According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 55.3% of people ages 16-24 were working in July 2022. For many teens, a job is an opportunity to learn about different careers and gain more experience in the workforce. It is also a monumental step towards adulthood and greater responsibility. Besides practical advantages, jobs allow teens to meet new people and make money that can be spent however they choose. And so, although working does come with time constraints, it can also provide teens with some freedom and a sense of pride in themselves.
The first step in landing a job is acing the interview. Most teens are seeking their first job, and going to the very first interview for your very first job can be extremely nerve-wracking. In an attempt to ease the stress of this situation, I have compiled five interview tips that can hopefully be of help to any teens out there preparing for their first job interview. And even if it is not your first interview, I still hope these suggestions can be helpful.
There is no one quite like you. And that is a good thing.
As is the case in most aspects of life, military teens are unique. We have astonishing pasts, presents, and exceptionally spectacular futures. We have lived in places many can only dream of being, received education from all over the world, and met so many extraordinary people along the way. Why not highlight all that goodness? The unique aspects of your life can show an interviewer how adaptable and well-rounded you are and how well you handle yourself under pressure.
Make sure to dress professionally and bring a good attitude.
The interview is the first time you will meet the representative in charge of the decision of whether or not to hire you. They may also be a person you will work closely with if you are hired (like your manager). Whether your interview is in-person or online, it is important to make a good impression, and you can easily do so by dressing nice and by being kind and courteous. A professional outfit will display your seriousness about and dedication to the job and show that you are willing to put in extra effort. A good attitude and go-getter personality will also show that you are hardworking, diligent, and eager to start working.
Don’t forget to bring a copy of your resumé.
First things first, compile a personal resumé if you have not already. Your resumé is like a one-page snapshot of your major skills, experience, education, and achievements. It should quickly convey to the interviewer important information about you that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Typically, you will submit a PDF of your resumé to the online job application, but you should also bring a physical copy to an in-person interview. This allows the interviewer to have information about your shining qualities and qualifications right in front of them instead of having to pull up your resumé on a computer. It also shows that you put time and effort into making your resumé and that you have pride in your skills and accomplishments.
Brush up on some common interview questions.
During the interview, you will be asked questions about yourself. A common question is “Why do you want this job?” You should practice your answer to this question, and other questions, before the interview to avoid taking unnecessary time to think about your answers and keep your interviewer waiting. Being confident about your answers will establish your enthusiastic, strong, and dependable nature in the eyes of the interviewer.
Ask thoughtful questions, and get any questions you may have answered.
The interviewer will ask many questions and give you a lot of information about the job. This can be extremely overwhelming and disconcerting all at once. If you have any questions about the job or aspects of the job, you should ask them. Questions such as “What are the day-to-day activities of this position like?” and “What expectations would you have for a person in this position?” are reasonable and practical. Asking questions will display your care for and interest in the job you are applying for.
Interviews are inarguably stressful and nerve-wracking, especially your first interview for your first job. But just remember to stay calm, be polite and professional, and, above all, be yourself. Your very best qualities shine the brightest when you are who you are, no matter how scary the situation might be.