11 Job Interview Tips for Teens
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated January 30, 2023
Published March 20, 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Entering the workforce as a teenager can provide you with many opportunities to help advance your future career. To make the most out of a job interview, it's important to be prepared.
In this article, we share 11 interview tips for teens, example questions and answers to expect in a job interview and the benefits of interviewing as a teenager.
Interview tips for teens
Preparing for a job interview can help increase your confidence and lessen your nerves on the day of the interview. Here are 11 tips that can help you prepare for your next interview:
1. Understand your capabilities
Before the interview, consider your skills and experience and how they align with the job's qualifications. Make a list of your top strengths, skills and achievements that you'd like to highlight during the interview. Consider asking your friends, family and teachers for their thoughts on your list. This can help you become more self-aware and give you the confidence you need to speak about your capabilities during the interview.
2. Research the job and company
Reviewing the job description and responsibilities before the interview can help you determine what the interviewer may ask you. It can also help you determine what questions to ask the interviewer yourself. Visit the company's website to help you gain insight into the company's history and provide you with topics of discussion during your interview. Referring to your research during your interview lets the interviewer know you're interested in working for them since you took the time to understand who they are.
For example, you can say, "I noticed online that your company is launching the XYZ project. With this position, will I have the opportunity to work on this project?" This lets the interviewer know that you're aware of the company's current projects, while also expressing your interest in them.
3. Determine your qualifications
When you apply for a job, it's important to consider how your strengths and qualifications align with the job description. This can help you better explain them honestly and confidently during the interview.
It may also be beneficial to think about your everyday successes and how they display your relevant qualifications. For example, if the interviewer is looking for someone who is a strong multi-tasker, provide them with an example of how you're able to handle both your school and extracurricular activities successfully. When you mention your qualifications to the interviewer, it helps them visualize what abilities you'd bring to the role.
4. Memorize your resume
If you have previous work experience, it's important to know the specifics for each. This can help you speak about each experience without having to refer to your printed resume. Note your job titles, the companies where you have worked, when you worked for them and your job responsibilities. This can help you better highlight the relevant skills and knowledge you gained from each role.
5. Conduct practice interviews
Ask your friends or family to conduct mock interviews with you to help you prepare. Have them ask you common and job-specific interview questions. This lets you rehearse how to answer each question and can help you feel more confident on the day of the interview.
Practice interviews can also help you practice your interview etiquette. During the interview, it's important to showcase your maturity and professionalism. This lets the interviewer know you're ready for professional employment. Practice giving a firm handshake, maintaining eye contact and thanking the interviewer.
Related: Practicing For a Job Interview
6. Prepare relevant materials
Before your interview, create a few copies of your resume, cover letter, portfolio and a list of references in case the interviewer asks for them. Though you may have submitted your application electronically, the hiring manager may not have them on hand on the day of the interview. Your copies give them something to refer to and can help guide the interview overall.
Be sure to bring multiple copies in case your interview is with a group of people. It may also be beneficial to bring a notepad and pen to take notes throughout the interview. This can help you remember key points once the interview is over.
7. Prepare common interview questions and answers
During the interview, the hiring manager will ask you both general and job-specific questions. Research online or use the Indeed Career Guide to help you understand common interview questions they might ask. Think about your answer to each question. This can help you answer them with greater ease on the day of the interview.
8. Determine what to ask
At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will ask if you have questions for them. This is a great opportunity to ask them questions related to the role and company. Before your interview, consider what you'd like to ask the interviewer you weren't able to find answers to online. Asking questions is a great way to reiterate your continued interest in the role, too. Here are some questions to consider asking the interviewer:
What is the work environment like?
What is your favorite part about working here?
What are the next steps in the interview process?
Do you need additional materials from me to make your hiring decision?
9. Decide what to wear
When you interview for a position, it's important to dress for the role. Consider your wardrobe in advance and find a professional outfit that's conducive to the attire that current company employees wear. Make sure your outfit is polished and wrinkle-free, as that can represent how important the job is to you.
