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5 Interview Tips for Teens

It can be hard for teens that need to be successful at interview to enter their chosen area of work, study, apprenticeship or internship, to articulate their strengths and apply their life experiences to a set of selection criteria. There can be a number of reasons for this:

  • Lack of familiarity with the interview process and the expectations that go with it
  • Not much work experience to draw on
  • Applying life experiences to the world of work, or indeed to anything, also an unfamiliar process
  • Difficulty articulating their strengths (not only teens struggle with this one 🙂

So how can we help them? I suggest the following 5 things:

  1. Assist them to connect with the reasons they want what they have applied for – to imagine what success will be like. Help them find their purpose or their ‘why’.
  2. Get them to do a strengths survey – suggest they ask 5 or so people what they think their strengths are. Mum, Dad, teachers, sports coach, employers, friends’ parents that know them well. Make sure they know to write them all down.
  3. Help them find out and understand what the interviewers are looking for – the criteria.
  4. Help them match the strengths they have to the criteria.
  5. And finally for each of the criteria, help them find a story from their own experience, the things they have done, related to their strengths, that demonstrates how they meet it.  Things like sport, baby-sitting or other work, extracurricular activities, talents, passions and challenges they have faced and how they have faced them are all potential gold mines for this.

Being connected to what they want and why, what their strengths are and what they bring will really help them to answer interview questions.

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