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Interview Questions for Teens

No matter if you’re a seasoned career veteran who has been through countless interviews or are looking for your first part-time job, nearly everyone gets a little nervous before an interview.  The onus is on the employer and the interviewer to help you feel calm and relaxed during an interview.  However, everyone should thoroughly prepare for an interview before it occurs.

Employers are acutely aware of a candidate’s work experiences when they come in for an interview.  They typically look to customize the questions for their audience and ensure that the candidate is able to answer the question confidently and accurately.  When an interviewer interviews a teenager, they understand that this is likely one of their first interviews and generally for their first job.

Interview questions for teens typically revolve more around education and a forward-looking atmosphere.  Employers are not expecting these teenage candidates to remain in the position for the rest of their life, so they like to get a general sense of what they can expect and how long the candidate expects to remain at the position.

Employers also like to get a sense of why the candidate wants the position.  For many positions that are seasonal, retail, or at a big box grocer, the employer may assume it is for extra spending cash.  However, if the candidate is looking at more specialized roles and companies, the interviewer may look to see how experience with them may help the teen with their future career.

Common Interview Questions For Teens

Question – Why are you looking for a position at this company?

Answer – Be honest.  Let the employer know why you want to work for the company and what you are looking to gain while working there.  Employer’s understand if the reason is for some additional cash or if it’s for something to do and keep yourself busy after school.

Question – What are your plans after high school?

Answer – Again, be honest.  If you plan on going away for college, let the employer know.  If you plan on going to college, but close to home, then let the interviewer know.  Even if you plan on going away for college in just a few months, many employers may offer you part-time, and short-term, employment as needed.

Question – Why are you the best candidate for the role?

Answer – Let the interviewer know that you are a hard worker, that you are dedicated, and that you are committed.  Give real-world examples of times where you went above-and-beyond on a classroom project or a familial errand.  Speak to personal experiences and how you have always kept your word and been an honest individual.

Question – Tell me about a strength of yours.

Answer – Again, utilize real-world examples and times where you have shown strength.  This can be something personal or something that you did in class.  Talk about how you have perseverance, how you are honest and trustworthy, and how you are dedicated.  You can also talk about your willingness to ensure customer satisfaction and upkeep your reputation for perfection.

Question – Are you available on weekends?

Answer – You should answer honestly, but you should look to be free on weekends.  Weekends are when you will have the most time to commit to the job and where you will get the bulk of your hours.  For entry-level and part-time positions, working on the weekend is common practice.

Question – How would you handle a difficult or irate customer?

Answer – Without customers, the company would be out of business and you would not have a job.  No matter how happy or upset a customer is, you want to ensure that their experience is pleasant and cordial.  You should answer that you would look to find out why the customer is upset and see what you can do to make it better.

Question – What would you do if you saw a fellow employee stealing from the company?

Answer – The interviewer wants to see how honest you are.  If you see another employee stealing, you should tell them to stop and report it to management.

Question – Do you have your own transportation or a reliable method to get to work?

Answer – You should have reliable transportation or a reliable method to get to work.  Don’t hesitate on this question and let the interviewer know that you do have reliable transportation.  If you don’t, you can coordinate the details after you’ve received the job offer.

Question – What do you know about this company?

Answer – Make sure you do your research before the interview.  You should know the basics about the company and why it’s an attractive company to work for.  Speak to how the company was started and how you found that story inspiring.  If you really love the field, tell the interviewer about how you would like to start a similar company in the future.

Question – Did job pays $X per hour, is that agreeable with you?

Answer – Generally, at this stage in your career, you don’t have too much negotiating power.  If the per hour rate is not agreeable to you, you may have limited options and may need to forfeit that job option.

Question – What are your weaknesses?

Answer – You want to provide an answer that isn’t too weak, but something that can be fixed or shows that you are working on improving.  A good example is that you like to complete a task by yourself, but you are working on trusting others that you work with to help you.

Question – Do you have any volunteering or community service experience?

Answer – Be honest here whether or not you have volunteering or community service experience.

Question – How do you imagine a typical workday?

Answer – Employers want to ensure that you understand the job will require a certain amount of effort and work, day-in and day-out.  They also want to ensure that you will not simply spend all your time on your phone during your work shift.  If asked this question, discuss how you expect to work on the responsibilities listed on the job requirement and that if you find yourself with downtime, you aim to either help with cleanup and restocking or that you will ask your manager if there is anything else you can help with.

Question – How would your friends, family, or teachers describe you?

Answer – The interviewer wants to see who you really are.  They want to make sure that you are a loyal, committed, and honest individual.  Don’t mention how your friends find you a prankster, or that your teachers find you unmotivated, those answers won’t help you land the job.

Question – Who would you consider to be your role model and why?

Answer – The interviewer wants to see the why here.  Why is this person your role model and why do you look up to them?  It’s always a safe answer to say a parent or guardian and you look up to them for their hard work and commitment to the family.

Question – Do you have any technical skills that will be beneficial for this role?

Answer – Once again, be honest.  The interviewer is attempting to gauge your capabilities and what additional skills you would be able to offer to the role.

Question – Would you consider yourself proficient on social media?  Would you be able to help us with our social media efforts?

Answer – Many companies are owned by older, less technically proficient individuals.  This is especially true with smaller, mom-and-pop shops.  They may need some extra help with their social media marketing and advertising efforts. 

If you don’t have these skills, let the interviewer know that you are aware and comfortable on those tools, but that you are also willing to work on acquiring those skills.  You can begin studying them here.  Doing so and helping an employer with their social media marketing would be a great skill to place on your resume and can help you land an internship during your college career.

Conclusion

Interview questions for teens typically tend to be easier and more straightforward than questions for career professionals.  As the interview is usually for entry-level or part-time work, the questions tend to revolve around availability and future ambitions. 

As an interviewee, you will want to show your willingness, commitment, honesty, and eagerness to learn.  Don’t come off as arrogant or a know-it-all.  Rather, show that you understand that you are young but that you are hungry and have a desire to learn.

You likely won’t be asked behavioral based questions or examples of previous work experiences.  The questions should be straightforward and you shouldn’t have a problem answering them honestly and truthfully.

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