5 Interview Questions for Teens to Predict Job Performance

5 Interview Questions for Teens to Predict Job Performance

On paper, the candidate looks great. She’s personable and would be a great fit for your team.

Now the big question: Will the candidate perform?

As an employer, you can help motivate employees with perks and benefits. You can create an atmosphere that boosts productivity. You can offer meaningful, ongoing training. But in the end, job performance comes down to the employee.

To find student employees who will perform, dig into work ethic, time management, and interest in the job during the interview. Here are five interview questions for teens you can use to get started.

Interview Questions for Teens About Work Ethic

Employees with a strong work ethic work hard and care about quality. They are dependable and demonstrate professionalism.

To that end, you can make some assessments before you even start the interview. Has the candidate dressed appropriately for the interview? Did he or she arrive on time? Did he or she come prepared with questions or any requested paperwork?

Beyond that initial assessment, try these two interview questions for teens about work ethic:

How would you describe your work ethic? Look for answers that reflect hard work, dependability, and focus on quality. Follow up by asking the candidate to give you an example of how he or she has demonstrated a good work ethic in the past.

Can you describe a time you went above and beyond your responsibilities? Having people who are willing to pitch in and do more than the bare minimum helps build strong teams and contributes to customer satisfaction. Ask this question to help weed out employees who will do what they’re asked to do and then sit around until directed to do something else or that have a “not my job” attitude when things need to get done. Even teens without previous job experience should be able to identify a time when they’ve gone above and beyond in school or extracurricular activities.

Interview Questions for Teens About Time Management

Part of how a teenage employee will perform comes down to time. Managing the responsibilities of school, family, extracurriculars, and work will require a careful balance. Employees who manage time well and work at a reasonable pace for your environment are likely to perform best.

We suggest these two interview questions for teens about time management:

Can you give me an example of a time you managed your time well? Responses should show how the candidate handled several tasks to get them all done on schedule or how the candidate paced his or herself to get things done. Answers may also demonstrate organization skills, common sense, and problem-solving to get things done in a timely way.

How would you describe the pace at which you work? Look for somebody who works at a steady pace and produces quality work versus someone who works frantically all day and is more apt to make errors. If the position you are hiring for requires people to think or act quickly, ask questions to see if the candidate is prepared for that.

Interview Questions for Teens About Interest

To avoid an employee who is just going through the motions, find out why the candidate wants this job.

What excites you most about this position? Genuine excitement about the position can translate to a motivated, eager employee. But beware. If the answer suggests the candidate is most interested in something that isn’t part of the job or is interested in only a small part of it, you may have a disconnect. Use this time to clarify the position. #TeenHiringGap

To find high performers to fill open positions, focus on the answers—spoken and unspoken—to the questions above. Need help connecting with qualified teen job candidates? Let HipHire go to work for you! 


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Going Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas—Showing Appreciation to Teen Employees

Going Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas—Showing Appreciation to Teen Employees

Do you ever feel like you’ve got a revolving door for high school employees? There are three key steps to employee retention: hire the right teen, offer employee training, and keep employees engaged and satisfied.

One of the best ways to take that last step is to let your teen employees know you’re thankful for what they do. And it’s important to do that more often than just on an employee appreciation day.

Read on for a look at seven ways to step up employee appreciation—without blowing your bottomline.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Note Your Thanks

It sounds old school, but a handwritten note is a great way to say “thank you.” In case you haven’t written a thank you note in a while, here’s the key: be specific.

Instead of Thanks for your help on the party, identify what the employee did and why it mattered. Thanks for coming early to set up for the party. The guest of honor was amazed at how this place was transformed. We couldn’t have done it without your ideas and effort.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Heap on the High Fives

This one may feel a little corny, but it’s an understood and appreciated gesture. High fives are a quick way to say “Way to go!”

This is a timely form of recognition that can happen on the fly. Make it a point to look for things to praise. And it doesn’t have to be a high fives.

