How to Prepare Your Teen for Their First Job Interview

Think back to when you were a teen getting ready to land your first job. Go on, we’ll wait. You probably had no idea how to prepare for a job interview, right? If your kid is gearing up for a one-on-one with a potential employer, they’re likely facing similar anxieties. 

Fretting over not having any interview experience, wondering about the most common interview questions, considering what to wear and how to make the best first impression is… a lot! But with the right job interview tips, you can help your teen feel confident that they’re prepared to do well in their first job interview.

There are tons of reasons your kid might be ready to get a part-time or summer job. The best jobs for teens provide good real-life experience, help develop practical skills—including communication, teamwork, and money management—and develop their professional networks. 

Then there’s the benefit of earning money, which parents who are tired of footing the bill for Uber rides, meals out, and entertainment, will appreciate. 

And as it turns out, these junior gigs don’t just boost teens’ finances now; according to a 2014 University of British Columbia study, working as a teen also correlates to better career prospects and higher salaries in the future. (If that doesn’t get both kids and parents excited about job hunting, we don’t know what will!)

Has your teen started the job hunt? Here’s all the job interview prep tips you, and your teen, need to know.

What your teen needs to know about how to prepare for a job interview today

It may be tempting to rely on your memories of applying for your first job, but it’s important to realize that the job market and standard interview processes have changed drastically over the past two decades, especially in these areas.

The teen job search is all digital

While job-search engines like launched in the ’90s, you and your friends may still have found open positions through classified ads in the local paper. Today, companies list jobs on their own sites and external job boards, so it can be easier for teens to find interesting roles.

Social media may also be a good place for your kid to start their search by following companies and organizations they’re interested in.  

The application process is also online 

Maybe you got your first job after dropping off a paper resumé to the manager on duty at the grocery store, arcade, or coolest clothing boutique in town. Now, many companies require interested parties to submit their applications through their own job portals, an external job board, or even a site like LinkedIn. 

While some places still take in-person resumé drop-offs, you’ll want to look online first to see what the company prefers. You don’t want to encourage your kid to submit their application in person if the business’s site clearly states they need to apply online; it won’t make a good impression and their resumé might very well end up in the trash.

Read more: How to make a resume for teens with examples.

And the interview might be too

Remember schlepping across town to your first interview? You were worried about arriving too early or getting there late, and you were definitely drenched with nervous sweat! Over the past little while, we’ve all learned how convenient it is to conduct some forms of business online. 

Your teen may find that a potential employer would like to schedule an interview via an online platform, eliminating the need to commute to meet them in-person. Prep your child for how different meeting someone online is, and help them make sure they’ll have access to a working device. You might need to update yours or tap a friend or family member to borrow one.

Read more: Job interview questions for teens with sample answers.

teen video call interview

5 job interview tips for teens

1. Dress for success

Older job interview tips might have included “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” but interviewers have relaxed slightly since we were the ones preparing for our first job interview. 

There’s no need for your teen to carry a briefcase or wear a suit if they’re applying to work at a fast-food joint. But they should still dress professionally, which could mean clean, well-fitting pants and a tailored top, a nice dress, or a skirt and blouse. When in doubt, it’s best not to go too casual. If they don’t know the company culture, advise them to avoid jeans, shorts, and flip-flops.

2. Practise basic interview etiquette  

Every interview is different, but there are some common job interview tips your teen should follow. Step one: They should do their research on the company they’re applying to. Candidates who can demonstrate that they’ve done their homework come across as interested, dedicated, and detail-oriented. 

If their interview is in person, remind your teen that they should be polite and respectful to everyone they encounter—including the receptionist and other support staff—make eye contact, smile, and project confidence. These can be hard behaviours to pull off, especially when you’re nervous. Doing some dry runs can help your teen feel more prepared. 

If the interview is taking place over Zoom or another online platform, rules regarding appropriate attire and being respectful still stand. You’ll definitely want to encourage your child to download and get familiar with the platform beforehand so they aren’t fumbling around once the interview has started. 

It’s also important for them to do the interview in a quiet room with no distractions. You can help them by letting them use your home office or workspace, and by keeping any siblings or pets busy or out of the house so they don’t make an unwanted appearance. Remind your teen to look at the screen, and to speak clearly and slowly so the people on the other end can hear what they have to say.

3. Brainstorm questions

Answering questions asked at job interviews is just one part of the process. Your teen should also be asking their own questions to show the hiring manager that they’re engaged, interested, and thinking about how they would fit into the available role. 

Before they head off to their interview, help them come up with two or three things they can ask. These can be very practical, including what the hourly rate is, or whether they need special equipment or clothing. But it’s a good idea to ask big-picture questions too, like what qualities the ideal candidate would have or how the hiring manager would describe the company culture.

4. Set realistic salary expectations

For many teens, there’s not a lot of room to negotiate a starting salary—they’ll likely be paid minimum wage, which will be at least $15 per hour starting December 29, 2021. But they may not know that, especially in the age of Instagram affirmations about knowing your worth. Have a chat with your child about how much money they’re likely to make at their first job and how they should manage it

This is also a good time to remind them about the “three jar” system, in which they divide their earnings into three separate categories: spend, save, and give. This encourages them to spend responsibly, think about the future, and invest in making the world a better place.

