How to prepare for a job interview



Kirsten Carl, In-Depth Editor

Teenagers across America have started to step into a world of new responsibilities and roles as they enter the workforce. Teens are hostesses, lifeguards, dog washers, ice-cream scoopers, front desk workers and so much more. To secure these positions, they have to face a new challenge: job interviews. These interviews may seem daunting to some, but there are some strategies to help ease the anxiety some may face.

Dress for Success – If your interview will take place in a formal setting, it may be a good idea to dress for the occasion. Formal clothing such as dress pants, skirts, blouses, sweaters, collared shirts or khaki pants along with dress shoes are good additions to an interview to help you feel your best. This also shows your future employer your professionalism, and seriousness about the position. 

Positivity is key – Always remember to be gracious with yourself, and that being nervous — or not — is all OK. Annabelle Harris (’22) who works at LifeTime gym in Reston had to interview for her job, and has some advice for those going through the interviewing process. 

“A piece of advice I would give to someone who is interviewing for a job anywhere would be to stay calm and you can either tell your interviewer that you are nervous, or even make a joke about it,” Harris said. “They will understand, they’ve had students just like you that have been in your place, and at one point in their life they were in your position. Also, remember to dress formally.” 

Catch some Zs – Getting a good night sleep before the big day may help you feel more responsive, alert and calm during your interview. Setting an alarm for bedtime the night before may remind you that it is time to get some rest. Doing calm activities such as going for a walk, reading a book and doing some self care may be a good idea to help you wind down and calm any anxiety you may be feeling. Getting lots of rest and taking care of yourself is always a good idea before an interview. 

Practice – When interviewing, it may seem easy to feel intimidated, or worried as the questions are usually asked on the fly. Practicing some interview questions with a friend, parent, sibling, etc. may not only prepare your answers, but also allow you to feel confident in your responses during your interview. Practicing your breathing, word usage, tone and speaking speed will also help you feel more prepared to take on your first step into the working world. 

While the process of job interviews is a new stepping stone into the future, always remember to remain calm and positive throughout the process. Every interview is an opportunity for growth.