Start actively searching at least two months before you need to start.
- Relax. An interview is just an exchange of information.
- Make a good first impression. Be neat and clean. Make eye contact. Be positive.
What to Wear
- Dress appropriately.
- Clothing you might wear to a religious service or an important meeting at school is appropriate.
- Males – Consider wearing a shirt and tie, neat, clean pants and clean shoes – not sneakers!
- Females – Consider a pants suit or dress/skirt.
What to Bring
- A pen and paper
- The company’s name/address/contact name/phone number and directions
- Your Personal Data Sheet (PDS) so you don’t have to remember names and numbers when filling out an application.
- Have a way to call in case you get lost or are running late.
The employer will ask questions to get a sense of whether your personality and skills are right for the job.
- Take your time and listen to the question.
- It’s ok to nicely ask the employer to repeat a question or explain part of it you may not understand.
- Leave out slang words, curse words, and um’s and uh’s.
- What’s your favorite subject in school?
- Are you doing any extracurricular activities?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What kind of an employee will you be?
- What hours can you work?
- How will you get to work?
- Do you mind working a little late if there’s still work to be done?
You should ask the employer a few questions. It’s a great way to let the employer know that you’re interested in their company. It’s important that the job is the correct fit for you, too. You’re interviewing them just like they’re interviewing you!
- What kind of person are you looking for to fill this position?
- If I start out in this position, is there any room for me to move up to a position with more responsibility?
- What are the hours?
- What time should I be in each day?
- Can you describe a typical day?
Ending the Interview
Let the employer’s actions tell you what to do next. Here are some examples:
- If the employer stands up at the end, you stand up too.
- If the employer extends his/her hand, shake it firmly.
- Always say thank you, please, you’re welcome, it was my pleasure.
- Good manners make a strong impression.
- Make sure you get a business card or write down the employer’s name before you leave.
- Ask the employer when you should contact him/her about the position.
- Tell the employer that you would be great at the job and look forward to hearing from him/her soon.
After the Interview
- If the employer doesn’t give you a date to call back, wait about three days before calling to check on the position.
- Send a thank you letter or email right away – the same afternoon if you can.
- Sample thank you letter
On the Job
- Show up on time — even better be 5 minutes early!
- Dress appropriately for the position
- Remember your supervisor’s name
- Make sure you do a lot of listening your first few days and take notes.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand and let the employer know if you want them to go back over something complex.
Everyone makes mistakes at work. Here are some tips on how to handle it when you do:
- If someone is in danger get help immediately.
- Apologize to anyone that may be affected by the mistake.
- Try to make it better quickly and politely
- Let your supervisor know if the situation hasn’t been fixed.
- It’s better for your supervisor to hear about it from you, than from an angry customer or coworker.