Fist bumps, elbow taps, thumbs up…it all works. This is a great way to recognize part-time employees right in the moment, even if things are hectic. Encourage your team to high five each other too for little wins, great service, and other job well done situations.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Post Your Part-time Employee Praise

Here are a few ways to sing the praises of your teenage employees internally and externally:

  • Post Employee of the Week on the board in your break room with a specific reason for choosing them.
  • Text your team to share customer compliments.
  • Share employee milestones on Facebook—whether in an employee group or on your business page.
  • Tweet praise for employees.

Mix it up and give both public and private praise.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Give Teen Employees Incentives

If you saw the word incentives and thought expensive, keep reading. We promised these ideas wouldn’t blow your bottom line—and most won’t cost a dime. Incentives will cost you, though they still don’t have to break the bank.

Cash bonuses work as employee incentives, but so do gift cards or surprise gifts. The key to make it really work? Make it personal.

Think an iTunes card for your music-loving employee and a card for the movie theater for a cinema fan. For a no-cost incentive, offer to take over an unpopular task for the day if your team meets a certain goal.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Create a Culture of Thanks

Managers set the tone for a team, but they shouldn’t be the only ones offering appreciation. Encourage your team to help each other out—and to recognize the contributions others make.

Let them nominate Teammate of the Month. End a meeting or huddle asking people to give a quick shout out to another part-time employee.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Celebrate Your Employees as People

Show your employees that you care about them as people not just workers. Give them the day off on their birthday.

Share news of accomplishments outside of work: Leila got accepted to UMKC! Nicky was named homecoming king! This lets your employees know that they’re celebrated for more than just their status as an employee.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Use Right Now Recognition

Sometimes we put off recognizing people. We wait until the holiday party or the company picnic. We choose an employee of the month or celebrate weekly achievements every Friday.

There’s nothing wrong with these formal times of recognition, but they aren’t enough. Show your thanks in the moment: “I appreciate your hustle! We’re going to make this deadline” or “You really kept your cool with that angry customer. I’m impressed. How’d you get them to leave smiling?”

Showing appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it has a big pay off. Stellar employee recognition makes thanks timely and personal. So hire well to start with and make showing appreciation for part-time employees a regular practice. #TeenHiringGap

Before you can show appreciation to your employees, you’ve got to find the right teens to hire! HipHire’s at your service—and that’s our specialty. Get started today.

Download our 50 free part-time job interview questions

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Get Schooled: Job Training for Teens

Get Schooled: Job Training for Teens

Want happy teen employees? One word: training.

Want happy customers? Once again: training.

Want to improve your bottom line? Training, again.

Hiring high school students? You guessed it. You need to train them.

You may be tempted to skimp on job training for teens you hire for weekend part-time jobs. But don’t fall for the “they only work a few days, they only need a little training” trap.

Students working weekend part-time jobs need training as much—if not more—than any other employee. Here’s what they need to know.

Job Training for Teens Part 1: Learn the Specifics of the Job

Job training for teens is about showing them how the job should be done. You’ll walk them through administrative tasks like clocking in or logging errors. You’ll show where things are: the break room, the tools they’ll need, emergency systems.

You’ll demonstrate step-by-step how to ring up a sale or enter an order. You’ll explain policies and procedures. But don’t stop there.

Introduce them to company culture. Show them how you want them to greet customers. Answer questions and connect them with the rest of the team.

For high school students, since they often have less job history, training may include going over basic expectations, too. So make that part of your weekend part-time job training.

Job Training for Teens Part 2: Learn How to Dress the Part 

If your company expects people to wear a uniform, what to wear to work gets a lot easier. Still, you may want to provide more detail: no wrinkled uniforms, shirts tucked in, close toed shoes.

If employees wear branded shirts, explain what is appropriate to wear with it. Does everyone wear khakis or anything black? Are shorts acceptable or yoga pants?

If you don’t have a company uniform, a dress code can be helpful. The key is enforcement for everyone. Be clear on piercings, tattoos, and job-appropriate clothing choices.

