10 Tips for Teen Job Seekers
Written by Christi Given | March 17, 2014
Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
Recently, a PI girl wrote that she was discouraged she couldn’t find a job. I wanted to help give you some pointers–not only for before the job interview, but also what to do during and after the meeting! If you would like to join the Girl Talk Forums and read the full post, click here.
My top 10 job interview tips (in no particular order!):
1. Dress Appropriately: This may seem obvious to some, but there may be some PI Girls who have never been employed before and don’t know the protocol for interviews. Ideas for interview attire are a nice blouse or button-up white shirt with a nice black blazer or jacket. Black pants, a pencil skirt (to the knees) and nice work shoes or heels also look professional. Remember, keep it business-oriented, not a “girls night out” look. You want to earn the respect of your potential boss and don’t want to come off as sloppy, immodest, or that you did not think ahead or care about the interview.
2. Research the Company: Before you step into the office or work environment, you want to be knowledgeable about the standards of the company, the mission statement of what they believe, and get a feel for how they handle business. If you go into an interview and they ask you, “Why do you want to work here?” and you answer, “I need the job and the money,” it probably will reflect a lack of passion and effort.
Most companies want employees who LOVE what they do. Sometimes in life you may not always be where you want to be ultimately, but the important thing is to work in the highest level of spiritual excellence possible. We are believers and are called to work unto the Lord no matter where we are. Of course, if you are applying for a job, you need and want the position, but that doesn’t mean the employer will feel you are necessarily the best fit. Do your research and make sure you know what you are applying for before you do.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”-Colossians 3:23-24
3. Be Honest and Positive: In any job application process, you want to be as honest, communicative and clear as possible! Remember that you are starting out with this company as with any relationship, and you should always be honest. Also, when you are in the interview, you need to remember to stay positive, believe in yourself, smile and be the friendly, hard-working person you are and aim to be!
4. Prepare a Resume Beforehand: When someone walks into an interview ready, organized, professional and prepared with a resume in hand, this boosts their chances of being hired. Even if it is not required to bring a cover letter or resume, you should anyway. To take it a notch up, bring it in a nice clear envelope or folder so that it does not get damaged in your car or while walking to the interview.
5. Be on Time: You may not always be on time, but if there is one day to make sure you are prompt, this is it! It is very important to be there on time and even early if possible. Remember, there can always be a delay or reason to run late–an accident causes traffic, parking, unfamiliarity with the location, etc. But if you are late to the interview, it may send the message that you will always be late for your shift or job. Of course, there are emergencies, but avoid being late at all costs on the day of an interview. Be early, review your resume…breathe. Walk in with a smile! You’ve got this!
6. Pray Beforehand: I always believe in covering yourself in prayer no matter how you start your day, but it’s especially vital pertaining to future opportunities, too. Ask God what HIS best will is and if this is the place you should work. Ask God if this is part of His plan and purpose for your life. You may be thinking, God doesn’t care about job interviews. If you care about it, HE does. Why? Because God LOVES you! He wants the best for you and wants you to flourish and be a light for His glory! Trust that He has the best path, and avoid worry and stress because that does NOT come from God. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Also, remind yourself that when you pray, God says His peace will be beyond your understanding and it will guard you! Amen?
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:7
7. Show the Spirit of Gratitude: After the interview is complete, always remember to thank your interviewer, potential boss or manager. No matter what happens, have a spirit of gratitude; you can never go wrong with being thankful for the opportunity. Remember, God is the giver of all the opportunities that come our way.
8. Ask Your Parents and Mentors About the Job: Before you go to the interview, remember to ask your parents, guardians or role models about the job. Our families care about us and want the best for us. You may even be able to do a mock interview with a friend or your parent beforehand so you feel really ready and prepared. Also, ask your parents (if they happen to be believers) to pray with you before you go. Knowing someone is thinking about you and praying for you gives you that boost of courage. Go get it! You can do it!
9. Review Your Social Media Profiles: Some employers are now looking at people’s social networking sites before interviews. Not all companies do this, but you may want to refrain from posting statuses and pictures that could damage your reputation, even if they seem innocent. It could even be a photo of you standing in a crowd with friends, but maybe someone else in the photo is doing something silly or inappropriate.
Not only should we remain blameless for Jesus and our faith, but also we need to think of the messages we’re sending to our peers, family and potential employers. Remember, what you post reflects you, regardless of what you intend.
“…so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” –Philippians 2:15
10. Follow Up After the Interview: Typically, depending on the level of intensity and job market, it is likely you will either get a call back or will have a chance for a second interview. If you don’t hear back within a couple of days, you should call the company and tell them that you wanted to follow up about the position. It shows that you are determined, professional and are willing to commit to the position. Don’t wait for them to call you–try your best in communicating that you want the job.
PI girls, did these tips help? Which ones were your favorite? Do you have any to add? God bless you! We love you, PI readers!