Why parents need to prepare their child for job interviews

Contribution from Kirsty Ferguson, Interview & Resume Expert
Looking for a job

My friend’s nephew has just discovered how difficult it is to get a job. I’m not talking a full time career; I’m talking about a casual or part-time job whilst still in school or university.


Most large retailers have a rigorous interview process that will include some, if not all of the following:

  • Step 1 – Phone interview
  • Step 2 – Group interview
  • Step 3 – One on one interview
  • Step 4 – Your referees are actually called

Since our day, the hiring protocols have been tightened, simply because of the sheer number of applicants. The above process is conducted every time a role is advertised, even for kids who are in year 10.


I asked around at school and found many parents unaware of this formal recruitment process. In fact they expected a 10 minute “casual chat” with a manager from where their child would step into a job on a cash register or selling “on the floor”. Not so. These jobs are highly contested and you have to present as a good candidate to make it through.


If parents are unaware, it means their children will most likely go into the interview unprepared. We are talking teenagers here. As a parent have you ever tried to have an animated phone conversation with an unsuspecting 17-year-old? How was your day?  “Good”. What did you do today? “Uhm, not much”.


Sound familiar?

So, do you think your son or daughter could answer these questions effectively if they get a call from an employer:

  • “Tell me about yourself”? or
  • “Why do you want to work for us?”
  • “What do you know about our company?”
  • “What skills or strengths are you bringing to this role?”

Right. 5 seconds of silence and a large “uuuuuuhhhmmm” and your son/daughter just lost an opportunity for a job they really wanted.


But there is good news. Kirsty’s next blog will outline what parents can do to get their child ready for the job interview.