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How To Ace a Summer Job Interview

Summertime, and the living would be a lot easier with a paycheck. Ace the interview and make sure you get one.


  • TIP: Don't ask about time off, leaving early, employee discounts, overtime pay, etc. There's plenty of time to find that out after you are offered the job.
  • Step 1: Send a "kiss-up" letter — not an E-mail, a letter — to the interviewer thanking him for his time and reiterating your interest in the job.
  • FACT: The 2007 labor market for summer jobs declined to a new all time low of 35.1% — the lowest since World War II.
  • Step 2: Say, "I've always loved your clothes (coffee, ice cream, whatever)." Just don't lay it on too thick.
  • Step 3: Be enthusiastic about the position — even if attending a coin-operated car wash isn't your life ambition.
  • TIP: Dress like employees who already work there. Showing up in a suit to get a job flipping burgers is as inappropriate as wearing shorts and a dirty t-shirt for a hosting position at an upscale restaurant.
  • Step 4: Show up on time, resume in hand. Better yet, arrive a bit early. If you're unsure of the job location, take a test run.
  • TIP: Leave the gum, excessive jewelry, and strong fragrances at home—and turn your cell phone off.
  • Step 5: Try on outfits until you find one that works, then make sure it's clean and presentable.

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