Job Interview Tips for Teens

The Interview is Just the Beginning - But Many Teens Are Better At Testing Than Talking

Many teens have no idea what to expect when they interview for a job.  They are used to taking exams and doing homework ... but not prepared to answer questions and tell other people about their skills.
Many teens have no idea what to expect when they interview for a job. They are used to taking exams and doing homework ... but not prepared to answer questions and tell other people about their skills. | Source

Helping Your Teen with Their First Job Interview

When you get that first phone call or letter from a potential employer, with the offer of a job interview, it can be one of the most exciting events that a teen will experience, especially as they begin to think about all the ways they are going to enjoy the extra money. However, an interview is not a guarantee of a job, and teens need to put aside their hopes for new clothing or owning their own car, while they concentrate on doing everything they can to actually get the job!

Teens need to know that they can never assume that getting an interview is the same as getting the job. They need to prepare for the interview with as much concentration and attention as they would for an important exam. Here is some advice that parents may want to pass on to their teenagers before they go on that first interview.

How to Make a Good Impression

This is your opportunity to make a good impression on the manager or Human Resources person who could be deciding your future career! After the initial excitement wears off, you may suddenly begin to panic. Since you are new at this, you may not have had a lot of experience with interviewing. How are you going to stand out from the other applicants? What do you need to do in order to make a positive first impression?

When you are going on a job interview, good grooming is essential. This means that you should shower, brush your teeth, have your hair in a conservative hairstyle and clean your fingernails. If you really want the job, a job interview is not the time to sport a Mohawk or other faddish hairdo. Use deodorant, but little or no perfume or aftershave. You don't want the interviewer wishing that he could open his office windows! Your clothing should be clean, unwrinkled, conservative, and nicer than you expect to wear to work. For example, even if you are interviewing for a position stocking grocery store shelves, or as an outdoor youth director, do not wear blue jeans to the interview. If you are a man, wear nice slacks and a tucked-in shirt. If you are a woman, you should also wear tailored slacks, a conservative skirt and blouse, or a nice dress. Do not wear a low-cut or sleeveless blouse.

Getting Prepared for the Job Interview

Next, you will want to prepare for your job interview by making certain that you have everything you need with you. This will help you seem organized and efficient. You should bring your materials in a small notebook or portfolio. Among the items that you will need to have with you are a driver's license, social security card, a work permit (if you are still in high school), and a copy of your resume. Even if you are required to complete the company's own application, having your resume with you will make it easier for you to remember past employers, dates worked, the names and phone numbers of references, graduation dates, relevant classes you have taken and other important information.

If this is your first job and you don't have much information to put on your resume, be sure to include volunteer commitments and club positions you have held. Including things such as babysitting jobs, helping in the church nursery, volunteering with youth sports, or serving as treasurer of a club, because these are all ways to show that you are responsible and reliable. You can also use adult sponsors or supervisors as references that potential employers can call. Be sure to ask permission, though, before using anyone as a reference. That way, they will know they may be receiving calls about you.

Once you have created a resume, take it with you to interviews. It is amazing how much you can forget if you are nervous. If your resume contains more information than is asked on the company application, be prepared to leave an extra copy of your resume with the interviewer. Also be sure you bring your own pen.

If you are applying for a position that requires special skills, you may wish to bring some small samples of your work. For example, if you will be doing computer work for the company, a printed copy of a website you designed, or some graphic art designs you created will certainly impress them.

In addition, you can prepare for your job interview by learning a little about the company where you are interviewing. If you know someone who already works there, ask them about their job. Do an internet search and discover what products or services the company provides, and find out all you can about the type of work you may be asked to do. This will make it easier for you to talk about the job and the company during the job interview, and will help you to know what skills you have that you might want to mention to the interviewer.

Don’t forget that the interviewer may ask you if you have any questions. Do NOT ask them about when you can take a vacation, or anything else that may make it seem as though you are only interested in getting lots of days off. Instead, ask them about the training you will receive, duties you will have, and opportunities for advancement. When a teen asks these types of mature questions, it is likely to impress the interviewer.

