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Job interviews

Hi Sam im a 16 year old girl and i really want a job but im scared to do an interview. I have zero confidence and i get so nervous talking to people. Im afriad of going into the interview and not being able to speak. This has happened me before when i had to read in class, it was like my voice just cut off. Im also terrible at thinking on the spot and im scared theyll ask me a question and ill not know how to answer. I really want a job but im just too scared of the interview. Im worrying about an interview i havent even got! If i did get an interview i wouldnt know what to wear. I think its harder for girls when deciding what to wear to an interview. For example if you wear a skirt it could be seen as inappropriate because its too short but if you wear jeans its too casual. I really don‘t know what to do i wish i wasnt so awkward and nervous. Almost everyone in my year as a job. Please help me I need some advice.

Thanks

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there

Going for an interview can be scary, especially when you get nervous talking to people. It’s normal to want to do well and also to be unsure about what will happen. Getting a job is a big decision and interviews take some practice before you get used to them.

Interviews are designed to try to find the right person for the role, whether it’s for a job, volunteering, or a college or university place. Having the skills and ability to do the course or job can help you feel more confident when you’re about to apply. If you have low confidence you might feel more anxious about what to say.

There are things you can do to feel less worried about the interview, like practising your answers to questions they might ask. You could answer your practice questions in front of a mirror or ask a friend or adult you trust to pretend to interview you. Remember to give examples and to research the company you’re applying to work or volunteer for - that way you can show how interested you are in the job.

Wear something you feel comfortable in that matches the type of job you’re applying for, like smart trousers and a jacket for an office job. If it’s an outdoor job like gardening, you could wear something more casual. You might find something suitable in a charity shop if you’ve not got much money, or some drycleaners offer a free suit cleaning service if you’re unemployed and going to an interview.

When your confidence is low you might find it harder to make decisions and worry more about getting things wrong. These tips to boost your confidence can help, while you can try to reduce any pressure by planning ahead.

Give yourself extra time to get ready and to travel on the day.

Plan your bus, train or car route a few days in advance.

Aim to arrive 10 minutes early so you’re not rushing.

Smile when you say hello and introduce yourself to help you relax and feel more positive.

During the interview you can ask the interviewer to repeat a question if you didn’t hear or you’re not sure what’s being asked. Remember to take a slow, deep breath before you answer to help you feel calmer.

It’s okay to not know the answer to a question as there are always things to learn in a new job. Being honest is often better than making something up and you could say you’re not sure what the answer is but you’ll find out and get back to them.

It’s good to plan ahead and to learn some strategies for keeping calm on the day, like listening to music on the journey there so you’re not overthinking things.

Remember, counsellors at Childline are there to listen about anything that’s worrying you if you want to talk.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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