When you’re hiring teens, the job interview plays a key role. But do you know what job interview questions for teens to ask to get a good feel for whether they’re right for your business?

Job applicants can google their way to canned answers for the best way to respond to common questions like “What’s your greatest weakness?” So when you’re hiring, you need to take a different tack to learn what you really need to know.

These 10 job interview questions for teens can help you get a better sense of whether you want to make that job offer—or not.

Job Interview Questions for Teens About the Job

You want to know that a high school student is a good fit for the position, but you need to get past “Why do you want this job?” See what these questions reveal:

  1. What do you think this job is about? Why is this job important to our company?

What it reveals: Whether you and the teen have the same understanding of the position, the person’s attitude toward the job, and the candidate’s sense of his or her role in something bigger.

  1. What do you not like to do? or What aren’t you good at?

What it reveals: If the teen’s answers reveal he or she dislikes an essential aspect of the job, press further. A candidate who doesn’t like to hurry won’t be a good fit for the Saturday night rush. A candidate who isn’t good at focusing in a noisy environment may struggle in your open office plan.

  1. If we hire you, what would make you consider leaving for another job?

What it reveals: Teens who say “Nothing” won’t reveal much, but prod a little. Answers like more money, a different schedule, or a chance to do something more fun will tell you something about what the candidate is really after.

  1. How would you handle X situation?

What it reveals: Asking how candidates would handle a situation they might face on the job allows you to assess their ability to problem solve. This is different than asking how they have handled a problem in the past—and more revealing in the case of teens, since they won’t necessarily have past work experience.

Job Interview Questions for Teens to Assess Culture Fit

We’ve said it before, but you aren’t hiring a skillset. You’re hiring a person. Somebody who looks perfect on paper may just not gel with your team. Try these three questions to assess culture fit:

  1. How do you feel about joking around in the workplace?

What it reveals: You could also ask How would you feel about [insert a situation that is likely or unlikely to happen at your company]? Knowing your own company culture, you’ll know if the person’s response fits.

  1. Who will you miss working with at your last job? Why?

What it reveals: This won’t apply for teens seeking their first job, but is a good question to ask if they have any past volunteer or work experience. Asking about co-workers gives a glimpse into how a candidate worked with others and what he or she values in people.

  1. What do you do when you’re off the clock?

What it reveals: Questions about hobbies and interests spark excitement that gets candidates sharing more openly. They can show skills that might not be apparent elsewhere or potential shared interests. Worried that this is getting too off track? Ask What can I learn about your skills from one of your hobbies?

Job Interview Questions for Teens That Reveal Values

Values are underrated in hiring for part-time jobs. (See why they matter so much here.) These questions help assess values.

  1. What would you do if you didn’t have to work or go to school?

What it reveals: What the candidates hold important. Would they travel to learn more about other places or tap into a sense of adventure? Spend more time with family? Volunteer with a cause they believe in? Spend all their time playing video games?

  1. Tell me three qualities you have. If you were known for just one, what would it be?

What it reveals: You’ll learn about three character traits of the candidate, but more importantly, you’ll understand what he or she values.

  1. If you were a color, what would you be? Why?

What it reveals: Creative thinking and a trait the person wants you to know about. It sounds silly, but sometimes quirky questions give the most surprising—and revealing—answers. Try substituting animal or superhero for color.

If you’ve been asking the same old job interview questions for teens (and getting the same ho-hum, non-revealing answers), try mixing it up. Some off-beat questions may give you the true insight you need to make a great hire. #TeenHiringGap

You’ve got the perfect interview questions for teens. Now—find the perfect job candidates for your open positions! Get started with HipHire today.

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