You will also want to be prepared to tell the interviewer a little about yourself, including your interests, hobbies and your favorite classes in school. Most important of all, look confident and wear a smile!

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Comments 20 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Very useful tips; a few weeks ago I wrote on this subject so obviously I think you are right on with your suggestions. :) Great minds think alike!


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Thanks for your comments. There is actually a link to related articles at the bottom of mine, so hopefully people will read more than one article on the topic of teen interviews. I work with high school students who are often going on their first job interviews, and we spend a lot of time discussing it with them. I thought parents would like some info, too. You're right ... great minds think alike!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Some good advice for everyone, not just teens! You'd be surprised how many people actually take calls on their cell phones during a job interview.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

It is shocking how casual people have become about everything, including their job interviews. And then they are surprised when they don't get the job! Thanks for stopping by.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Good information. Our teens worked from the time they were 15. I always believed it helped them. Voted up.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

I agree that it is a good experience for teens to work. It helps them to become mature, capable adults.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Going to share this hub with my followers because graduation is just around the corner for high-school and college seniors and this may give them some direction in how to go about landing that first real job.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Thank you for promoting this article to new college graduates. Many of them are not well-prepared for going on their first job interview. In addition, teenagers who are looking for their first summer job would benefit from getting a few interview tips, too. Thanks for sharing this with anyone who may be looking for a job.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Sharing this hub again because it is interview season with people graduating, and I think this hub has good advice not only for teenagers looking for summer work, but for anyone hoping to land a job.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Thanks for sharing this article on job interview tips. This is the time of year when many people will be out looking for jobs and we all want to get an edge wherever we can.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

This is another great hub that can be so helpful to not only first time job seekers, but adults who are looking for a job too. Even though I visited this hub and found it especially useful just a few weeks ago, I am back, this time to pin it to my "Employment" board. I would have done that the last time except that I have only just set up a new Pinterest account a week ago. Sharing again with my followers also.

I'm not sure why, but your photos usually will not upload to Pinterest, and of course the greatest benefit from Pinterest is visual appeal. Maybe because they are not attributed as required? I don't know the reason, but you might look into it and see if you can resolve it so that you can benefit as much as possible from all of us pinning your wonderful articles. Pinterest can bring a lot of traffic.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Thank you for uploading this article to your Employment board. I hope this information can help some of the millions of people who do not have jobs.

Thank you so much for letting me know that my photos are not uploading properly on Pinterest. I will have to look into it and see what I can do to improve them.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Thought I would come back and share this hub. Full of good information for teens.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Hard to believe when we are in the throws of winter, but summer will be here in no time and that is when so many teens go out looking for jobs to earn a little money. Now is a good time to start planning their strategy for getting a job -- maybe their first job. Interviews are one of the most stressful and difficult parts of landing a job, so I hope teens and their parents will read this article and get some good ideas about now to go about doing these things. Voted up and sharing again. Also pinning to my 'Employment & Unemployment' board.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Sharing this again because now really is the time for young people and teenagers to be thinking about applying for summer jobs and planning their strategies.


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

You have shared some good tips that are also beneficial for adults as well.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California Author

These tips are geared towards teens, but they will also help adults, especially if they are nervous about their interviewing skills.


ezzly profile image

ezzly 22 months ago

Very useful article to show teenagers at a time when it's so important for them to have the edge! Sharing on twitter


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 22 months ago from Orange County, California Author

So many young people have no idea how to behave on a job interview. I hope this article will get them started on the right path.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 19 months ago from Orange County, California Author

This is the time of year when many teens are looking for a job. With a little research, teens can give themselves a big advantage over their peers.

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    Deborah-Diane295 Followers
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    Deborah is the mother of four grown daughters, seven grandchildren, a retired educator, and former Girl Scout leader and school volunteer.



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