How to stand out to employers when interviewing


PHOTO Devon Mann

Jacob Taylor demonstrates the attire needed to impress business owners at an interview.

Delaney Bryson, Writer

Surrounded by bread bowls, pastries and coffee, senior Jon Wakefield greets a customer as they walks into the Panera Bread on Owen Road. He has been working in the cafe for the past two years. With the experience he has gained, Wakefield has developed a set of skills that have helped him in the workplace environment.

“Showing up to an interview looking nice is very important,” Wakefield said. “If you are under dressed it shows you might not be ready to work, but showing up over-dressed could mean you’re unaware of how to dress for an interview, hurting your chances of getting a job. I wouldn’t go over the top. You don’t need to wear a suit or anything. For my interview I wore some khakis and a nice button down shirt.”

Although it does play a role in landing a job, appearance is not the only aspect employers pay attention to during an interview. Social skills and attitude also have a part when employees are hired. Sophomore Johnny Adamian successfully interviewed for and secured a job at Lucky’s Steakhouse two months ago.

“It’s important to remember first impressions are everything in the work world,” Adamian said. “Even if you have the skills to do the job, if you don’t conduct yourself in a professional manner you will never get hired. Do not interrupt or use slang when you talk to your manager. Keep good eye contact and shake their hand at the end of the interview and try not to be nervous. You have to show that you are confident and competent, able to do the job you are applying for.”

Not only should students be focused on performing well during an interview, it is also important to gather information about the job prior to the meeting with potential employers.

“When going to an interview, one of the biggest mistakes is not doing research about the company you are applying for,” Fenton Culver’s manager Kevin Adams said. “You want to make sure your values and goals align with the company, and you’re going to fit in with the culture that they operate by.”

Students should be prepared to answer a series of questions about themselves and their skills. It is also important to keep a good attitude during the job interview and try to appear interested and excited about having the job.

“We typically look for someone who has a lot of energy and is passionate about their interests and goals,” Adams said. “Someone who is engaged in the interview by providing a thoughtful answer to the questions and can maintain eye contact when giving their answers.”

When looking to launch themselves into the working world, teenagers must conduct themselves in a manner that showcases their willingness and ability to work. With the necessary preparation, along with exhibiting certain professional traits, teenagers will make a lasting impact on employers.