teen interviewing with employer

Prepare to shine

Preparing answers to potential interview questions will make a big difference in how you come across to a potential employer. When you think through and practice your responses, you’ll feel more confident during the interview and will likely increase your chances at success.

Here are some commonly asked interview questions to help you get ready. You can also make the most of interview preparation by scheduling an appointment with a CareerForce specialist.

Tell me about yourself.
This question is often used to get the interview started. Your answer should be brief and focused on the skills and qualities you’ll bring to the organization. For example, if you’re applying for a service position, talk about your ability to multitask, get along well with others and work well under pressure. If you’re into sports, describe how you excel at teamwork.

Why are you looking for a job?

The employer wants to find out what motivated you to apply for the position—and if you will remain motivated if hired. Focus on your interest in the field and your desire to grow through this new work experience.

Why are you interested in working for this company? How do you think you’ll fit here?
This question is to see if you care enough about the position to have done some research. Talk about positive things you know about the organization and what you can offer with your skills and experience.

How do others describe you?
The employer wants to understand how you would work with their team. You can prepare for this by asking friends and co-workers how they would describe you. Stick with descriptions that reveal your qualifications for the position.

What are your strengths?
Use this question to show how your qualities could be used on the job and how they would benefit the employer. List your strengths ahead of time and think about how they line up with what’s needed in the position.

Give an example of how you solved a problem in the past.
Think of a recent experience at work, school or home that required you to solve a problem. Describe how you solved the problem step by step. Then describe the outcome and how your actions led to a successful solution.

Would you describe yourself as a team player?

Employers want to know that you get along with others and can communicate and cooperate with fellow employees to get a job done well. Think of an example of a group or team you’ve worked well with and share a successful outcome of that teamwork. It could be a work, community or school project, musical or theater group or a sports team. 

What is your major weakness?
Answer this positively by showing how you overcame a weakness. For example, "I was very sensitive to criticism when I played football, but I decided I needed to trust the experience and expertise of my coaches and try to apply what they were suggesting instead of getting defensive about my skills. Now I’ve become more comfortable with feedback from coaches and that’s helped improve my performance."

Tell me about your education.
If you’re in school now, talk about classes you especially like that relate to the position. If you have completed an education or training program, talk about the degrees or certifications you’ve earned that qualify you for the position.

Where do you see yourself in three years?
The employer wants to know if you set goals and how you plan to achieve them. Focus on the skills and knowledge you hope to gain in the position and how you hope to contribute to the success of the organization in the near future.

Why should we hire you?

New hires take time and money to train, and the interviewer wants to know that you’re worth the investment. Let the interviewer know you’re sincerely interested in the position, that you believe your skills align with the organization’s needs, and that you would be genuinely happy to be offered the position.