How to help your teen ace any interview

School’s out soon, so your teenager might be looking for a summer job. Whether it’s an office internship, a job in a shop or serving at a café or snack bar, here’s how to get them to that interview prepared to make the right impact.

They'll be a bag of nerves and you can't go with them, but you can help your kid look clean, tidy and dressed to impress!

Get them work-ready

Ensure your teen has had some kind of prior work experience, perhaps helping out at a family friend's office or serving in their local charity shop, so they're used to a professional environment and feel less daunted talking to strangers. This will also give them something impressive to add to their CV. Make sure they get feedback and a reference so they know how they're shaping up as a potential employee and what areas they need to work on.

Be prepared

It's vital that your son or daughter finds out as much as possible about the company and their role. Whether it's serving food in a pizza restaurant or helping out in a pet shop, being knowledgeable and enthusiastic in a job interview will make a great impression. A potential employer will want to know that a new employee will take pride in their work and represent the company in a positive way, so get your teen to check out the company website and social media to find out all the latest news prior to the interview.

Do a practice run

Get your teen used to answering questions in a positive and impressive way. Run through a typical interview scenario, asking a few likely questions, like 'What interests you about this role?' and 'What do you think you will bring to it?' to give your son or daughter the chance to prepare some great answers and work out how to frame lack of experience or insufficient exam grades in a way that still shows them in a good light. Phrases like 'I pick things up quickly' and 'I'm a great team player' work well, but they need to be prepared to give examples!

Give detail

Your teen may not have a mountain of work experience or accomplishments to list on their CV, but any experience should be given in some detail so employers get a sense of what they're capable of. If your son or daughter has been a prefect or a team captain, headed up an impressive school project, organized a party, helped create scenery for a school performance, volunteered for a charity, created their own blog, or undertaken any other initiative that really stretched them, it's important to detail what this entailed and what skills were learnt in the process.

Equally it's important to give employers a sense of the kind of person they are, listing their qualities and interests. They may be outgoing and a 'people person' or more methodical and patient, with 'great attention to detail'. They may be tech-savvy, an animal lover, creative, good at problem solving or at taking responsibility. Be honest, but make sure that their true nature is painted in a positive light. Such qualities might make them right for the role in question, or for another role that may come up later.


Help them create the right impression

Smart, clean and ironed clothes really make a difference. Depending on the job, a formal suit and tie might not be necessary, but a neat appearance can work wonders in any situation. Basic grooming, like clean nails, combed hair, smelling fresh and a clean shave or natural make-up will show your son or daughter means business. Remind your child to look the interviewer in the eye - this shows confidence and maturity, but it may take some practice at home first!


Confidence boost

A first job interview is incredibly nerve-wracking for a young person, so give them a head start. Knowing they have fresh breath - and are plaque-free! - will boost their confidence, while making a great impact on any interviewer. So, make sure they brush their teeth with Oral-B - a bright smile will help your teen look warm and feel self-assured.


End on a high

Once the interview is over, encourage your son or daughter to ask questions. An interviewee who wants to know more shows initiative and intelligence, so get them to raise a query or two at the end of the interview, such as 'What are you looking for in an employee?' And however they feel the interview went, make sure your child ends it on a positive note, thanking the interviewer for the opportunity. Not having all the right answers doesn't mean disaster. Attitude counts for a lot.


Got extra tips on how to ace an interview? Share them below!


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