How To Get a Job as a Teenager

What to expect during your first interview.

Getting your first job is a very big and exciting step to take during your teenage years, but can also be very daunting. This does not always need to be the case! Finding a first job that suits you is not as hard as it seems, just make sure you know what you want and what will work for you. I’ve brought together several tips and tricks to getting your first job as a teenager, and what to expect.

What Do I Need To Look For?

-When looking for your first job, you want to make sure it is convenient for you. Look around in your own community for job opportunities! Many places in your area will be hiring, especially during the holidays where extra help is needed. Choose a place that you can get to with ease, where you can travel to and from with little complication.

-Make sure the place you are interested in is needing help within your availability. Sometimes, a place will be hiring, but it could turn out that they are looking for specific hours and do not want to over staff. Make sure the job you are looking for can accommodate to your schedule so you are able to work as much as possible!

-Although there are plenty of retail and foodservice jobs, that may not be for everyone. Don’t be afraid to look for more odd jobs in your area such as babysitting, lawn care, etc. that do not require a lengthy hiring process where you can discuss your schedule and how much you would like to be paid.

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The Application

-The application process varies depending on the company/business, a small local business may not require as much information as a large corporation, such as fast food. Many businesses have moved to online applications, which makes the process a bit easier for the one applying as well as the business. However, there are some businesses that require a written application that you must pick up and turn in at the physical location. Some applications require a resume, and some don’t. If it requires a resume, make sure to have someone help you put one together as well as look over it. You also may be required to give your social security depending on the business. These are things to look out for when you are applying for a job in case it is something you or your guardian is uncomfortable with.

-The majority of applications will ask for your availability so they know when and how often you will be able to work. Make sure you check your schedule closely and make sure your current availability is accurate, and make them aware of any days you need off. Your availability can more than likely be changed if needed, but it is best to settle with your current availability and not try to change it immediately after you get hired

-The application may also ask for a reference. These are people that the employers may contact asking about you and your work ethic. Typically they ask for non-family references, so make sure there are a few people you know outside of your family that would be willing to give an honest word about you.

-After you submit your application, wait at least 3 days so that whoever is receiving the application has time to read and look over it. If they are interested, they will contact you via phone call, email, or whatever other forms of contact that was included during the application process. If they do not contact you back after about 3 days, contact them and let them know you have submitted an application. This will also let them know that you are very interested in getting a job and that you are determined!

The Interview

The interview can be one of the hardest parts of the hiring process, but if you make a plan for yourself beforehand, it should make it easier for you as well as the interviewer.

-Dress well! The first impression is very important during an interview. Make sure you dress in a way that brings out the best you and present yourself with confidence. If you don’t know what to wear, a good rule to go by is to dress business casual. This applies no matter the gender, it will leave a good impression if you dress nicely. Dressing casually but also looking nice leaves room for the interviewer to focus on your personality and work ethic. Of course, how you dress for an interview varies depending on the job, so make sure you take a look at the dress code and plan accordingly. If the job allows, you should have no problem adding your own flair to your look! I composed a small gallery of a few outfit ideas, that apply to all genders.

What Kind of Questions Should I Expect?

The interviewer will expect you to be confident in your answers, so make sure to look over some of the expected questions and have an idea about what you want to say.

  • “Why should we hire you?”

When this question comes along, make sure you explain your work ethic and how you would be a great fit for the job.

  • “Why do you want this job?”

It is good to be honest when they ask you this question. Explain why, whether it is because you are in need of money, want something to do, gain experience, etc. Let them know that you have a good reason and that you have drive.

  • “Tell me about yourself.”

This question is interpreted a little bit differently during an interview rather than a regular conversation. This is not asking about your hobbies,  it is asking about your past job experience, your strengths and weaknesses, and a chance to explain why you should be hired and why you are perfect for the job.

As long as you plan ahead and know what to expect, getting your first job should be easier than you imagine. Just be confident, presentable, and be yourself!