Interview Tips for Teens
Your first, or any, job or internship interview can be daunting. But with preparation, you can feel confident in your ability to tackle the interview head-on!
5 Interview Tips for Teens
We asked WTT Insiders what questions they had about job interviews and if they had any advice for other teens who are nervous about interviewing.
Check out these 5 tips from WTT Insiders to help you prepare for your upcoming interview.
1. Dress for the Job
The appearance you present to interviewers is important. Dressing to impress is NOT just a phrase. It’s a genuine tip to follow through with, as this is the first impression interviewers get from you.” - Ava, 18
This one may seem simple, but always make sure to dress appropriately for an upcoming interview. Whether it be virtual or in-person, make sure you look your best. Show the interviewer that you care about the opportunity by the way you present yourself. What you wear is a part of that important first impression in an interview.
Remember, it is better to be slightly overdressed, than even partially underdressed.” - Noah, 16
2. Do Your Research
I just had a virtual interview and I think it’s really important to just get your nerves out of the way and be prepared for any questions they might ask by doing research.” - Aiden, 17
Ease your nerves for an upcoming job interview by researching the company or organization beforehand. Review materials such as the company website, their social media, press releases, and news articles related to the company to learn about their values, work environment, and expectations for the open position. You do not need to become an expert, but learning more about the job and the company will help you answer questions in your interview and show the interviewer that you care about the position and are interested in working for the company.
Know a friend or mentor who has experience with successful job interviews or has a job currently? Reach out to them for advice on the process.
Check out these other useful resources for beginning your career:
- How to Write a Resume, We Think Twice
- Career & Education Toolkit, Youth Engaged 4 Change
- Career OneStop - Research Employer, U.S. Department of Labor
- Young Worker Toolkit, U.S. Department of Labor
- Career Resources, American Library Association
3. Showcase Yourself
Employers are always interested in how your past experiences will make you a good fit for the job or internship. In preparation for your interview, reflect on how your past experiences in school, extracurricular activities, leadership opportunities, and volunteering have prepared you for the job.
Pro tip: Communication skills and an ability to work well with a team are crucial skills for almost any job. Show the interviewer how you have developed and used these skills in classes, clubs, or sports.
4. Ask Questions
When they ask, ‘Do you have questions?’ ALWAYS ask questions. It can be about the organization, the interviewer, etc., but whatever you ask will show them that you are interested in the position and taking the process seriously.” - Isabella, 17
As the interview wraps up, you may be asked if you have any questions. Prepare a few questions ahead of time. This will show the interviewer that you are interested in the company and care about getting the job.
You could ask about:
- The organization/company's mission or values
- Expectations for work hours
- Other details about the position you are applying for that are unclear or you would like to learn more about
- The interviewer’s role and experience with the company
- An example of a typical work day
A great question to ask would be do I get paid breaks or how long is the average shift.” - Sam, 17
5. Do A Mock Interview
Mock interviews can really help you get an idea of what questions you might be asked in the interview.” - Camila, 17
Watch mock interviews online, or ask a trusted teacher, coach, mentor, or friend to walk through a standard interview with you. This will help prepare you for the real thing.
Your mentor or friend can provide you with constructive advice after the mock interview is finished, and they may have tips or feedback you never would have thought of without some outside help, such as maintaining eye contact, improving posture, and responding to the interviewer without slang language.