Teen Interview Question: Why Are You Looking for a Job?

Native American teenage boy at a job interview
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If you’re a high school student looking for a job, you may be wondering what types of questions you’ll be asked during a job interview. One of the most frequently asked interview questions is, “Why are you are looking for a job?” There are a few different ways you can answer this question. Read on for several sample answers that are perfect for high school students seeking employment.

Teen Interview Question: "Why Are You Looking for a Job?"

A job interviewer usually asks this as a general question, and you'll hear it again and again as you apply for jobs through the years. It seems like an easy question, but you want to be able to answer the question in a way that shows you’re interested in working and not just getting a job because you feel you have to. For example, an answer such as, "I don't know," or, "My mom says I have to get a job," is unlikely to rank you higher as a candidate.

The best answers show that you’re interested in the job for some specific reason. Perhaps you’re interested in the things you’ll learn at the job, or you feel you have some skill that can be helpful for the company. Even if your only reason for applying for a job is to make some spending money, it’s good to figure out how you can be of value to the company.

It isn't always going to be applicable for the entry-level jobs that are available, but there may be an aspect of the job that will prepare you for a higher-level career. Do a little research on the company and think about what you could learn by working there. Even if you're just washing the dishes, filing papers, taking orders, or flipping burgers, you are developing skills that may be useful for your future career.

Another good way to answer a question about why you want a job is to respond with a goal or plan you have with the money you’ll earn from the job. The employer will see that you’re motivated to work to meet your goals and that’s an admirable trait. The company probably has already had some bad experiences with employees who haven’t come to work consistently. If you have plans for your income, it shows you will be more likely to stick with the work schedule.


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Suggested Answers for "Why Are You Looking for a Job?"

If you’re not sure how to answer the question, review these examples. Tailor them to your personal situation:

  • I am thinking of a career in this field, and it would be good to get experience at the entry level and see what professionals in this field do in their positions.
  • I like to work with people, and this job will help me develop my skills in communicating with customers.
  • I think I'd enjoy a job in marketing or communications and I'll develop those skills in this customer service job.
  • I like to work with my hands, and this job will let me develop those skills.
  • I would like to work so that I can earn some spending money. I appreciate my parent's help, but I'd like to have a little more money to spend on my own.
  • Ever since I could remember, I have looked forward to the day I was old enough to get a job. I cannot wait to start earning my own money so that I can save up for something special, like a car.
  • Since I will be a senior in high school in September, I am starting to save for the books, supplies, and extra spending money I will need for college.
  • I am looking for a job because I am trying to save money to pay for a trip that my best friend that I would like to take over winter break or when my work schedule permits.

Additional Teen Job Interview Questions

Of course, being asked why you want a job is only one question you’ll be asked, and there will be several more interview questions to answer. You want to make a good impression and being confident and well prepared will help. Review these job interview questions and answers for teens to be sure that you ace the interview. It may help to practice answering the questions out loud or even have a friend pose as an interviewer.