include athletic-wear, such as leggings, yoga pants, sports jerseys, or sweatshirts. Keep makeup, perfume, and accessories low-key.  

If you are stopping by a restaurant or storefront to ask for an application, you should follow these same outfit guidelines. Given the speeded-up timeline that accompanies the summer job application process, it's possible that you'll wind up interviewing on the spot.  

Here is more advice on what not to wear

What to Bring to a Summer Job Interview

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There are some items that you will need to bring with you to your interview. If you have a resume, bring a copy of it. Otherwise, bring a list of the information you supplied when you filled out the job application. You will need to know your employment history details if you have worked before.

Bring a list of references of people who can recommend you for the job. Before you put someone down as a reference, check that the person is comfortable recommending you. 

Also, bring a notepad and pen, so you can jot down questions you have for the interviewer and takeaways you want to remember after the interview.

Ask for a business card or write down your interviewer's name so you can send a thank you letter, note or email message when you get back home.