Many businesses are eager to hire teenagers, particularly for seasonal and part-time work. Waitresses, baristas, construction workers, customer assistants, call center operators, nannies, cashiers, and fruit pickers are among the most popular positions for teenagers. In my experience, companies and recruitment agencies hire teenagers in two ways:
- You must pass the same interview as everyone else, regardless of whether they are ten or twenty years your senior. In this case, you should go to Interview Questions for Various Job Titles, select your position from the list, and begin reading.
- The interview has been greatly streamlined. You will be asked only a few simple questions (which we will examine in this article), and they will quickly move on to orientation or a test day so that you can begin working immediately and they can observe you in action (which is, after all, the best test of your skills).
Nonverbal communication – make or break the deal
Almost all jobs for teenagers are entry-level positions. They do not expect you to be knowledgeable; rather, they intend to instruct you on how to perform your duties. What they do anticipate, however, is your eagerness to learn, enthusiasm for the position, drive to work hard, and interest in their business and success.
What you say is essential, but how you say it is indispensable. Speak with zeal, ask pertinent questions, and inject some positive energy into the room. These factors are crucial to your success, and you should not overlook them. If you want to be successful and land your first job, you must think positively. Let’s examine the questions they might ask you simply because you are a teen.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Your resume is fairly basic, or you may not have one at all. They are interested in your identity as a person and will inquire about it. You can begin with your educational background and extracurricular activities, especially if they are relevant to the job you want. For instance, if you apply for a job at Gamestop, your hobby of playing video games will be viewed favorably (which is typically not the case:).
Perform any sports? They aid in stamina and strength, which may be required when working in the fields or on a construction site. There will almost always be a connection to your hobbies. Just give it some thought and prepare a good response.
What are your advantages and disadvantages?
This question will not be asked in professional interviews, but you may encounter it when applying for an entry-level job as a teenager. The key is to choose strengths that are (at least in some way) relevant to the desired position.
Using the same reasoning, you should choose weaknesses that will not hinder you in your new position. Check out our article on the Weakness Interview Question for sample responses for a variety of positions.
How do you feel about eight or twelve hour workdays? Do you have professional experience?
Employers attempt to determine whether you have fundamental work habits and are not afraid of working for more than two hours. There are certain laws and regulations, but they vary from country to country. In some countries, teens are permitted to work only three or four hours per day, while in others, they can work as much as they want. Review this prior to your interview.
You should include any information that demonstrates your employment readiness. Even if you worked eight hours every Saturday with your uncle on the construction of his home, it is important to note this. You can also emphasize that you carefully read the job description, understand what is expected of you, and would not apply if you were not up to the task.
How would you describe a typical workday?
The key is to demonstrate that you do not anticipate an easy ride and are willing to work hard. I observe numerous teenage employees, including waitresses and store clerks, who spend the majority of their days texting on What’s up or Facebook rather than actively serving customers. They will not remove their eyes from the screen of their smart phone or their bottom from the chair unless I ask them to.
These employees are a waste of money and will soon be let go (unless the employer have no other option, since nobody else applies for the job, and they have to keep them onboard).
Regardless, you should adopt an entirely new approach to your work. Do you seek employment in a fashion store? Imagine that you are walking through the lobby, asking customers if they need assistance, giving them advice, etc.
Applying for a nanny position? Imagine playing with the child, giving him or her your undivided attention, and developing a meaningful schedule for the child from morning to night. I hope you understand and can provide an excellent response to this question…
How long do you intend to hold this position?
The greatest issue with teen employment is the high rate of fluctuation. Since most adolescents still reside with their parents and do not have to pay bills (lucky you! ), their commitment is not particularly strong.
Frequently, they will leave after a first disagreement with the boss, or even for no apparent reason. Clearly, this is detrimental to the employer, so you should attempt to persuade your interviewer that you are an exception to the rule.
The most effective method is to describe the role your new job will play in your life. For instance, if you are a high school student (which you probably are), you can say that you are trying to save money for college and want to keep this job while you are still in high school.
Or you can mention a specific goal you have, such as buying a new car or paying for your grandmother’s eye surgery, and say that you intend to keep the job for a long time in order to achieve that goal…
When are you available? Which days and hours are available?
Try to exhibit some adaptability. They should not believe that your new job will be your last priority — after school, sport club, gaming club, boyfriend/girlfriend, and everything else to which you devote time.
Obviously, school should take precedence over everything else, but you can say that unless you are in class or preparing for the next day, your new job is your top priority and you are willing to sacrifice some of your free time activities to be available for your employer. You can also specify the days and hours you are available.
Additional questions for teen interviews
- What inspires you most to work?
- How would your closest companion describe you?
- In five years’ time, where do you see yourself?
- What salary do you anticipate?
- Do you have a life-guiding figure?
- What are your knowledge of our business?
- Describe a recent accomplishment and the means by which it was accomplished.
- Why should we employ you as opposed to someone else?
Conclusion and next steps
Teenage interviews are typically much simpler than standard job interviews. There will be no behavioral questions or tests, and the standards are low. The most important thing is to demonstrate a willingness to learn, motivation, enthusiasm, and comprehension of the position and your role within the organization. They will hire you once they observe these traits in you and when you answer their questions (rather than remaining silent).
Other Interview Questions and Answers You’ll Want to See
How to Answer ‘What Are Your Salary Expectations?’
Why do you feel you are qualified for this position?
How To Describe Your Personality at Interviews
What makes you stand out from the other candidates?
Interview Question: “Are You a Team Player?” Sample Answers
6 Ways to Answer “What Are Your Career Aspirations?”
How to Answer “Why Did You Choose This College?”
18 Common Phone Interview Questions & Answers