5 Ways Teens Can Shine in a Summer Job Interview

by Robinson, Marcia Thursday, February 09, 2012
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Some students are thinking beyond their spring break plans and wondering about how to land a summer job. Summer jobs have been scarce in the last several years. Not just because the number of summer job opportunities are less, but also because older adults are snagging some of the jobs typically reserved for student employment.

In July 2011, the Department of Labor reported that the share of young people employed was 48.8%. It was the lowest number on record for July since 1948. This year The Summer Job initiative by the Department of Labor is working to make sure thousands more summer jobs are available for youth from private companies, non profits and government agencies. Teens can shine in the summer job interview by doing these 5 things.

Show enthusiasm for working in that specific job with that company

Teens who are applying for a summer job should know that hiring managers love to see enthusiasm for getting a summer job in that particular company. One of the questions an employer might ask a summer job applicant is, "Why do you want to work here?" A good answer could include talking about the items the company makes or sells? Do you like the food in that restaurant? Do you like the music they play in the store or the way the store always looks? All of these items in an answer can show enthusiasm and knowledge.

School grades, attendance and participation matter

Yes it is a summer job interview and the manager is not expecting teens to bring a report card. They are, however, expecting teens to speak about school activities and involvement. Sharing information about grades, campus clubs, attendance and participation in extra-curricular activities, can set a teen job seeker apart from the competition. Managers will tend to draw a parallel between the type of student you are and type of summer job worker you could be.

Show up on time dressed for an interview; even though it is a summer job

It sounds really simple, but for teens looking for a summer job, this is the best example of professionalism. Showing up on time and dressed for the interview shows respect for the manager and lets the company know that you take the summer job opportunity seriously.

Speak about job skills and how those skills relate to the job

Many teens think that certain summer jobs are no-brainers and require no type of job skill. Not true. Whether the summer job is in a supermarket, at the corner fast food restaurant or in a big chain store at the mall, there are job skills specific to the job. For example, some of the job skills related to a summer job in food service include teamwork and the ability to speak with customers. If you have examples of your job skills in these areas, talk about them in your summer job interview. Teens who are athletes can, for example, speak about their teamwork skills.

Bring your personality to your summer job interview

Your goal when you look for a summer job is to apply for those that will be a good fit for your personality. Bring your personality to your summer job interview. What the employer sees in a teens personality could determine where the teen gets assigned. For example, if you are applying to work in a retail store, but you appear to be serious or shy, the manager might assign you to inventory work until you gain more confidence on the job.