If you're unsure of what to wear, consider wearing a business casual outfit. Items suitable for this style include a blazer, a blouse, a professional dress or skirt, slacks and a collared dress shirt.
Read more: How To Dress for a Job Interview
10. Determine how you'll arrive
Prior to your interview, make sure you have reliable transportation to the interview site. If you're not driving yourself, it's important to find a ride that can get you there on time. Get directions to the interview site, be mindful of traffic and understand the parking situation before arriving. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early as this shows the interviewer you have strong time management skills and that you're respectful of their time.
If you received a ride from someone such as your parents, be sure you enter the interview room alone. This allows you to speak for yourself and your qualifications without help from a third party. It also shows the interviewer you're mature enough to handle professional employment.
11. Write a thank you note
It’s always a good idea to send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview via email. The note should be simple and error-free.
Example questions and answers for a teen interview
One of the main ways to prepare for an interview is to consider the questions the interviewer may ask. This can help you prepare confident and insightful answers. Here are some example questions and answers for a teen interview:
Interviewers ask you this to determine your investment in the job, industry and specifically, their company. They want to know that you've researched the company and that your reason for employment is beyond just making money.
Example: “I've read about the valuable contributions your company has made and I'd love an opportunity to add to its success. I want to work for a company where I can grow my skills both personally and professionally and I believe your company is a great fit for my various qualifications."
Interviewers want to know what relevant skills and experience you've gained during your education. Your answer can include a combination of soft, hard and technical skills.
Example: “My strongest subject in high school is English. These courses have taught me valuable writing and time management skills when I've had writing assignments on a deadline. My public speaking classes have taught me valuable communication skills and one of my art classes allowed me to gain experience with various photo and design software that can be useful in this role."
Interviewers ask this to determine your qualifications for the role they're hiring for. Let them know the valuable asset you'd be to their company given your relevant skills and experience.
Example: “My communication skills, problem-solving skills and strong work ethic would be a great fit for this role. I'm also a quick learner and have a perfect attendance record, which attests to my time management skills."
Why are interviews beneficial for teens?
Job interviews can be valuable for both your professional and personal growth. They are an opportunity for you to advance your skills and gain relevant experience to use in your future career. Here are a few ways securing job interviews as a teenager can help you prepare for your future:
Responsibility. Having a job interview can help you improve your accountability since you're responsible for showing up on time and interacting with professionals in your field. When you're responsible for your actions in your professional career, it can help you become more responsible in various aspects of your personal life too.
Interview practice. Having an interview can help you be more comfortable and confident in future interviews. The more practice you gain, the easier they'll become and the more you'll know what to expect for your next interview.
Resume building and work experience. If your interview is successful and you get the job, it can give you work experience that can help build your resume and portfolio. When you list this experience on your resume, it can help you stand out to hiring managers. The more experience you receive, the greater your chances are of gaining a competitive salary and an advanced position in your field.
Improved skills. Having a job interview allows you to sharpen your skillset. It can help you build your communication, interpersonal, time management and active listening skills. These skills can help you in future interviews and jobs.
Networking. A job interview can help you make valuable contacts that can help further your career. These contacts may inform you of open jobs you may be interested in or help point you to the right resources.
Explore more articles
- 34 Art Director Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
- Interview Questions for Charge Nurses
- How To Conduct a Job Interview
- Interview Question: When Was the Last Time You Were Angry?
- 58 Interview Questions for Home Health Aides
- How To Interview Someone for a Job: 12 Steps for a Successful Interview
- Janitorial Interview Questions With Sample Answers
- 5 Common Paralegal Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
- 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before a Job Interview
- 34 Interview Questions for a Restructuring Role (With Sample Answers)
- 39 Business Intelligence Interview Questions (With Answers)
- 35 Actuarial Internship Interview Questions (With Answers)