Job Interview Tips for Teens
The Interview is Just the Beginning - But Many Teens Are Better At Testing Than Talking
Helping Your Teen with Their First Job Interview
When your teen receive 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 a young person 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 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 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 you should shower, brush your teeth, have your hair brushed in a conservative hairstyle and clean your fingernails. If you really want the job, a job interview is not the time to sport unusual hair colors or a faddish hairdo. Use deodorant, but little or no perfume or aftershave. You don't want the interviewer wishing he or she 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
After taking care of your grooming, 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 you will need to have with you are a driver's license or ID, 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. Include experience 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 other people believe 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 requested 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 which 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 which 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 which may make it seem as though you are only interested in taking time 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!