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Jobs for Teenagers: Part 2 More on Interview Questions

July 21, 2013
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Jobs for Teenagers: Part 2 More on Interview Questions

Interview questions about the job and the future

In Part 1 of our article on interview questions for jobs for teenagers, we covered personal questions and questions about reasons for wanting to work in the organization. In this article, common interview questions about the job and your plans for the future are discussed.

Questions about the new job

Why do you want this job?

To answer this question, you must have at least minimal knowledge of your potential employer. You need to know the history of the company, what products and services it sells or offers and the objectives of the company.  The company’s website should contain all these information. Your answers should include one or more of the following:

  • the reasons you will be an asset to the company;
  • how your vision or objectives align with the objectives of the company;
  • how your qualifications and passion are well suited to the job;
  • your desire to be part of a growing team or a leader in the industry.

What skills do you have for this job? And other skills related interview questions

If you are applying for a job where a certain skill is necessary (e.g. writing skill or problem-solving skill), part of your interview questions may relate to skills and experiences.

Here, the interviewer is trying to determine how you arrived at that particular skill and how your skills-set compares with other job applicants. As a teenager looking for a job, remember that the interviewer is not expecting you to have skills gained from work but relevant skills gained from co-curricular and school activities should be made known to the interviewer.

Common interview questions include:

  • What skills do you have? Give a brief statement of the skills which are relevant to the job. You should then explain to the interviewer how you are able to apply those skills to the job. Give an example if possible.
  • How would you deal with a problem? Use the analysis, solution, result, reflection approach by describing to the interviewer a problem you have encountered in the past. Explain how you analysed the problem, offered a solution and the actual outcome of the resolution, reflecting on what could have been improved on for future problems.
  • How would you rate your communication skills? Communication skills include writing, speaking and listening skills. Inform the interviewer that you recognize the importance of being a good communicator. For example, an efficient team requires effective communication among team members. Tell the interviewer that you believe you are an effective communicator because of your past experiences – e.g. as part of a school debating team, volunteering experiences in a nursing home and so on. It is important to end by explaining to the interviewer that you are always working on improving your skills for the benefit of the job.
  • How do you organize your time? Describe briefly your methods of organizing time. They should include prioritizing tasks, not procrastinating and making achievable goals. Read further our article on Time Management Skills for High School Students.

Questions about the future

You will often find that interviewers like to ask about your plans for the future if you are applying for an entry level job. As a teen, it may not be easy to answer such questions without being too vague since many teenagers and high school students do not yet know what careers they enjoy, much less are planning for!

Here are some tips for answering these difficult interview questions.

What are your future career aspirations?

It is a good idea to have a plan for the future and preparing for an interview question like this one is a good opportunity for you to analyse your goals and aspirations. The interviewer wants to find out whether you have thought about your career and whether you have ambition or otherwise. Most importantly, they want to hear you say that you are committed to their company.

Answer by telling the interviewer that you are keen to progress with the company and be a part of the company’s growth. Show the interviewer that you are the best person for the job by informing them that you see yourself taking on more responsibilities and contributing value beyond the role you are applying for.

What are your plans during college?

Sometimes, the interviewer may ask a more specific question on your future plans. Here, the interviewer wants to know how well your plans fit with the company’s overall plans and objectives.  The interviewer does not expect you to drop everything for the company if you are still in high school or college.

However, the interviewer is looking for a commitment to working hours – the interviewer does not want to hire you only to find out that you have other commitments (apart from school and college) that may be an impediment to the role you have been employed for.

Your answer should focus on making a commitment to your studies and on the job, rather than on any other activities you plan to do.