Interview Tips

Arrive for Your Interview About 15 Minutes in Advance

Make sure you take a trial commute to the interviewing spot if you are unsure of the location or how long it might take to park. Punctuality is a major concern for employers of teens, and late arrival will often kill your chances of landing the job.

Shake on It

Have energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude

Employers want upbeat teen workers who don't bring any attitudinal baggage to the job. When sitting, avoid slouching and lean slightly forward, like you are eager to hear the next thing that the interviewer has to say.

Greet all interviewers and staff with handshake, warm smile & look them in the eye

 Sit up straight, look them in the eye, smile and converse respectfully with them. Ask a question or two or make some small talk.  Make mental or physical notes of  all names.  Always address the interviewer as Mr. or Ms. Employers will be evaluating how you might interact with their staff and customers, who are probably primarily adults. 

Ask questions

Focus on issues like the nature of the work, training, supervision, clientele, and when you might expect to hear from them. Don’t bring up pay. If the job seems like a good fit, look the interviewer in the eye and tell them that you would like to work there.

Follow up

As soon as you leave the interview, compose a thank you note expressing your gratitude for the interview and stating briefly that you would love to work with them and why you think it's a good fit. A card is a nice touch if your handwriting is legible, but email is also acceptable. Whichever you choose, send it immediately. It will reinforce your punctuality and ability to get things done, as well as reiterating your interest in the job.

Resist the temptation to take a peek at any time before, during or after the meeting, when you are in view of the interviewer. Employers are very concerned about losing productivity among teen employees who are constantly checking their phones.

Turn cell phones off

First impressions have a high impact

Take care with the way you dress and groom yourself to show the employer that you are taking the job seriously. The employer will be especially concerned with your appearance if you are in a customer contact position as a server, store clerk, receptionist or front desk worker. 

  • Wear wrinkle-free clothing and avoid garments with those stylish holes.

  • For most jobs, business casual will be suitable. That means a nice pair of pants and a collared shirt for guys. Girls can do without the collar but should wear a nice blouse, and can pair it with a skirt of appropriate length if preferred.

  • Consider the type of organization you are targeting as you prepare your interview attire. Show a fashion flare in line with the orientation of the store if you are going for a job in retail.

  • Avoid a shaggy look with your hair, and don’t wear excessive cologne, makeup or jewelry. Bring a notepad to jot down questions that may occur to you, points you want to remember to make in your behalf, and the interviewer's name if you tend to be forgetful.

Know your strengths and prepare

If the employer has advertised the job, look at the description and be prepared to say how you meet as many of the qualifications as possible. Be prepared to describe situations where you have used your assets to get things done. Draw upon academics, school activities, sports and volunteer work for examples, especially if you haven't held any or many jobs.


Review common questions and answers for interviews. Practice answering questions with a friend or family member so you can speak confidently during your interview. Don't be intimidated if you don't have all the qualifications for a job. Express a genuine eagerness to learn the job.

Express and show interest

You can reference things like the tasks, work environment, what you would learn and the people with whom you would interact. Everything being equal in terms of qualifications, employers will often pick the candidate who seems most interested.

Thank You!