Hitting the Pavement and Sealing the Deal

9, 10, 11, 12

Students will learn that using the Internet and critical thinking can help them in searching for a job. They will practice skills needed for a successful job interview.

PrintTwo Class Periods

The learner will:

  • explore the Internet as a resource for finding a job.
  • document the process of searching for a job.
  • connect the strengths and experiences listed on their resumes with the employment opportunities.
  • practice answering a variety of interview questions, including open-ended, information-seeking, and closed-ended questions.
  • role play mock interviews.
  • Internet access
  • Student copies of Handout One: Job Search Worksheet and Handout Two: Interview Tips
  • Flip chart/board

hourly wage: the amount of money you earn in an hour before taxes

salary: usually the amount of money earned in a year before taxes

closed-ended question: a question that is meant to be answered with a brief “yes” or “no” response

information-seeking question: a question that is meant to learn something specific; the length and content of the answer will depend on the information requested

interview: the process of asking and answering questions; often an employer will interview someone who applies for a job to decide whether to hire them

open-ended question: a question that is meant to find out more about how a person thinks or what is important to them, in addition to specific information requested

Home Connection 

Ask the students to write their answers to two interview questions.


Have the students think about and then share with their peers their thoughts around the following question. How will you get into action with the data you have collected today.

Give youth a few minutes to consider the following questions: How has the process of preparing to seek employment affected the way you see yourself? Do you feel more aware of your strengths? What do you see as the greatest strength you bring to a job interview?

Ask youth to imagine that they got the job for which they interviewed. They are now working, doing work they would like to do. Where are they? How do they feel? How do they look? Who is there with them? What is happening? Give youth a few minutes to record their thoughts and images. The more detailed the image, the better—what they can more clearly imagine, they will more easily achieve.


Job Search Sites:



  1. Day One:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the youth they will use the Internet to search jobs that are available for teens. That their assignment is to find three jobs they find interesting and would like to apply for.

  2. Hand out the job search worksheet. Instruct the students to fill out the worksheet for three jobs that interest them. At least one of the jobs should be in a nonprofit organization.

  3. Direct the students to MyFirstPaycheck.com and/or any of the other job search sites listed in the Bibliographical References. Most sites let users search by location and category. Students may also search the online classified ads on the websites of local newspapers.

  4. After completing the worksheet, have the students share their findings with a peer. Working together ask the peers to imagine what questions might be asked at an interview for these jobs. Some questions will be specific to a job and some question might be generic to any job interview. Ask the pairs to develop brainstorm and write two job specific interview questions and two generic job interview questions. You may need to give the students an example of each type of question: specific - What experience do you have with working with animals? generic - What skills do you have that qualify you for this job?

  5. Ask the students to write their questions legibly on each of the charts displayed in the room. Allow the students time to read each chart and copy the two questions they would like to practice responding to.

  6. In pairs (the same as before or different pairs) tell the students to roll play the interviewer and interviewee using their selected questions, helping each other with strengths and weaknesses. Circulate among the students giving suggestions to the interviewee as appropriate.

  7. Day Two:

    Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students to recall their role as interviewer - a business owner who is looking for a new employee. Ask them to get back on to that mind set to respond to the following questions.

  8. How does the person you want to hire dress? How have they styled their hair, makeup, etc? How do they stand (slouching or standing up straight, hands in pockets, etc.)? How does your ideal employee act? How do they greet you when you meet? What is their facial expression like? Do they smile? Do they shake your hand? Do they look you in the eye? Are they smoking or chewing gum? How does this person talk? What words do they use? What is their tone of voice? How loudly do they speak?

  9. Review the list of these non-verbal communications. Ask the students what influence they think these non-verbal communications have on the quality of their job interview - as much influence as their verbal responses to the questions? more or less influence? Why do they think that?

  10. Have the students practice adjusting their body language - posture and facial expression - as if they were going into a job interview. If they can tuck in their shirts, take off hats or jackets, take gum out of their mouths, etc., ask them to do so.

  11. Distribute Handout Two: Interview Tips for discussion. Ask students to add any other suggestions, especially ones that involve non-verbal communication.

  12. Help students prepare to answer a variety of questions. Review types of questions they may be asked in an interview, with examples.

    • Closed-ended: “Have you ever applied with this company before?”
    • Information-seeking: “When will you be available to start working?”
    • Open-ended: “Why are you interested in this position?”
  13. Inform students that they should provide only the information needed based on the type of question asked.

    • Open-ended questions are generally hardest to anticipate and hardest to answer. Give numerous examples of open-ended questions for youth to consider.
    • Advise students to repeat the question in their heads before answering. This will give them a moment to think about what is being asked before blurting out an answer that may miss the mark.
    • Advise students to have their own questions ready. Be sure these are not questions already answered by the ad. Examples: What hours and days will I work? What is the dress code?
  14. Refer the students to the list of questions they generated or to the questions they answered in writing for homework. As a class, categorize each of the questions as Close-ended, Information Seeking or Open Ended.

  15. Allow the students to form pairs and role play mock interviews again, this time being aware of verbal answers as well as non-verbal communication.

    • Provide scripts based on the three types of questions discussed.
    • Be sure the job description is specified in the script, so youth know what positions they are interviewing for.
    • Provide each student in the pair with a different script, so they are not applying for the same job and/or answering the same questions (this will give each student an equal chance to practice answering “surprise” open-ended questions).Allow youth to run through their interviews a couple of times, or to switch scripts and try interviewing for different jobs.
  16. Bring youth back together as a group to discuss what went well and what things they need to work on. Were there questions that surprised them? Were there questions they couldn’t answer, or didn’t want to? Was it hard to make eye contact? Did they remember to smile and say “thank you”?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 02. Careers In The Nonprofit Sector
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Explore requirements and motivations for a career in the civil society sector.