You’re now old enough to get a job and earn some cash. You may have dreamed of this day and what you would spend that hard earned money on. But the closer you get to your upcoming interviews the more you start to lose confidence in your lack of experience in the interview room. You’ve seen the movies with the hard interviews that make people run out crying and only wonder: is that what it’s going to be like?

Not to worry. Most interviewers are not looking to scare you, but they are looking for good and confident answers to their questions. Even for teen jobs, an employer needs reliable and skillful work. You will most likely get training on the job, so you’ll need to be able to learn fast. A good way to show your eagerness to learn is to prepare for the interview. Learn what you may get asked and don’t just memorize your answers. Just like you’ll want to believe in yourself, you’ll want to believe in your answers, too.

What You’ll Get Asked

Your teachers and parents have said it. It may have plastered the walls of your school. It’s true: practice does make perfect. Here are some samples of questions you could get asked and some good sample answers:

  • Do you have any experience, on the job or otherwise, in this type of work? (Answer: No, but I am eager to learn new skills.)

  • What general skills do you have that would work well with this position? (Answer: I have great time management skills and prefer to get assignments and tasks done well before my deadlines.)

  • How would you handle a difficult customer’s questions? (Answer: I would keep a cool head and, if I needed to, call over my supervisor for assistance.)

  • Why are you the best person for this job? (Answer: I am a hard worker and fast learner.)

  • Describe a strength of yours. (Answer: I work well under pressure.)

  • Describe a weakness of yours. (Answer: I can be a perfectionist.)

  • How well do you work with others? (Answer: I love working with others.)

  • How flexible is your schedule? Are you available on the weekends or on short notice? (Answer: I have school commitments during the week, but on the weekends I am free. I couldn’t work on short notice.)

  • How would you work with someone you didn’t really like? (Answer: I wouldn’t let it affect me. If there was a real problem, I would discuss it with my supervisor.)

  • Why do you want to work here? (Answer: I like the workplace and I think I could learn a lot here.)

  • Do you have any questions for me? (Answer: Yes, I do.)

    Make sure you answer as truthfully as possible, even if it doesn’t sound as good. If you don’t work well with others, don’t tell them you do. You can spin answers like these to still make yourself look good.

    What You Should Ask

    You should always go into an interview ready to ask some your interview about the company and the position for which you are interviewing. It is a good habit to start now as it will be something you do for interviews in the future. Here are some questions you could ask:

    • What is expected of me in this position?
  • Are there extra duties I could pick up from time to time?

  • Is there training available to move up in the company?

    • How well do your employees work together?
  • How would you describe the job environment I will be working in?

    • Would you describe your ideal employee?
  • (If this person will be your boss) How would you describe your style of management?

    Sometimes asking your interviewer questions is a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be. A good way to calm your nerves is to ask an adult whom you trust to do a mock interview with you. Give them notecards with these samples and practice your answers until you have them down. You may have your adult assistant put their own twist on the samples to prepare for anything that might come your way in the interview. You can never be too prepared when it comes to what you’ll be asked in the interview. Take your time. It will be worth the confidence you build from the experience.

    Preparation is always key when it comes to successfully and confidently answering interview questions. Doing so with ensure you have a great interview experience.

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