preparing your student for job interviews
Posted : October 30, 2014
Last Updated : May 26, 2016
Job interviews are a critical part of landing a job. From high school students who are searching for their first part-time job to college students who are looking for a career, you can help prepare your student for this important part of the job search process.
To help your student prepare for job interviews, hold a mock interview with him where you are the interviewer. This way you can witness areas in which he needs improvement and offer advice on how he can better develop his interview technique. Set up a specific time and place for the interview, such as 3pm at your kitchen table. Determine a company position for which your child will be interviewing, such as sales associate at Old Navy. Be sure to prepare a sample list of questions to ask during the mock interview. Use the following checklist to determine in which interview areas your child needs to improve upon.
Promptness. Did your child arrive to the interview on time? If not, stress to your child the importance of being on time (or preferably 10 to 15 minutes early) for a job interview. Being late to an interview demonstrates poor time management, which could be a deal breaker.
Attire. Was your child dressed appropriately for the interview? College students who are searching for a career should always dress in a professional manner for interviews. High school students who are searching for a part-time job may have a little more leeway, but remind your student that it's better to be overdressed for interviews than underdressed. Check out our boards on Pinterest for what males and females should wear to a job interview.
Preparation. Was your student properly prepared for the interview? Did he bring a copy of his resume? Could you tell by his answers to your questions that he researched the position and company for which he was mock interviewing? Did he prepare a list of questions to ask you? If not, make sure your student knows that researching employers is one of the best ways to become a stand-out candidate during the hiring process. Encourage your child to research company websites and social media pages in order to be better prepared for interviews.
Attitude. Did your child display an optimistic attitude during the interview? Did he answer all questions in a positive way? Make sure your student knows that he should answer all interview questions positively and that he should even turn the negative situations into learning experiences (i.e. being fired from a previous job, missing gaps of time of school or work, etc.). Remind your student to never speak negatively of former teachers, employers, or co-workers in any way, as this will only display an inability to be a team player.
Verbal skills. How well did your child verbalize his answers to the interview questions? Did he use proper English? Your student should be speaking in complete sentences and using correct grammar. Did you notice any filler words (i.e. um, like, ya know, ah, etc.)? Instead of using these filler words, have your child practice taking pauses and breaths when he loses his train of thought. Companies want job candidates who are well-spoken and articulate.
Body language. How was your child's body language during the mock interview? Did he exhibit any nervous gestures, such as tapping feet, clicking pens, excessive hand gestures, playing with hair, etc.? Did he slouch or avoid eye contact? If he displayed any of this negative body language, make sure he works on sending more positive signals. He should keep a straight posture, lean slightly forward in chair, make eye contact, and keep a pleasant expression on his face.
Closing ability. How did your child close the interview? The proper way to close an interview is to thank the interviewer for his or her time and shake the interviewer's hand. Your child should express his interest in the position and state that he looks forward to hearing from the company soon.
For more information about the job interviewing process, be sure to share with your child these articles – How to Sell Yourself During a Job Interview, Job Interviewing: Dos and Don'ts, and Sample Questions for a Job Interview.