Tips for successful job interviews from students working part-time


Photo courtesy Janea Ngo

Senior Janea Ngo prepares to serve customers in March at Chick-Fil-A in the Kentlands.

Students searching for part-time jobs may struggle with interview questions and the best strategies to get hired. Those who hold a job as a student have tips and advice that can give others the best chance at doing well at their next interview. 

A good way to apply for a job is to look for open spots on a company website or other sites that specifically are suited for job listings such as Indeed. “Chick-fil-a was my first job and I found it through indeed.con during quarantine,” senior Janea Ngo said. 

Going to visit the store in person and inquiring about any available positions demonstrates one’s interest in being hired and shows management how much you want the job. However, with Covid-19, it is harder to go in person. “I saw that Poki DC was hiring so I walked in and asked for an application. I was lucky enough to meet the manager that day and he liked me so he was willing to hire me. I would recommend people go outside and apply to jobs, while applying online reduces your chances of being hired,” senior Julia Goetz said. 

A tip I have for anyone is to be yourself.”

— Janea Ngo

After applying, companies will ask to schedule an interview either in person or over Zoom. “I got a call back after a couple days and then got an email with the Zoom link for the interview. I had two interviews through Zoom, which I was really nervous for. A tip I have for anyone is to be yourself,” Ngo said. 

Different jobs will ask questions ranging from hobbies and interests to schedule flexibility and more. “Try not to overthink it. Think about your best traits and what you want them to see during your interviews. The management hired me right after the interview, but normally they wait a while to contact you either via email or phone call,” senior Kailyn King said. 

After being hired, each store has different ways of creating an effective and flexible schedule. “Depending on where you work, the schedule can be pretty flexible. Managers are for most part, very understanding about school situations,” King said. 

While some jobs send out a schedule personally made by the manager, others use specific job apps. “Schedules are flexible and it’s great to have every Sunday off. We use an app called hot schedules where we see our schedules, switch shifts with other people or request time off,” Ngo said. 

In the end, it is important to be yourself when it comes to job interviews and first impressions. “Be authentic and stay positive, don’t try to put up a front. They only want to see the best version of you and what you will be able to bring to the establishment,” King said.