Summer Job Interview Questions and Tips

Student and HR manager having a job interview
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When you are interviewing for a summer job, you'll be asked about your ability to do the job, as well as your schedule and your availability to work. In addition, the interviewer will want to know about your ability to work with others.

In addition to reviewing the most common questions, you will be asking during your interview, be prepared with questions to ask, because you will be asked if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Also, have a list of two or three references ready to give to your interviewer.

Summer Job Interview Questions

  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • When are you available to work this summer? When could you start and when do you need to return to school?
  • What days and hours are you available each week?
  • How flexible is your schedule?
  • Do you have any activities that would prevent you from working on your schedule?
  • Do you have summer vacation plans?
  • Tell me about your academic goals and grades.
  • Why do you think you are qualified for this position?
  • Do you have any related experience?
  • What other jobs have you held? What did you like best/least about them?
  • Have you ever had difficulty working with a teacher or supervisor?
  • If I asked your teachers or your guidance counselor to describe you, what would they say?
  • If you have worked before, what did you like best about your last job?
  • Describe your ability to work as part of a team.
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Explain why punctuality and reliability are important attributes for employees.
  • Do you have references I can contact?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Tips for Acing a Summer Job Interview

Once you've networked successfully or reached out directly to employers and landed an interview, leverage your skills, interest, and opportunities to convert them into a job offer for the summer.

Effective preparation, delivery, and follow up will all be critical to your success. Here are the top ten tips for successfully interviewing for a summer job:


Think of successful past experiences as a student, athlete, volunteer, employee, and a friend or with school activities. Identify the skills or qualities which enabled you to do well in those situations. Be ready to share statements referencing those strengths and to give examples of how and when you tapped those assets.


Practice a 30-word statement underscoring why you want the job and how you have the right stuff to excel in that role. Rehearse in front of the mirror, with parents, advisors, or friends who can be objective and supportive.

Review Your Experiences

Review all the experiences listed on your application and/or resume and be ready to answer questions about your experiences. For example, be prepared to answer questions, such as "What did you like about your previous job?" and "What were your biggest accomplishments while in that role?"

Dress Nicely

Business casual will usually be acceptable attire, but if you're interviewing for a professional-type job, consider wearing a dress, slacks, and a blazer, or a suit. Ask your parents for advice or guidance if you're unsure how to dress for your interview, or call the employer's human resources department and ask what is acceptable.

Makeup, Piercings, and Hairdos

Avoid excessive makeup, piercings, and wild hairdos. Present the image that your employer would want for their clientele. You can always readjust your grooming once you leave the interview after you've learned more about the company.

Greeting the Interviewer

Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and warm smile. Make comfortable eye contact when articulating your statements. Lean slightly forward to engage your interviewer and don't slouch.

Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude

Enthusiasm and a positive attitude really count with summer job interviews. All things being equal, the eager, upbeat young candidate will be much more likely to get an offer. Smile often, use a lively vocal tone and focus on the positive at all times. Verbalize to the employer that you would really like the job and work hard to do well.

Your Skills

If you don't have all the skills or experiences required for the job, it is best to admit it, but stress that you are eager to learn and that you're a quick study.

Express Flexibility

Express as much flexibility as honestly possible regarding hours worked and start dates. If you can start in the spring or continue in the fall while in school, that may be a distinct advantage for some employers.

Thank You Notes

Compose a thank you note as soon as possible after your interview. Express appreciation for the interviewer's time and excitement about the possibility of working there this summer. Check in periodically with your employer after the interview and express your continued interest.

More Job Interview Questions

Here are more job interview questions, along with sample answers. Review them prior to the interview, so you are prepared to respond to the interviewer.

Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Here are questions to ask the interviewer so you can ensure the company is a good match for your qualifications and interests.