Interviewing 16-25-year-olds requires a nuanced approach

Interviewing 16-25-year-olds requires a nuanced approach to effectively identify their potential and fit for the role. Here are some refined tips and tricks:


1. Understand Their Background:

Recognise that younger candidates may have limited professional experience. Focus on their education, internships, part-time jobs, and extracurricular activities.

2. Create a Welcoming Environment:

Make the interview process as stress-free as possible to help them feel comfortable and confident.

Interview Questions

3. Use Behavioural Questions:

Ask about specific situations from their past experiences (e.g., school projects, internships, volunteer work) to understand their problem-solving skills and how they handle challenges.

– Example: “Tell me about a time when you worked as part of a team to achieve a goal.”

4. Assess Soft Skills:

Focus on communication, teamwork, adaptability, and enthusiasm. These are often more developed at this stage than technical skills.

– Example: “How do you handle constructive criticism?”

5. Evaluate Potential:

Look for signs of eagerness to learn, a growth mindset, and passion for the field.

– Example: “What are you most excited to learn in this role?”

Practical Considerations

6. Explain the Role Clearly:

Ensure they understand the job responsibilities, expectations, and opportunities for growth within the company.

7. Provide Realistic Scenarios:

Present scenarios they might face in the job and ask how they would handle them. This helps gauge their practical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

– Example: “How would you manage a situation where you have multiple deadlines approaching?”

Encouragement and Support

8. Encourage Questions:

Allow them to ask about the role, company culture, and career development opportunities. This shows their interest and helps them assess if they are a good fit for your company.

9. Be Patient and Understanding:

Recognise that they might be nervous or inexperienced in interviews. Provide positive reinforcement and constructive feedback.


10. Feedback:

If they are not selected, provide constructive feedback that can help them improve in future interviews. This leaves a positive impression and helps them grow professionally.

Cultural Fit

11. Discuss Company Values:

Ensure they understand and align with your company’s values and culture. Ask questions to see if they share similar values.

– Example: “What do you value most in a workplace?”

Mentorship and Development

12. Highlight Mentorship Opportunities:

Emphasise any mentorship or training programmes your company offers, which can be appealing to younger candidates seeking growth.

Additional Tips

13. Look Beyond Experience:

Consider their potential, willingness to learn, and how their personal projects or hobbies might translate into valuable skills.

14. Evaluate Long-Term Fit:

Think about how the candidate might grow within your company and their potential for future roles.

15. Balance Formality and Approachability:

Maintain a professional tone but also show that your workplace is welcoming and supportive.

By focusing on these areas, you can effectively interview and assess 16-25-year-old candidates, helping them to showcase their potential and ensuring they are a good fit for your organisation.