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Job interview tips for teens: STOP doing these two things

Use these job interview tips for teens to land that job.

Image from Smile & Succeed for Teens. Copyright 2014.

Looking for job interview tips for teens? Let’s start with your your teenager’s cell phone. Learning when and when not to use it matters, a LOT!

Powerful Job Interview Tips for Teens

Tip #1: Stop letting your cell phone run your life (and ruin your chances of getting a job)! Leave the cell phone off and at home or locked in the car when interviewing. Your interviewer will be impressed to not see or hear it.

Tip#2: Stop letting poor communication skills stop you from getting a job. Practice face-to-face communication skills with your parents and friends. This will ensure you will have an intelligent conversation with the interviewer, and greatly increase your chances of getting that job.

And hard work, let’s talk about that. One extra tip I have for you is to work hard.

Last night I had a long conversation with a local restaurant manager. I complimented him on his staff. They are hard workers and always friendly.

The manager replied, “Yes, but I had to go through hundreds of applications to get these people. They are the cream of the crop. The majority of teens that come in here looking for a job are terrible. I would not even invest the time to train them.”

Cell Phones, Lack of Communication Skills

I asked, “What are the biggest problems you see with teens looking for jobs?”

He held his arm away from his face, turned his hand up to imply a cell phone, stared at his hand, and said, “Those darn cell phones! These kids want to look at their phones ALL the time. They don’t know how to make eye contact or talk to people. I can’t have them waiting on customers.”

No Work Ethic

He added, “They are not hard workers! Most of them don’t know how to work hard.”

Tip #3: For Parents – Instill a good work ethic in your teens. This means giving them chores to do, like mowing the lawn (don’t you dare hire a lawn service to mow your lawn if you have teens at home). This also means not spoiling them.

The manager mentioned that the owner of the restaurant recently caught a teen texting on his cell phone while working. The owner told the teen, “You can either put that away or go home.” The teen chose to go home!

Parents in Denial

We spoke about the fact that many parents are in denial about their teens’ poor communication skills, work ethic, and lousy work habits.

No Work or People Skills

The manager then threw up his arms and repeated some of what he told me before. “It’s terrible out there! I don’t know what we are going to do. I can’t hire any of these teens. They are not hard workers. They don’t have the skills to wait on my customers. It’s almost a waste of time to even interview or talk to them. They come in asking for a job application and they fill it out using text language, like Hey, ltr, ur. It’s awful!”

He added, “What are these teens thinking? Do they think they are going to go out in the world and get a job paying $80,000.00 and their boss is going to be okay with them being on their phone all the time?”

Cell Phones Away, Good Communication Skills, Hard Work

According to this manager, teens have two major problems:
1. They are addicted to their cell phones.
2. They don’t have the communication skills to get or keep a job.
Plus, the third problem: They are not hard workers.

Job Interview Tips for Teens: Book and Website
The good news? We can change this NOW. Many teens are not learning important people skills or how to work hard at home or school.  We need to make it quick and easy for teens to learn these valuable skills before they interview and start a job (and before they wait on you or me!).

My Top Job Interview Tips for Teens

My two best job interview tips for teens: Read my book Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World. Use the resources on the FREE page of my website to prepare for your interview.

Do you have any job interview tips for teens?

Kirt Manecke is the author of the award-winning books Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service, and Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World. For more job interview tips for teens visit the FREE page of his website. Learn more about Kirt on his website.

Posted by Kirt Manecke | 2 Comments
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2 thoughts on “Job interview tips for teens: STOP doing these two things”

  1. I find what you say about the cell phones to be true. Most youth seem to be “joined at the wrist” to their cell phone, using it constantly whether their timing is appropriate or not. They need to learn the difference between casual and professional behavior. While casual behavior allows for frequent checking of their phone, professional behavior does not. When we train teens in workplace behavior we stress that they should not have their cell phones on them while they are ‘on the floor’ of their work environment – they can check for messages on breaks and lunch hours. We also stress when they accept a job, they accept these workplace rules. I find that most teens follow through with the workplace rules.

    1. Hello Kathy,

      Thank you for your insightful comments. I have also noticed that our youth are “joined at the wrist” to their cell phones. I am glad you are training teens not to have their cell phones with them at work. That’s the same information I teach in Smile & Succeed for Teens and the Teaching Guide for this book. I like what you say, that when they accept a job they accept these workplace rules-very well stated! It is nice to hear that most teens are following the rules you set. I can’t help thinking about a local Radio Shack. Whenever there are not customers in the store, the teens behind the counter are glued to their cell phones. I walk my dog be there at night and always wonder who the manager is, and where he or she is. Thank you again Kathy.

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