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Preparing Your Child For Their First Job Interview

Our 16 year old daughter recently needed to get a REAL job when her babysitting position for the summer fell through at the last minute. Here are some tips to make it easier on both the parents, the teen worker and the employer!


  • Make sure your child has MEMORIZED their social security number. This is required for a job application.
  • Make sure the child has a PEN to complete the application. Nothing says "I am not prepared" like having to ask the prospective employer for a basic tool like a pen.
  • Work out transportation PRIOR to heading out to look for a job. This is CRITICAL if the child will be using a parent's car which may restrict availability.
  • Rehearse possible interview questions. We had her think about the following: Why do you want to work at this restaurant, Tell me about yourself, What are your plans for the school year as it relates to employment with our company, What experiences have you had that will prepare you for this job (think of school, church activities, etc. that highlight responsibility, dependability, reliability, organization skills, etc.)
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  • Have the names, addresses and phone number of several references written down and carry them with you. (Suggest youth minister, teacher, former employers even if just a babysitting job.)
  • Have the child be prepared to ask for information regarding rate of pay, pay dates, if earning less than minimum wage how will tips be recorded, what dress is required, what training will be provided, when are the expected to arrive, where is time clock, etc. They should NOT accept a position without understanding what will be required of them.
  • Coach your child on grooming and dress appropriate for job they are seeking (no flip-flops, excessive makeup or perfume, shorts, etc.)
  • Rehearse a FIRM handshake and proper greeting when introducing themselves. Remind them to stand UP when the interviewer comes into the room.
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  • PRACTICE these things prior to an interview. IT will make it a lot less frightening and your child will feel more confident and at ease. That may translate into a job offer!

Once the child has secured a position:

  • Make sure they arrive ON TIME and are READY to work when they arrive.
  • Talk about difficult situation they encountered during the work day and offer tips to make them less likely to happen again.
  • Make sure child know HOW to request a day off (is there a form, how much in advance, is it first come-first serve, etc.)
  • Even if a day off has been "agreed upon" have the child reissue the request to their manager 7-10 days prior to needing the day off.
  • Get any schedule changes (switching with another employee) in writing and have both parties sign and leave a copy for your manager (This avoids Sam not covering for Suzy which results in her getting fired for missing a shift.)
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  • Remind your child that it is WORK and if it was all FUN they would not be paid of it was all fun and games.

Source: My own experiences as a manager and a mom

By Diana from Prospect, KY

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August 8, 20080 found this helpful

What a wonderful list of suggestions. I'm going to save a copy of it to use with our Girl Scout troop!

Thank you!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 11, 20080 found this helpful

Excellent ideas. Also teach them to say "Yes" instead of "yeah."

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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