Let employees for your part-time weekend jobs know why you have this policy, whether it’s safety, health codes, or company image.

Job Training for Teens Part 3: Learn Why It’s Important to Be on Time 

As part of job training for teens, set an expectation for timeliness. That often means getting to work a little bit early to make sure you’re there on time.

Let employees know your policy for clocking in and out. Do they have to wait until 8 on the dot to sign in, or can they sign in and get started at 7:50?

Be clear about expectations for shift end as well. Some jobs, like retail, restaurant and healthcare jobs, don’t get out exactly on time every shift. Make it part of your interview process to talk about schedule flexibility, and keep the discussion about timing open during training.

Job Training for Teens Part 4: Learn Why It’s Important to Show Up to Work

Team camaraderie is a plus, but not if it gets in the way of getting the job done. Over-socializing may be an issue, particularly on weekends when students are in a “time off” mentality.

Review rules about socializing and using technology on the job. Do you have a policy about texting on company time? Should phones be turned off or left locked up in the back room? Set rules that work for your company, but make them clear to all your employees, including those working weekend-part time jobs.

Do you have a job where there’s potential down time? Students may see this as a great opportunity to get some studying or homework done.

In fact, some jobs lend themselves to additional study time. If your position isn’t one of them, make guidelines clear—and show weekend employees what they can do when things are slow, whether it’s restocking, cleaning up, or prepping for the next shift.

Job Training for Teens Part 5: Learn Why It’s Important to Bring the Right Attitude

You’re looking for three things when it comes to employee attitude:

  • General enthusiasm for the job
  • Treating customers with respect
  • Being a good team member

Again, it comes down to expectations. Don’t hesitate to spell out what you expect. Then give plenty of feedback.

Remember to catch employees doing things right: “I know that was a difficult customer. Great job keeping a smile and sending them out the door satisfied” or “I know you don’t usually deliver orders, but thanks for helping out during the rush!”

Job training for teens is essentially about showing someone the ropes and setting expectations. When you are clear about what you expect from employees, they’re better able to succeed as a critical part of your team. #TeenHiringGap

Have a new job opening you need to fill? Sign up for HipHire today to be matched with the right high school student for your open position!

Download our 50 free part-time job interview questions

Instantly have this 11-page PDF of 50 free part-time job interview questions emailed to you today!

The Ups and Down of Hiring Teenagers for Part-time Restaurant Jobs

The Ups and Down of Hiring Teenagers for Part-time Restaurant Jobs

Teenagers are a big piece of the part-time job-seeking puzzle. So are they the right fit for your business’ part-time restaurant jobs?

That depends. Let’s talk through a few pros—and cons—when it comes to hiring teens.

Pros of Hiring Students for Part-time Restaurant Jobs

High school students can make great restaurant employees. In fact, they bring many benefits along for the ride, including:

  • A desire to learn and gain experienceMany teens are eager to learn—and they’re often quick to learn, too. If you’re worried about a lack of experience, remember that the inexperienced student probably has fewer bad habits or mis-learned processes to undo.
  • Fresh ideas and an innovative mind—Students often have a different perspective and different experience from older workers. That means they bring new ideas to the job. Whether it’s an easier way to do something or how to attract a younger demographic, teens have something to offer.
  • Financial benefitsTeens can often be hired for less money than more seasoned workers. They may be willing to take on a job that pays less, because they have different income needs.
  • A willingness to take on part-time/seasonal work—While some candidates really want full-time work, teens can’t work full-time during the school year. A part-time job fits well in teens’ lives, allowing them time to study while earning some money, too. And given the school schedule, students are often a good choice if you need extra hands in the summer.