5. Prepare a thank-you note ahead of time

They don’t have to send a physical snail-mail card, but a genuine email thanking the interviewer for their time and reiterating your teen’s interest in the job won’t hurt their chances. Plus, it’s a good habit to form for the future. 

The most common questions asked at job interviews to practise

Perhaps the best way parents can help their teens prepare for a job interview is to role-play. Go for maximum authenticity: Have your teen dress as they would for the interview, greet you as if you’re the hiring manager, and run through the interview as if it were happening in real life. 

This role-play allows your teen to get comfortable with more formal interactions and practise their answers to the most common interview questions, which often include:

  • Why are you looking for a job?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why are you the right person for the job?
  • What are some of your accomplishments?
  • What are you learning in school that will help you with this position?
  • Tell me about a problem you had recently and how you solved it.

Mydoh helps kids learn the money skills they need for the real world

Before your kid even starts the teen job search, they will need to understand how to spend (and save) their money, not just earn it. Mydoh is a chores and allowance app designed for both parents and kids. It gives kids valuable experience with making, saving, and spending money, getting them ready to manage their own money once they land their first job.

After you download the app, you can work together to manage household chores, allowance, and spending habits.

They can start spending—and saving—the money they make from allowance-based chores with the Mydoh Smart Card, which is the equivalent of a debit card. You both have access to the account to see the list of chores, how much your teen has been paid, and how much money they’ve spent. It’s a great way to help kids learn the money skills they need for the real world. 

Download the Mydoh app to help you raise money-smart kids with an easy-to-follow chore-based allowance system.

What Parents Need to Know About YouTube

YouTube has been around for 18 years with a variety of channels that post different types of content. It started off as a video sharing platform where the founders thought regular folks at home would like to upload and share home videos. With about 37 million channels, the platform is one of the most popular video sharing sites. While apps like TikTok and Instagram are slowly dominating the video sharing market, YouTube is still a growing source of newer content like short-movies, series, and official music videos. 

What is YouTube?

YouTube is an online video sharing platform. It allows users to create their own channel and upload videos to these channels. You can watch videos, entertainment and news channels, subscribe to your favourite channels, and like and comment on videos. One needs to be 13 years old or older to create a YouTube account. 

How does YouTube work?

YouTube allows you to sign up for free with your Gmail/Google account. If you do not have a YouTube account, you can sign up for one. When doing so, it prompts you to sign up for a Google Email account, where it asks if you are creating an account for yourself, your child, or to manage your business. Once an account has been created or you sign in, you can search for any videos of your interest such as music, educational, short movies, instructional, podcasts, comedy, or news. Based on the content you like, you can subscribe to channels, like their videos, comment on their videos and share them across platforms. You can also use your account to create your own channel where you can upload videos.

What type of content is on YouTube?

Video content is growing in popularity and YouTube is a platform that has different types of video content. The types of videos on YouTube vary in range. However, there are different ways in which these videos can be discovered. Here are some types of content on YouTube and where you can find them:


The platform has every type of video you can think of. Ranging from animation to professional videos, you can find it all on YouTube. Some creators even post their podcasts on YouTube, while sharing video and audio on the platform and just audio on other platforms. Big musicians use YouTube to premiere their music videos or share new music. The platform is huge for different content creators that the company, YouTube, as a creators meet every year to promote and encourage diversity in creation. 

Recommended Videos

With the large range of videos, it is easy to get lost in a different world. Therefore, when you first open the platform, you land on YouTube’s homepage. This page has an endless scroll of recommended videos based on your past views of videos, your subscribed channels, and what is popular in your current location (country).


On the left side, there is an “explore” tab that allows you to discover videos based on your interests. The videos are categorized into areas of interest such as gaming, fashion, trending, news, movies and shows, learning, live, and sport. This allows you to browse videos based on a niche you may like or do research on trends.


As you continue to use YouTube, you begin to discover which content creators you would like to see more content of. This leads to you subscribing to their channel so that you do not miss out on their next upload. An easy way to navigate this is to click on the “subscriptions” tab so that you can see all the channels you are subscribed to and watch their videos. 


The Library section allows you to check out videos that you have watched in the past under “History”. When watching videos, you also have the option to “watch later” which you can find in your Library section. Additionally, it allows you to create playlists of videos which can be found in the Library as well. 


A channel is what you subscribe to if you really like their content. The platform has about 37 million channels with a variety of content like comedy, sketches, music, tips and tricks, food, and movies. 

Is YouTube safe for kids?

As with any online platform, it is important to understand the safety of YouTube. One of the key factors to keep in mind is that YouTube allows people who are 13 years or older to sign up for the platform. However, it also has a platform called YouTube Kids for those who are under 13 years. This platform allows parents to create accounts for their kids and monitor videos that their kids are watching to the point of handpicking the videos themselves. 

