General Interview Tips

Be Courteous and Professional

When talking to the hiring manager or interviewer, use the phrases “yes ma’am” or “yes sir” until the interviewer asks you to call them by their name. Many young people miss this essential step and therefore create a poor first impression.

Dress Like You Mean Business

Again, you want to dress professionally. If you are ever in doubt about what to wear, make sure you wear a shirt and tie with your slacks if you are a guy or a modest-looking dress if you are a girl. If the place is more casual, again, you can probably get by with khaki pants or professional-looking skirt and button-down shirt. If you are going to err, it is better to overdress as it sends the message to the interviewer that you are serious about getting work.

Look Up Basic Information about the Hiring Company

Before you go into an interview, take about ten minutes to review some basic information about the company. This can be done through a visit to your local library or a Google search. Find out what the company does and what you will do on the job. Do this before a job interview as it will help you to ask more educated questions and will also show the employer that you took out time to prepare.

What to Ask and What Not to Ask

Remember, too, that you need to interview the employer too. Find out by asking more about the responsibilities of the job and the company’s background. Never, on a first interview, ask about how much you will make or if you will receive bonuses or sick leave. You can ask these kinds of questions once you get past the initial interview.

Practice Interviewing for the Job

In order to practice for interviewing, ask your Dad or Mom to help you. That way you can go through a “test” interview before proceeding with the real thing. Take time to think about questions that are often asked during an interview and think about what your answers will be.  After all, if you find it hard to articulate well about a certain topic, it is better to know beforehand rather than finding out on the interview itself.

Show What You Have Done and How It Can be Applied on the Job

Focus on your past experience or use what you have learned in life so far to show you have what it takes to do a stellar job. For example, demonstrate to the interviewer that you have been involved in situations where you had to work as part of a team or had to accomplish a certain objective or goal. Use what you have done and show how it can be applied to the current job opening.

Use a Parent or Teacher as a Reference

Finally, use your parents or a teacher as a reference. By doing so, you also will demonstrate to employers that you get along well with people and show them the proper respect. Present yourself to the employer or anyone from whom you are requesting work in the same way you would want an applicant to appear at your door.

Make Sure You are On Time

Also, be punctual. Show the employer you can be depended on to get to work on time. Follow up with an email to the employer to thank him for his time and invite him to contact you by email or phone with any questions he may have regarding your experience or skills.

Use Your Resources and Make the Most of Them

The key to getting any kind of job when you are 11 to 15 years old is to be respectful, punctual, well-dressed and dedicated to sharpening your skills. Have some type of resume to leave behind after the interview. You have a lot of opportunity to excel at this time in life. Use what is available to you and make the most of it.

Interviewing Tips for 16 to 19 Year Olds

What You Need to Do to Prepare for the Interview

Even experienced job seekers can find it hard to interview. Therefore, don’t feel anxious about the process if you are trying to find work and must interview for a job. Regardless of whether the job is for retail work or restaurant employment, the basics still apply. Just remember that showing respect, dressing professionally and knowing something about a hiring company can help you immensely during the interview process. Many young job seekers miss these important points and fail to get hired as a result.

Shake the Interviewer’s Hand and Smile

When speaking to the interviewer, make sure you show the proper respect. Shake the interviewer’s hand firmly (not too tight, mind you) and smile. Say something like “Nice to meet you.” Then wait until he requests you to sit down. Use the phrases, “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” until the manager asks you to use his or her name.

Keep Jewelry to a Minimum

Professional dress for most guys includes a shirt and tie with khakis or slacks and a tailored skirt or slacks with button-down blouse for ladies. Don’t worry about dressing too formally. It is better to make this “mistake” rather than dressing more casually. Keep the jewelry to a minimum and make sure that any tattoos are hidden from view. Jewelry should consist of a watch or simple necklace or bracelet. Don’t wear a style that is too elaborate. The idea is for the manager to focus on your skills and not on your accessories.

Perform a Google Search

Before leaving for an interview, take some time to do a Google search on the hiring company. Find out the company’s business and what your job will entail. By taking this kind of action, you will be able to ask questions that are more relevant to both the job and the company itself.