Cons of Hiring Students for Part-time Restaurant Jobs

Hiring teens can be a plus, but it isn’t always. Consider these challenges of hiring teens for restaurant work:

  • Additional training needed—Students generally come to a job with less experience. That has some plus sides (as mentioned above), but it also means they need more training. If you regularly hire teens, you’ll want to take the experience level into consideration with your training schedule, plan, and budget.
  • Lack of basic job skills—Teens are usually new to the workforce. Limited work experience may require not just job-specific training, but support on basic job skills, as well. You may need to spend a little extra time talking about customer service skills, setting expectations about appearance, and defining appropriate workplace behavior.
  • Limits based on age—When hiring teens, there may be limits on what they can do. Depending on age, some students can’t do certain dangerous jobs. High school students may also have restrictions on working during school hours and how many hours they can work a week.
  • Changing availability—Student schedules change between summer and the school year. Keep this in mind if you’re looking to fill year-round positions.


Weighing the Pros and Cons of Hiring Students for Part-time Restaurant Jobs

So is hiring teens worth it? Some business owners say absolutely. Others may be gun-shy because of perceived challenges or past experiences.

The bottom line? Teenagers can be a great sector to tap into when you’re looking to hire for part-time restaurant jobs. It really comes down to the right person for your culture and team. If you hire teens, consider what you can do to mitigate the cons—and maximize the pros. #TeenHiringGap

You’ve weighed the pros and the cons and decided to hire teenagers to fill your part-time restaurant jobs. What next? Tap into the only platform designed to bring high school students directly to your part-time jobs.


Download our 50 free part-time job interview questions

Instantly have this 11-page PDF of 50 free part-time job interview questions emailed to you today!

3 Training Secrets to Make the Most of Part-Time Employees

3 Training Secrets to Make the Most of Part-Time Employees

You’ve hired somebody who is enthusiastic, experienced and a great fit for your team. But your job is not done. Training can be the make or break difference between part-time employees who stick around and those who leave you.

Don’t relying on a cookie cutter training checklist or simply taking part-time employees on a tour and having them sign off on mandatory trainings on safety or legal issues. Instead get them involved and engaged.

Here are three of our favorite training tips:

Have Part-Time Employees Get Their Hands Dirty

Handing employees a packet of information or walking them through the restaurant may be part of your training program, but get new employees acting too.

Go ahead and print out the steps people need to follow to place an order in your system. Then walk the employee through the steps. Finally watch them do it. Don’t jump in if they seem stuck. Give them a chance to remember (or use the cheat sheet you created) or ask you a question. Answer questions and provide feedback to help employees do better next time.

Hands-on training lets part-time employees actually practice. It also gives you insight into whether they got it and where they need additional support.

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Explain Why You Do What You Do

When you’re training somebody, you show them how you want things done. Some of what you teach them is preference, but some of it has a rationale behind it. Maybe you like to put your sandwich board out front because it looks great by the tree out front (preference). On the other hand, city bylaws may specify where you can place signage (rationale). If you simply tell an employee where to put the sign, they might move it to make it more visible without realizing they’ve created a problem.

Explaining the why behind issues is particularly important when it comes to safety or regulatory issues. You don’t want people taking shortcuts because they don’t realize why it matters to do things a certain way. And old habits are hard to break, so get part-time employees understanding the reason behind how you do things right away.

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Share an Oops with Part-time Employees

We all make mistakes. Sharing stories about mistakes helps in training for a few reasons:

  • You illustrate why you do certain things by showing what happens when you don’t.
  • You open a discussion about what to do when mistakes happen.
  • The way you talk about a problem sets a tone for learning and feedback.

If done right, you’ll make employees feel confident about coming to you with questions before a problem arises—and after an issue occurs to minimize damage. Don’t think of training as something you do and are done with. Instead encourage ongoing questions and be sure to check in with part-time employees often.

You can implement “oops” stories into a preset training or share them as a cautionary tale if you see an employee about to do something they shouldn’t.

Training is essential for part-time employee retention. What’s more, it gives your customers and your employees a better experience. The bottom line: Don’t skimp on training for part-time employees.


