The Art of Finding the Right Match: Job Opportunities for Teens

The Art of Finding the Right Match: Job Opportunities for Teens

When hiring teenage employees to fill your part-time jobs, connecting with the right people enhances your team and improves your business. Connecting with the wrong people often means a bad fit, team disruption, and more employee turnover.

Clearly, finding the right match is a win—for the employer and the hire.

Matching the right people with the right job is an art, not a science. Like art, it’s possible to improve your technique. So, how do we find the right matches?

Job Opportunities for Teens: Be Clear on What You Need

A good job description for your open position makes it obvious what you’re looking for. It makes it easier to assess candidates when you have well-defined job duties and expectations.

During this process, you’ll also identify any physical expectations and required knowledge. When students looking for job opportunities for teens are clear about what you’re looking for, you’ll get higher quality applicants who are a better fit for the position.

Job Opportunities for Teens: Know the Importance of Each Piece

Beyond that, know how much weight you place on each part of your expectations.

Are the hours non-negotiable, or can you be a little flexible? Is experience required, or will you train a candidate who has no experience but seems promising?

Potential candidates will evaluate the job in much the same way: maybe the schedule isn’t ideal, but it’s the exact work they want to be doing.

We talk about the ideal candidate, but a great fit often doesn’t fit all criteria perfectly. Where are you flexible? Where do you want to hold the line?

Job Opportunities for Teens: Share Some of Your Company Culture

When a teenage employee joins your team, you want him or her to fit in. If a little zaniness is part of the experience you offer your customers, look for that in potential hires.

A very solemn, quiet prospect may not be the best match in that case—even if his or her experience is a perfect fit.

Make it easy for prospects to get a sense of your company culture by the way you word your job ad. The tone and images on your website help, and using video of employees is becoming a popular tool for sharing information about a company and its culture.

Job Opportunities for Teens: Take the Next Step With Potential Matches

Once you have teenage job candidates who meet your needs on paper, it’s time to follow up. Use good interview questions and techniques to help you find the best match.

If you’ve mastered the art of pairing the right job with the right people, you may have more than one person you’re interested in at this point.

Wading through application after application to see who might be a good fit takes a lot of time, even when you’re a pro.

Want to streamline the job application process and more efficiently find the right people to hire? #TeenHiringGap

HipHire has mastered the art of matching students with the right job opportunities for teens. Let us go to work for you! Get started today.


Download our 50 free part-time job interview questions

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5 Interview Questions for High School Students Seeking Restaurant Jobs

5 Interview Questions for High School Students Seeking Restaurant Jobs

Do they really want the job? Do they have the right experience? Will they provide good service? Will they show up for their shift? Can they hack it?

When you’re hiring high school students for restaurant positions, you’re likely to have a lot of questions about candidates. Instead of wondering and trying to guess whether they’re a good fit, pick the right interview questions to ask so that you can pick the right candidate with greater confidence.

Looking for interview questions for high school students who apply to work in your restaurant? Try these questions that focus on five key areas:

Interview Questions for High School Students to Judge Interest

Just because high school students fill out an application doesn’t mean they’re really interested in working at your restaurant. To help weed out the people who really want to work for you and those who just want a job—any job—ask this straightforward question: Why do you want to work here?

You want an enthusiastic and thoughtful answer. Listen for answers specific to the restaurant industry—and to your establishment.

Here’s a great answer: I’ve been working at restaurants the past couple of summers, and really like the pace and interacting with people. I have a friend who loves working here—and I love your mushroom burgers.

Here’s another question to try to gauge interest in the job: What part of the job are you most excited about?

Interview Questions for High School Students to Check on Experience

An application will tell you if high school students have restaurant experience—or any working experience at all. (Don’t rule out candidates simply because they don’t have restaurant experience.) Whether they do or not, you’ll want to know how their past experience might translate to this job.

One question to ask: What do you know about working in restaurants? This question lets experienced restaurant employees share what they’ve learned in past jobs. It will let you know whether those inexperienced in restaurant work have realistic expectations—and if they’ve done their homework preparing for the interview.

Follow up with What experience do you have that prepares you for restaurant work (or this job)? The follow-up question gives high school students a chance to share relevant experience, whether in a restaurant or not.

Interview Questions for High School Students to Focus on Customer Service

At its most basic, the restaurant biz is about customer service. Find out a little more about how candidates handle customer service by asking: How would you deal with a customer who wants to send their meal back? Candidates reveal problem-solving and people skills through their answer.

Not everyone in a restaurant works with customers directly, but having a smooth-running team makes a big difference to the customer experience.

If a candidate is working behind the scenes, ask How in your role would you keep customers happy? Look for candidates who understand how prep work, clean up, keeping things moving, and quality keep customers happy.

Interview Questions for High School Students Related to Schedule

Schedule has been known to make or break an otherwise good work situation. If your schedule varies from week to week, you’ll need employees with flexibility.

Schedule flexibility also serves you if you need to get people to cover. Ask: How much scheduling flexibility do you have? This gives high school applicants the chance to share any schedule restrictions or preferences and gives you the chance to see if they can meet your needs—whether that’s evenings, weekends only, or some other specific shift.

