8 Interview tips for high school students

Mr.+Renshaw%2C+TJ%27s+D.E.C.A.+teacher%2C+and+Juan+Carlos+Martinez%2C+a+T.J.+12th+grader%2C+conduct+a+mock+interview.+

Jordan

Mr. Renshaw, TJ’s D.E.C.A. teacher, and Juan Carlos Martinez, a T.J. 12th grader, conduct a mock interview.

As students get older, more opportunities can become available. This can be jobs, academic programs, community programs, and more. Though, with most of these programs comes the application and interview process.

Commonly, when a student is applying for some sort of position, they will have to go through the interview process; and while some students find no problems going through this process, many others have questions and are unsure of what to do. The following are helpful tips that high school students can use to make the interview process easier.

1. Practice interview questions

When you know you have to have an interview with someone, practice answering commonly asked interview questions. For example: What are you strengths and weaknesses? Why are you a good fit for this job? It helps to come up with a list of questions you think they might ask at your interview and have a friend or family member ask you the questions. This way, you’re able to practice answering interview questions, but also having proper interview etiquette.

2. Practice interview etiquette

Sit up straight, speak clearly, keep eye contact, and be engaged in the conversation. Interviewers notice when you have a professional attitude and make an effort in the interview. Having a professional attitude will help you stand apart from other applicants as well as keep the interview running smoothly.

3. Arrive Around 15 Minutes Early

By arriving early you make a good first impression of yourself to the interviewer. This also gives you time to practice the commute to the job/internship with a cushion of time if you’re unsure how long the trip will take.

4. First impressions matter!

Wear professional clothing that is clean and neat; business casual is usually the way to go when choosing an outfit. Style your hair so that it looks kept and clean, avoiding crazy makeup and/or jewelry. Bring a notepad and pen to take down notes or questions as the interview progresses. Be courteous and respectful to everyone you speak to, regardless if they are the person conducting the interview or not. (This could be doormen, receptionists, custodians, etc.)

5. Turn off any devices and cell phones

Silence cell phones and any devices. It is very unprofessional to have your phone go off during an interview; even more so if you answer it! Keep devices tucked away in a bag or a pocket. Remind yourself to focus on the interview and not your phone.

6. Have an energetic, positive attitude

Businesses want to hire people the make their company a positive place to work. Be interested in the interview, paying attention to what the interviewer is saying. Maintain eye contact and sit slightly forward; this communicates to the interviewer that you are paying attention and eager for the opportunity. Be enthusiastic with your answers, don’t speak in a monotone voice (this communicates to the interviewer that you aren’t really interested in the job).

7. Ask questions

At the end of the interview, you will often be asked if you have any questions. Ask questions! You will usually have some questions about the position; but if you don’t, take notes throughout the interview that can be used as questions. Asking questions shows the interviewer that you were paying attention to the interview. Try to keep the questions open-ended if possible.

8. Follow up after your interview

After your interview, write a thank you note thanking the interviewer for the opportunity. Briefly explain in the note why you think you’d be a good fit for the job and that you’d love to work with them. This can be a physical card or an email, either way, send the note immediately after the interview. This shows your dedication to getting the job and can set you apart for other applicants that didn’t send a note.

 

These tips should help prepare you for any future interviews. The key things to remember are to be: professional, polite, and interested in the interview. Be prepared and everything will go fine, never go into an interview unprepared.

Students in TJ’s DECA classroom all agreed that interviews are generally easy and nothing to stress out about.

Senior Amer Ibar said the interview process for his current job was, “short, sweet, and to the point.” The interview process is easy once you practice, inform yourself about the position, and just make a good first impression.

For a list of practice interview questions, as well as interview do’s and don’ts, visit https://www.ccboe.com/schools/stcharles/images/careercenter/Job_Interview_Tips_for_High_School_Students.pdf

Good luck with future interviews!