Tips to ace your job interview


A good handshake goes a long way.

Calvin Tankersley, Staff Writer

Today is the big day. You laid out the perfect outfit last night and made sure to set your alarm to go off an hour before you had to leave. As you anxiously sit and tap on the armrest of your chair, the interviewer asks you to come in. As you enter the room they reach out to shake your hand. You reach out as well, but all you have to return the favor with is a limp noodle of an arm. Embarrassed, you sit down, and hope the interview goes better than your handshake just did. Just then your ringer goes off, but you realize it’s your mother so you have to answer it. She wishes you good luck, and knows “ her baby can do this!” The interviewer is irritated and reluctantly begins to question you. This interview is going terribly. 

Thankfully I’m here to help, below are several tips and tricks to prepare to help you execute a successful interview that will leave the interviewer with a good first impression of you. 


Tips for Success

Prepare For The Day 

  • Build-in an extra thirty minutes to get to the interview and plan your route ahead of time to account for traffic jams, parking, or the building being harder to find than you thought. Do your best to get there fifteen to ten minutes early to show the interviewer that you care about this job and want to be there. 

Dress The Part

  • It is always better to overdress. Find out ahead of time what you’re going to wear, and avoid dangling earrings, too much perfume, and multiple clanking bracelets. How often have you heard an employer complain about how put together a job candidate looked?

Brush Up On Body Language

  • Your body language can tell an interviewer a lot about you, so there are a few things you should know to give them a good impression. 
    • Maintain good posture and eye contact to show that you’re interested 
    • Don’t fidget it makes you look bored and anxious, instead gesture lightly with your hands instead
    • A sloppy handshake leaves a negative impression. Keep it brief, firm, and friendly.

Have Answers To Questions You Know Will Be Asked

  • No matter where you apply for you a job you will be asked questions along the lines of the following:
    • Why should I hire you?
    • Are you a team player?
    • What is your greatest strength/weakness ?
  • Jot down responses and practice saying them, so you feel more comfortable and confident during your interview

 Limit distractions and Give the interviewer your full attention

  • Make sure your cell phone is either off or on silent because nothing is more embarrassing than receiving a call during the middle of your interview. I can also show a lack of respect for the interviewers time, but if it does happen genuinely apologize and immediately turn it off



Job etiquette is important when it comes to applying for jobs as a teenager. Adults often have a negative stereotype about teenagers, so good etiquette can go a long way and increase your chances of getting a job. Below are several places that are currently hiring teenagers near our school. 


The Alexandria Wegmans at Hilltop Village Center offers a plethora of job opportunities for teenagers ages fifteen and up. You will learn useful skills like: how to properly handle monetary transactions, work with others, and how to treat customers. 

Kung Fu Tea

Kung Fu Tea at Brookfield Plaza is currently hiring teenagers fifteen and older, and is a great choice for work during the summer or school year. Working at any fast food restaurant requires you to work effectively with people you didn’t choose and might not even like. If you can learn to do that, you’ll have skills that are valuable to any job you end up doing. 

Jersey Mike’s Subs

Jersey Mike’s Subs at Brookfield Plaza hires teenagers for nearly all of its positions. Senior Soufiane Haydadi, who’s been working there for over a year, said that he’s acquired several skills while working there. How to grill meat, proper customer service, and how to count and deposit money into their company account are just a few.