Interview Questions for High School Students to Assess How They’ll Face the Demands of the Job

Picture a busy Saturday night. The phone’s ringing with take out orders and reservation requests. People are waiting for tables. The kitchen’s slammed. One table is ready to order. Another is waiting for its food that just came up, and a third is wondering how much longer it will be until their meal is ready. How do you handle the pressure?

You’ll really get the answer to this one when a newly hired employee is put to the test, but candidates can show you how they’ve handled pressure before. Look for the ability to move quickly, multitask, and handle tough moments with grace or humor.

Interviewing is a great way to find out if candidates are a good fit for your restaurant opening. Knowing the right interview questions for high school students helps you get the information you need to make the right decision. These five questions are a great start for any prospective restaurant employee.  #TeenHiringGap

It’s always easier to find the right fit for a job when you’re matched with good candidates in the first place. That’s where HipHire can help! Get started today.

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!

How Unconscious Job Posting Bias is Damaging your Hiring

How Unconscious Job Posting Bias is Damaging your Hiring

Have you ever posted a part-time job and the wrong person applied?

Did you blame the person you interviewed or yourself? If you blamed the applicant, this could be a case of Positional Bias.

Positional Bias is where you already have an idea who you want to hire and until you see someone that closely resembles your ideal candidate – you’ll continue to blame the people applying. The problem isn’t necessarily the people applying for the job. Instead, consider that the problem really begins with your part-time job posting.

Unconscious Job Posting Bias

Companies continue to struggle with hiring today even with an improving economy and millions of people looking for work. The process of finding and hiring part-time people lacks focus, in my opinion.

I speak with dozens of businesses every week. Sometimes I get a sense they spend more time sourcing food vendors than their next employee. Instead on blaming everyone else, begin by taking a look at your  job posting. recently covered this topic. Although it falls in the “Tech Category” and with single digit unemployment for computer programs and IT jobs, the problem of hiring is much different.

In a much tighter job market, businesses have to find an edge their competition is missing. Leave it to another tech company to share some data and the results are quite interesting.

“What I found is that what makes a job listing perform well tends to go beyond gender.”

According to the article, natural basis job postings perform better, finds Textio. You can create a free account and test your job posting. They say sites with job listings optimized with their service fill 20 percent faster than unoptimized listings.

Negative words in the listing were likely to decrease the number of candidates while positive wording increased the number who applied. Interesting, and seemingly obvious, the more masculine words in a posting have a larger number of men applying, and feminine words tended to have a greater than an average number of women applying.

The wrong words are attracting the wrong people

Huffington Post covered this topic focused on the tech sector. If the problem is this rampant in these high-paying jobs, imagine what it looks like at the part-time job level?

According to the article, “Some of the words are obviously skewed toward male stereotypes, like when tech companies seek out ‘ninjas’, finding 800+ jobs on another favorite search engine with the word ninja.” Curious about this, I decided to test with the same unnamed job search engine and search for “Ninja” here in Kansas City and only discovered four which were all full-time jobs and one listed salary at $60k.

“I guess the work-life balance skills of ninjas aren’t needed on the part-time job side?”

Using biased gender words in your part-time job description and could be turning away quality people from your positions. Words like “ninja” and “rockstar” sound cool, but add a second layer of mystery to the job and can attract the wrong people.

Breaking the Code of Interview Implicit Bias to Value Different Gender Competencies - Voices 2015


What Companies Can Do

  • Eliminate negative words that are likely decreasing the number of candidates applying
  • Increase the number of positive words to help drive up the number of applicants
  • Drop all the superhero names like “Ninja”, “Rockstar”, and “Bulldog”
  • Use general neutral terms when possible (Try “workforce” or “employees”, rather than “manpower”)
  • When possible, write in the plural and in the second person
  • Choose words that apply equally to both men and women

Part-time non-bias job posting alternative

With HipHire, we built non-bias right into the platform. We keep the job seekers’ personal information private until a job match has been completed. Once a match has been made, the business will receive the candidate’s contact details.

If you’re ready to leave unconscious job posting bias behind, we’re here to help. We connect businesses with quality part-time people to interview. Get started in minutes at

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No Restaurant Experience? No Problem!

No Restaurant Experience? No Problem!

If you’re lucky, applicants for your restaurant openings already have restaurant experience, especially experience in the particular kind of eatery you run. But more than likely you’re getting applicants who’ve never worked a kitchen or front of the house.


Many people think of restaurant jobs as good starter or transition jobs. This idea can make the hiring process a little harder (and the training process even more important.) But, believe it or not, there are a lot of people who don’t have restaurant experience yet who could also be an asset to your business.


Here are 5 things to look for to help identify great restaurant employees in the making—even without restaurant experience.


Work in a Service Field Instead of Restaurant Experience

If an applicant doesn’t have restaurant experience, but they have worked in the service industry, they’re one step ahead of the average applicant. When interviewing ask them questions about how they handled a customer complaint or what they would do if they started to get a backlog of customers waiting. Then ask how they would handle a specific complaint in the restaurant—a meal sent back, food spilled on a customer, or a backed up kitchen—to get a sense of how they’ll transfer their customer service experience to a new environment. Even if the job is behind the scenes, understanding how their role impacts customer satisfaction is important.


