Job interviews can be a tedious and nerve-wrenching encounter for many teenagers. Even for those with previous work experience, the whole interaction is still quite new and unfamiliar. However, when armed with the appropriate knowledge and with proper preparation taken, the interview can be a breeze.
First and foremost, plan ahead. Prepare yourself to answer a plethora of seemingly pointless questions.
In every interview I have had, the employer has always asked one particular question in some form or another: “So, tell me, why we should hire you?” You must convince the employer that you will be the best choice above all the other applicants. Be confident, but not egotistical and cocky. List the qualities and traits you possess that an employer would look for. No matter what job you are applying for, every employer is looking for a reliable employee who will work hard, show up on time, and not goof off; maturity is a must. Moreover, many interviews involve paperwork to some extent. Though it may not be necessary, bring a pen, it shows that you have come prepared and are serious about the job.
Dress appropriately. For job interviews in retail, food service, etc., it is not necessary to dress as formal as you would for prom, church, or other similar events. Just remove your hat, comb your hair, and clean up a bit. Dress in something nice but do not overdo it. For example, guys might want to wear a clean, wrinkle-free polo shirt and a pair of khakis. Avoid t-shirts and any clothing article that might be offensive. Sure, that heavy metal shirt may be the coolest thing in the school, but it is highly inappropriate for a job interview.
When you are being interviewed, make sure to be respectful and mind your manners; etiquette is essential. Do not walk in and spout out the latest street slang to your potential employer. You must present yourself as an intelligent, mature individual and informal speech will not be well-received and may, in fact, cost you the job. Say “yes sir, no sir” and “yes ma’am, no ma’am” when asked questions. But above all, be genuine; be yourself, be polite.
Just remember, jobs available for teenagers are a dime a dozen, so even if you do not get the job you want, do not let it get you down, it is not the end of the world. Put out as many applications as possible and you are bound to get a hit eventually. Make sure to follow up once you have applied. Wait a few days then call the employer and check on the status of your application. This shows you are interested in the job and will greatly increase your chances of employment. But above all, do not worry and fret over it all too much. Just take the appropriate preparations, dress in decent clothes, mind your manners, be yourself, and you will do fine.
Best of luck,
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