10 Best Questions When Interviewing a Teenager for Part-Time or Summer Job

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10 Best Questions When Interviewing a Teenager for Part-Time or Summer Job

When you’re looking to hire a teen, you need to go through an interview process. This is a chance for you to get to know the applicant, but it’s also a chance for the teen to get to know your company better. Asking the right questions will help you to get all the information you need about the potential employee and impress them with the knowledge that you know what you’re doing and you’re the company to work for.

Here are 10 great questions you should ask every teen applicant:

  1. Why do you want to work here? – You will get a snapshot into what motivation the teen has for working at your job. If the answer is purely financial, you’re better on passing. If the answer is based on their passion for the work you do, they’re a great hire.
  2. What are your other plans for the summer? – If the teen you’re interviewing tells you about all the travel they’re going to do over the course of the summer, it means they will miss a lot of work. Consider whether you can miss out on their help all the times they’re planning to be unavailable.
  3. How well do you work with others? – Even if the work being done is largely done as an individual, you still need employees who can work with you as well as other employees.
  4. What are your best strengths? – This is the applicants chance to tell you about the strengths that make them perfect for the job. If they squander the opportunity to tell you about how good they are at swimming, you may want to pass.
  5. What are areas you can improve upon – You only want employees who can realize that they need to improve. Anyone who tells you they don’t know of any areas in which they can improve are simply ashamed, or they view themselves as perfect, or they do not have the capacity for self-evaluation. In any case, they are not a good hire.
  6. Can you physically handle the tasks you’ll be responsible for? – You may want to illustrate at this point what a typical day for the teen would look like. Make sure to detail out any heavy lifting and the work conditions. If the teen cannot pick up a bag of 25 pounds or more, they may not be a good choice for a landscaping job requiring lifting 35 pound bags of mulch.
  7. Do you have transportation to and from work every day? – You will need to know not only that the teen can get to the job site, but that they have a reliable source of transportation. If you’re hiring a teen to work a night job at a restaurant and they’re relying on a bus, you’ll need to know this so you don’t have the teen working after the last bus runs.
  8. What do you like to do in your free time? – This is your chance to get to know the candidate on a personal level. You want employees who are active and engage in activities that require thought and introspection. If a candidate tells you they just like to hang out with friends, you may want to consider passing.
  9. Who was your favorite teacher or employer and why? – You’re looking for inspiration in this answer. Good candidates can be inspired by people in a position of authority. Follow up with a question about how they inspired them if it is not evident in the answer.
  10. Who was your least favorite teacher or employer and why? – This is a difficult question, because you want to see if the candidate has the capacity to see anyone in authority in a critical light. However, you don’t want a candidate to see authority figures negatively. Answers that are extremely negative or personal may be indicative of a bad hire.

Make sure to take notes on the answers given, so you can decide the best candidate for the job. As you interview more often, you’ll get a feeling for which employees will be the best fit based on their answers.


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