No Restaurant Experience but a Professional Approach

Even if you have a casual restaurant, applicants should approach the hiring process seriously and professionally. Look for these aspects of a professional approach:


  • Neat and complete applications—Papers shouldn’t be crumpled. Writing should be clear. Everything should be filled in or marked not applicable.
  • Professional appearance—Applicants don’t need to show up in a suit, but they should shouldn’t be in shorts or sweats either. Serious applicants will look tidy and polished.
  • Timeliness—If you set up an interview, expect applicants to be there on time, or better yet a few minutes early. They’ll show they understand the business if they avoid coming in during your busiest times. Applicants who come in between 2 and 4 have likely done their homework.
  • Initiative—Applicants who ask for the manager rather than handing their application or résumé to a just anyone understand the process and are willing to talk to the right person for the job.


Somebody who is serious about the job has potential—even if they are missing restaurant (or any) work experience.


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Willingness to Work Their Way Up

If somebody with no restaurant experience waltzes in and expects plum wait staff shifts, that’s not a good sign. People with no restaurant experience should expect to work their way up. That might mean starting as a busser or a barback. Or it might mean working less busy or less desirable shifts. If an applicant without restaurant experience seems to feel entitled to start at the top, pass on them. On the other hand, if an applicant shows a willingness to learn and gain experience, they’re probably worth a chance.


Personality and Cultural Fit

Personality and attitude matter—especially with employees who will interact with your customers. If the candidate doesn’t have the right background, but does show the kind of personality that wins people over, they’re worth a second look. Pair personality with some of the other factors we’ve identified and you have a solid candidate.


In addition to how a candidate will interact with customers, you’ll want to think about how they’ll fit in with the rest of your team and company culture. You can train almost anybody, but a bad cultural fit is hard to overcome.


Realistic Expectations

Restaurant jobs are hard work. You’re on your feet a lot. The pace is fast. The kitchen hot. Customers can be impatient. In other words—it’s work. Candidates who haven’t worked in a restaurant won’t have behind the scenes experience to fall back on, but they should have some idea of what they’re getting into.


Questions to ask: What do you expect a shift to be like? What do you think the hardest part of the job will be? Candidates who seem to gloss over the work for the food or the tips may struggle with the reality of the job.


When you see applicants who haven’t worked in a restaurant before don’t dismiss them out of hand, but be smart about how you hire. Look for a combination of the characteristics we listed above. And don’t forget training—it’s important for all new employees, but especially for those with no restaurant experience.
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Think You Have What It Takes to Review Job Applications? Take this Quiz

Think You Have What It Takes to Review Job Applications? Take this Quiz

You’ve got a part-time position to fill and a growing stack of job applications to review. Sifting through them can be a tedious process, but knowing what to look for will speed things up and ensure the rest of your hiring activities go smoothly and efficiently.

Just how prepared are you to review job applications for part-time employment? Take the quiz below to see if your process helps you select the best candidates or creates the possibility of a bad hire.

Application Review Quiz

There are a few small details that every hiring manager or business owner should be searching for when reviewing job applications. Let’s start with the questions below.

1. Before reviewing applications, do you read over and familiarize yourself with the job description for the position(s) you’re trying to fill?

2. Do you use an automated system for filtering applications and weeding out unqualified candidates?

3. Do you check for any related work experience and note any gaps in employment?

4. Do you follow-up on the applicant’s job history, such as calling past employers and asking why the applicant moved on?

5. Do you note any special skills that would benefit your team if you hired the applicant?

6. Do you check multiple references to look for consistency in descriptions of applicants?

7. Do you take notes as you go through applications so you can easily compare candidates once the review process is over?

Quiz Scoring

Count the number of times you answered yes to the questions above, then read on to see which category you fall into.

0-2: If you scored low on this quiz, don’t worry! Use the questions above to create a checklist and keep it handy while reviewing job applications. Not only will it help you be more consistent, but it will help you streamline your hiring operations.

3-5: If you scored fair on this quiz, you’re well on your way. Your perfect candidate is somewhere in your stack of applications. Go back over the questions you answered no to, then add them to your review process so you can review applications more thoroughly in the future.

6-7: If you scored high on this quiz, you’re doing great! Once you’ve finished reviewing all of the applications, go back over your “yes” pile and screen the group again to narrow it down. Ideally, you want around 8 to 10 applications per open position.

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Speed Up The Process

Want to make the process even faster? Stop wasting time sorting through hundreds of job applicants and wondering who to interview and let HipHire handle the candidate screening and selection for you.

Our unique matching system makes it easier to find and hire part-time employees right away. We only show you the most promising applicants, so you can focus on growing your business, not wasting time on the wrong people.

[Click here to sign up for early access]

Now It’s Your Turn

Which category do you fall into? Take your score and follow the next steps towards improving your application review process.

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