I wrote this about summer job interview questions for teens a decade ago and just saw another website (won’t name any names) had pretty much copied the content word for word (:> So I thought I would republish it here since the material is still super relevant. There was no social media when I wrote this back then, so I didn’t need to warn teens about the fact that 90 percent of employers are going to look them up online. Definitely fix that by reading this – 11 Rules for Students Online.
Some high school teens are making plans to work. For many, this could be a first job. As you consider where to work and what kind of work you want to do, you should also get your high school resume as well as prepare for your interview. Here are eight interview questions employers ask high school students in interviews. These tips will serve as a guide to help high school teens come up with the best answers in the job interview.
Q. Tell me a little about yourself?
A. The interviewer wants to learn more about your skills, abilities and some of your interests. This response sets the tone for the rest of the interview and it is a good idea to make the answer as brief as possible. A rough rule of thumb is to say something about the recent past, something current and a plan for the future. Here is what one freshman student shared in her interview,
“Past– My family relocated to this region three years ago and I am enrolled at XYZ High School.
Present – I just finished my Freshman year and I took all honors classes. I am a part of the drama club stage crew and enjoy the theatre and arts.
Future – My goal is to pursue Theatre Arts in college.
Q. Why do you want this part time job?
A. Tell the interviewer why you applied for this position. Talk about your skills and your availability, not the employee discount. As a high school student, you can speak to the flexibility that the job offers, the proximity of the job to home or school or that you are saving for something specific like a summer trip, sports camp or your first car.
Q. Are you involved in extra curricular activities?
A. High school teens should speak about after school activities, elective classes taken outside of school or any volunteer work or family obligations you might have. Do not be afraid to talk about activities such as music lessons, band practice or if you are like my nephew, you can talk about chess club or science camp.
Q. What would teachers say about you?
A. This is a good chance to speak about your good performance in your favorite classes. Speak about teachers who you know would be able to give you a good letters of recommendation.
Q. Tell me about a problem you had and how you solved it?
A. The interviewer wants to learn about you problem solving skills for handling challenges or conflicts. Make sure to give specific examples where you might have had a problem you actually had to solve. Don’t forget to talk about great outcomes.
Q. How many hours can you work?
A. Share your availability to work daily or weekly. If you are looking for a job in retail, do not forget Saturday and Sunday. These might be the days where the employer needs you most.
Q. Tell me about your last job?
A. Share information about job skills or accomplishment on the job. Do not speak badly about any prior employers. Keep this part of the interview very positive and upbeat. If this is your first job, then don’t be shy about saying that.
Q. Why should we hire you?
A. Here is an opportunity to talk about your job skills, behaviors and achievements and how they could be an asset on your new job.
Interview preparation is really key to interview success!
For extra help, teens can take the job description to the career counseling office at their high school and ask if for assistance. Ask to do a practice interview as well.