On Spot

Sometimes when you drop off an application for a job opening, a hiring manager will interview you for the position right away. Teens often apply for entry-level positions in such industries as food service or retail, and if a manager is available, he may prefer interviewing the candidate at that time rather than going through the trouble of setting up an official interview. When you drop off an application or even enter an establishment to fill out one out, you can increase your chances of getting hired by being ready for an on-the-spot interview.

There are a number of things you’ll want to do to ensure you can ace an on-the-spot interview. The most important are to dress the part, know the company, have your contact information ready and be prepared to answer interview questions.

How to Dress for an On-the-Spot Interview

A hiring manager will understand that you entered the establishment unsure whether or not you would be seen that day. Therefore, you don’t have to dress completely professionally. However, there are certain dos and don’ts that ensure you look good enough to present yourself well to a hiring manager.

  • Don’t wear jeans that are faded, ripped or torn.
  • Don’t wear flip-flops.
  • Make sure your hair is washed, combed and styled.

  • Don’t wear bandanas, non-religious headscarves or baseball caps.

    • Avoid tank tops or crop tops.
    • Don’t wear a graphic t-shirt.
    • Wear a sweater or vest instead of a sweatshirt.

    The interview is your first and possibly only chance to make a positive impression on the hiring manager. Even though he knows you didn’t make the interview appointment ahead of time, it’s crucial to look your best. You can even be more impressive for an on-the-spot interview, because the manager will assume you dress this way on a regular basis.

    There are certain instances when you’ll want a more relaxed look, specifically if you’re applying to work for a teen-oriented clothing store. For the best results, dress in the same style as the clothing being sold, but with the most professional looking style they have.

    How to Prepare for On-the-Spot Job Applications and Interview Questions

    In addition to dressing well, you’ll also want to make sure you present thorough information. This includes both what you put on the application and what you say in the interview. Having information readily available is even easier than it used to be, thanks to smartphone technology. Keep contact information in your smartphone for any previous jobs, anyone you would list as a reference and any pertinent dates and addresses, such as school attendance. Keep this information in a handy location in your phone so that you don’t have to search the Internet. Otherwise, you may not find what you’re looking for and your application may take unnecessary time and effort to complete.

    Not only will you want to make sure you have all the information you’ll need for the application, but you’ll also want to be prepared for an actual interview. To prepare successfully, research the company ahead of time so that you can answer questions with confidence. Understand as much of the job description as you can, while asking any questions for clarification as needed. You’ll also want to prepare answers to common interview questions, such as:

  • What are your three strengths and three weaknesses?

    • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What is your schedule like, and how long can you commit to this job?

  • Do you have any upcoming travel plans or other commitments that would require you to ask for time off?

    • How early could you start if hired?
  • When does your school semester start, and will this impact your availability?

    These are just a few of the questions you may be asked during an interview. While it’s impossible to prepare for any and every question that could be asked, you’ll want to have answers prepared for the ones above. Even if a hiring manager doesn’t do a full interview, he may ask you some of the questions related to availability in order to decide if he wants to move forward with an interview at a later date.

    On-the-spot job interviews can be tricky, but with the right preparation you can help avoid being caught off guard. The sooner you land an interview, the sooner you can get hired, and acing an unexpected interview can be just what you need to land the job.

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