Practice Makes Perfect

During the interview process, you can ask questions about the responsibilities of the job and the operations of the company. Never ask questions about what you will make for a salary or inquire about sick leave or holiday pay. You can ask these questions if you are invited to come back for a second interview. In order to make sure you interview correctly, practice interviewing at home with Mom or Dad or test your interviewing skills with a friend.

Talking about Yourself – What You Need to Say

One of the questions that is often asked during an interview is: “Can you tell more about yourself?” While this question seems basic if not simple enough, the answer might be difficult to convey if you are not prepared for it.

This is the time to show the interviewer how certain acquired skills can be applied on the job. For example, you might tell him about working on a school play and the skills you needed in this area. Maybe you are part of the athletics program at our school or you work on the school newspaper. Show how certain experiences and skills can be transferred on the job.

Relating What You Know about the Job and Business

Another question sometimes asked – “Do you know anything about our business?” This is where you can use the information you used during your Google search and talk about what you have gleaned.

Contemplate the Future – Show How You Can Benefit the Company

The employer may also ask what you would like to see yourself doing five years from now. Maybe you would like to work as a manager in 5 years. Maybe you plan to go to college and want to use the job to supplement your education. Think about this question – contemplate on it for a while as the response is important. It shows the employer how he can benefit from hiring you.

Some Challenging Questions to Review

Some of the questions that you need to think about include the following –

–Are you able to work under pressure?

–Can you describe a problem that was challenging and how you handled it?

–Why do you want to work here?

–What would you say are your strongest accomplishments?(Go over the achievements you have made at home and at school)

–What do you consider your biggest weaknesses?

–How do you handle criticism?

–What are some of the things that bother you?

–How do you get along with different personalities?

–Do you like working on your own or with others?

–What motivates you in a job?

Make Sure You are Applying for a Job that Fits Your Personality or Interests

The whole idea in answering these questions is to be truthful, yet positive.

You can use the experiences you have gained in your academic and sports life as well as the skillset you have honed by taking part in extracurricular activities. In order to answer the above questions, you need to make sure that the jobs for which you are interviewing fit your temperament and personality.

For instance, saying that you prefer to work on your own rather than with others might not work out well if you are applying for a job as a waiter. However, if you say you like working on your own as well as with others is a much better response. Show how this type of temperament can be applied on the job as both abilities are needed in order to work in a restaurant.

As you can see, it takes some due diligence to figure out what may be asked and how to respond with an answer that will make an employer think of you as an employee rather than an applicant. Therefore, during the interviewing process, think about the things you have accomplished in and outside of school and how the experiences can be used on the job.

Obtain References from a Teacher or Your Parents if You Have Not Previously Worked

You don’t have to have previous job experience to get a job. You can also make use of the experience, knowledge and social skills you’ve acquired from being in school. If you lack job references, use the reference of a school guidance counselor, your parents or a teacher.

Arrive Early to the Interview

One way to make a good impression before you even begin interviewing is to make sure that you arrive on time. Punctuality is a trait that is never taken for granted by an employer. It won’t do you much good to have terrific skills and to look professional if you arrive for the interview 5 minutes late. Instead, always make sure you arrive about 15 minutes before the interview appointment.

Dress and Behave Professionally

The whole key to interviewing for a job when you are 16 to 19 years old is convey yourself in the best light possible. That means dressing professionally, being punctual and taking what you already know and showing how it can be used on the job. Knowing something about the company and understanding a job’s responsibilities will make interviewing an easier process too.

How to Answer Questions – Take a Positive Stance

When answering questions, you want to remain positive. For example, if you are asked about your weaknesses, you don’t have to come right out and say you are deficient in a certain area. Instead, answer in the positive. For example, you might say, “I have the ability to work proficiently and fast. However, because I can get things done quickly and without difficulty, I may become a little impatient if things are not running as smoothly as I anticipate. Nevertheless, I understand that not everyone has the same skillset. Therefore, I have learned to practice patience when I feel this way.”

Maintain a Good Attitude

Of course, you don’t have to give as lengthy of answer but the above response shows you how you can benefit by remaining positive even if the interviewer is asking you about negative traits.

To get a job and keep a job, you have to have a good attitude. When you focus on this requirement, your interview will be more positively-focused and successful.