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5 Ways to Cultivate Loyalty Throughout Every Stage of the Kansas City Job Search

5 Ways to Cultivate Loyalty Throughout Every Stage of the Kansas City Job Search

A loyal employee isn’t necessarily the one who sticks around the longest, though loyalty and longevity are a great combo in employees. Loyal employees don’t just go along with the company line. In fact, loyal employees often disagree and start difficult conversations, however that doesn’t mean they’re bad mouthing the company or their boss. Instead, they’re looking out for the company. They’re thinking about what’s best for the business. They’re not just punching the clock, they want to see the company succeed.


You cultivate that kind of loyalty through your actions. Loyalty isn’t built with a rewards system. You can’t generate loyalty with lip service to ideals. You need to create a culture of respect and open communication. If the members of the team feel like you’re looking out for them, they’re more likely to do the same.


To cultivate loyalty, you need to look at all aspects of your business. Here’s what that looks like in a Kansas City job search:


Show Candidates What You’re All About

You want people who can get behind the company, so make it easy for people to “get” your company. The tone of your website and social media action helps people understand who you are. Are you quirky? fun? reliable? family focused? Everything from your About page to your job listing can express your personality. Employee videos on your website can add another layer of social proof about who the company is and what it is like to work there.


Think about the perks you offer. While perks don’t create loyalty, they can be part of defining who you are. Things like “well days” for employees to enjoy time off, a pet-friendly workplace, or family retreats set a tone. They help to define what you—and your people—care about.


Know How to Find Great People in a Kansas City Job Search

Starting out with the right people—the ones who really fit with your culture, the ones who really want the job—makes a big difference. Those people are more likely to be satisfied and devoted.


For your Kansas City job search, HipHire makes it easy to connect with quality candidates. We’ve set up our system to help you make solid matches based on needs and wants that narrows the field so that you can focus on other attributes that matter, like loyalty.


If you regularly hire students, your Kansas City job search will include postings with Kansas City schools and colleges. Better yet, develop relationships with leaders in the school who can recommend dedicated students or steer them in your direction.


Join Kansas City Facebook or LinkedIn groups related to your field or where your ideal candidates hang out. By participating, you can get known for company values. And you get a sneak peek at potential candidates (you can learn a lot from their social media activity).

[Tweet “Company loyalty is a two-way street http://bit.ly/1QbWvTU #kcjobs via @hiphire”]


Focus on Values Not Skills

Resumes and applications can tell you about past experience and skills, but don’t get too focused on skills. You can train people for the skills they need, but you can’t train in values. Loyalty is a value. Look for acts of integrity, positive comments about past employers, and signs of dedication and a good work ethic.


When you’re thinking about interview questions, consider asking what would you do if you thought there was a problem with a product or what would you do if you thought there was a better way to do something? Loyalty isn’t blindly following directions. You want employees who will speak up about problems and possible solutions. That means hiring people who are willing to speak up—and creating a culture where people feel comfortable doing so.


Questions like Why are you leaving your job? and Tell me about a time you went beyond the call of duty can tell you something about the character and values of the candidate.


Get Employees Involved

Involve your current employees in the job search process. Tap them for ideas of people who would be a great fit for your company. Ask them to talk with candidates. Loyal employees will have positive things to say about the company, but more importantly they’ll help show what it’s like to work there. And current employees will be working with new hires, so getting their take on candidates matters.


Be Known as a Great Employer in Kansas City

Being known as a great employer means you’ll have a top spot in a Kansas City job search. That kind of reputation helps keep turnover low and gives you great options when you do need to fill spots. (Check out how some Kansas City companies used great opportunities and great culture to create loyal employees.)


Plus, loyalty often breeds loyalty. That’s to say that when employees feel valued and as if the company cares about them, they are more likely to be loyal to the company.


The Kansas City job search doesn’t end when the job offer is made and accepted. How you get new employees started matters. Following through on expectations set during the job search matters. What you do post-hire can breed or break loyalty going forward, which affects your team—and future job searches. If you want loyal employees, you need to look at your processes from start to finish.
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