For kids 13 years and older, it is easy to open their own channel. One of the key concerns of having younger kids and teens on YouTube is the kind of content they could be exposed to. Inappropriate content is easily accessible on the site with one search. Therefore, it is important to monitor and talk about the kind of content your teen is watching on YouTube. 

teen girl watching youtube

How can I monitor my kids’ activity on YouTube?

You cannot directly monitor your kids’ activity on YouTube. There is an option on YouTube Kids where you can choose what kind of content they can watch and how long they can use the platform for. For YouTube, there is no direct option. However, you can add a restricted mode to YouTube that restricts mature content in your browser. Here is how you can do this:

  • Go to the YouTube website and sign into your YouTube/Google account or your child’s account
  • Click on “Settings”
  • In the drop-down menu, scroll to the bottom where you will see “Restricted Mode”
  • Turn on “Restricted Mode”

The other way to do this is to click on your profile picture icon on the top right corner. Right at the end of the menu, you will see “Restricted Mode” and it allows you to turn it on or off. Make sure that the Restricted Mode is on on all devices. 

YouTube effects on mental health

Mental health is an area of concern when it comes to online activity for children, teens, and even adults. Extensive use of social media can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, body image issues, or aggressive behaviour. YouTube is a unique app in that it is not one where your kids would directly interact with friends. The concern with this platform is the exposure to content. 

Influencer Content

With the abundance of a variety of content available on YouTube, it is easy for your kids to stumble upon inappropriate content that could affect their mental health. Alternatively, it could also be influencers that they follow on the platform who talk about body images, makeup, and fashion. While the influencers’ intention is not to touch upon these topics, teens are developing a sense of themselves and exposure to such content can make them think.

Other ways that YouTube could affect your child’s mental health is through comparison of other people’s lives. Many YouTube content creators post “daily vlogs” which are videos about a day in their lives. Because of the type of work they do in the creative field, their lives may seem more glamorous and “happening” which could lead to your teen questioning their career choices, their life, or even choosing to take up “daily vlogs” to post on YouTube. In these scenarios, it is important to have discussions with your children about the superficial life that is often posted on social media, and how it is more important to live in the moment.


Cyberbullying is bullying done in the digital space. This is done through social media, text messages, online gaming, and more. According to Broadband Search, “60 percent of teenagers have experienced some sort of cyberbullying.” Cyberbullying can result in mental health issues, social anxiety, a dip in academic performance, or more aggressive behaviour. As parents, you want the best for your kids and you do not want to see them being subjected to any form of bullying.

The YouTube comments section is also an area to look out for. Some users use the comments section to leave negative comments for no reason known as “trolling”. If your child has a YouTube channel, monitoring their comments section is recommended as negative comments could also be cyberbullying.

How can I use YouTube with my kids?

With the safety concerns under control, YouTube is actually a really fun platform for you and your kids to explore and discover together. There are so many videos you could watch together such as comedy, DIY (do-it-yourself), karaoke, movies, recipes, educational videos, and motivational videos. You could also share videos with them on what you think they would enjoy. If you are up for the challenge, create a YouTube channel with them and upload weekly fun content that you think you both would enjoy. 

Learn more: How to create a YouTube channel for your kids.

YouTube and online safety tips

YouTube is a safe site in terms of any other social media. The major safety concern would be the communication with others through comments and posting their own content. It is important to have a discussion around the safety and privacy concerns of YouTube with your teens:

  • Never reveal personal information such as address, phone number, school, password or any information about their parents
  • Think before posting as there are consequences to posting inappropriate language and videos on YouTube 
  • Always alert you if someone they do not know has somehow contacted them on YouTube
  • They should talk to you if they ever feel threatened/bullied on YouTube
  • Emphasize that you are always available to talk about anything

YouTube has been around for a while and it is a great platform to watch some really interesting content and videos. Young kids and teens are growing up with these social media platforms as part of their lives. Therefore, it is important that you and your kids understand both the negative and positive impacts of using platforms like YouTube. 

Setting usage boundaries

As parents, it is normal to be concerned about our kids’ usage of an online video sharing platform like YouTube. However, with the right amount of monitoring and conversations, their usage of the platform can be a good experience. Make sure you take the time to talk to them about the app. Ensure that they are using YouTube on “Restricted Mode” and from time-to-time, monitor their history to make sure they aren’t coming across any inappropriate content. 

Additionally, take the time out to have conversations with your children around the importance of YouTube privacy, privacy risks, mental health, cyberbullying, and social media addiction. You can also explore having some sort of agreement on how you monitor their social media usage. 

Finally, as you monitor and set boundaries for their YouTube usage, you can also take the time to share the experience of YouTube with them. Take part in their interests by sharing videos you think they may find interesting. Watch videos together and find channels that you both may want to subscribe to and have discussions about later.  

Social media can be scary for anyone. In order to ensure that your kids are using social media responsibly, you can begin to introduce smart decision making early on in their lives. This can be done by involving them in small chores at home, exposing them to money management by downloading apps like Mydoh, and having open conversations with them about the digital world.

Learn more about how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save while making smart decisions.

Download the Mydoh app to help you raise money-smart kids.