As students progress through high school, the need for strong interview etiquette skills becomes even more important. Interview skills should be a priority in every high school classroom.
As an educator, your role is to help your students succeed and thrive academically. But a huge part of this is preparing them for what’s to come. From scholarship and college admission interviews to their first jobs and internships, interviewing is going to be a huge barrier to success. That’s why you should focus on interview etiquette with your high school students.
And luckily, it’s easier to implement than you might expect!
Why Is It Important To Teach Interview Etiquette To High School Students?
Aside from preparing students for college and career interviews, teaching interview etiquette helps shape other life skills, too.
High school students are unique in that, when they feel fully confident, they have a contagious level of positive energy. When they learn new skills that feel relevant to real life, it’s easy to see their joy and sense of accomplishment.
That’s right—high school students will be incredibly enthusiastic about learning new skills, as long as those skills feel relevant and practical. Interview etiquette is hands-on and lets students think and learn in a new, different way.
Students love learning things that benefit themselves. Studying something like geometry is important, but many students don’t see how it’s relevant to their real lives. When you teach interview etiquette, you’re supporting your students in preparing for adulthood.
Plus, you get to build that confidence in your students. A huge part of interviewing is learning to showcase yourself in the best light and celebrate your skills. Many high school students are vulnerable and feel insecure….and you have the chance to change that while helping them make a good impression and achieve their goals.
3 Types Of Interview Etiquette You Should Teach To High School Students
If you’re worried about how to teach etiquette to your high school students, it’s way easier than you’re anticipating.
There are actually three main types of etiquette you should focus on. We’ll go over those three types and then move into some easy strategies for incorporating interview etiquette into your classroom.
1. Teach Them How To Have A Strong Interview Presence
The first main component of interview etiquette is having a presence. This means things like:
Having good posture throughout the interview
Walking into the room with confident body language
Keeping your body language confident throughout the conversation
Our body language tells interviewers what they need to know before we even start talking. Many students are completely uncomfortable with interviews, and that shows in their body language.
Prioritize walking in with confidence, maintaining eye contact, and keeping your shoulders back and down, your torso elongated, and your chin up.
2. Teach Them To Dress The Part
Dressing the part—and more specifically, dressing for what you want—matters. The way we dress helps portray our values and attitude toward a role.
You’ll want to encourage students of all backgrounds to do their best to dress in an authentic, appropriate, and professional manner. Remind students that it’s okay to ask about interview dress codes if they aren’t sure.
Typically, you can advise male students to wear slacks and a clean, pressed, collared shirt. The same outfit will work for female students, but a dress or skirt with a business-appropriate length will also suffice.
Just remember that all students do not come from the same background, home environment, or resources. Keep that in mind when discussing appropriate interview attire.
3. Work On Conversation Skills
The final fundamental piece of interview etiquette is conversation skills. There are a few important things here that you’ll want to teach your students.
First, let your students know that they should always do research on the company (or university) that they’ll be interviewing with. Even better, if they know the name of the person who will be interviewing them, they can research that person, too.
Next, prioritize conversation skills during the interview. Of course, basic manners and conversation skills matter here. But there are also specific that matter, like asking open-ended questions and using phrases like “describe,” “please explain,” and “tell me.”
You can have your students interview each other with scripts to practice these types of skills!
Now let’s get to the fun part. How do you easily teach interview etiquette in your high school classroom?
Here are four steps you can take to do this.
Make The Process Fun With Role-Playing
As a high school educator, you know how important it is to keep learning fun and engaging. When it’s time to prepare your students for interviews, you need to keep things hands-on and engaging whenever possible!
Role-playing activities are a great way to engage students with real practice. You can even pair students up in groups and have them consistently practice interview etiquette once a week.
Use An Etiquette Curriculum To Help You Plan These Lessons
If you’re looking for structured plans for etiquette in your classroom without extra stress, the Manners to Go curriculum is perfect for you!
Manners To Go offers a job skills curriculum complete with tons of engaging activities to guarantee student success during interviews. A huge part of interview etiquette is how you carry yourself (not just your answers to questions) and that’s exactly what our curriculum focuses on.
As a high school educator, you have lots on your plate. Manners To Go’s curriculum gives you a clear path for teaching interview etiquette in your classroom without tons of extra work.
Practice Key Interview Skills Consistently
There are so many skills that your students need to know in order to be successful in interviews. Breaking this down into a specific checklist helps you stay on track while creating snackable lessons for your students.
Here are some of the key interview etiquette skills you should focus on:
Preparing a list of questions for the interviewers
Answering typical interview questions students might be asked
Body language and delivery
Inclusivity and conversation skills
Make sure to point out successes at each of these skills as students start to use them. Manners To Go’s curriculum features lessons for each of these essential skills.
Prioritize Following Up After Every Interview
If you want to help your students stand out, going above and beyond with interview etiquette is a must.
And the best way to do that is to implement manners through following up!
Teach your students that following up with an interviewer isn’t just acceptable—it’s encouraged. Then, focus on practicing those skills by writing a handwritten thank you note or email.
These follow-ups are quick to put together, but take practice to master. They’re worth doing, particularly because they show good character and strong leadership skills.
Working on interview etiquette with your high school students is an incredible way to prepare them for the real world. Whether your students are heading to jobs, college admissions, or scholarship interviews, they need those essential skills to succeed.
Teaching etiquette is important at any age. But etiquette for teens is incredibly significant — especially for high school students! With so many big life changes ahead, teenagers need to be prepared to thrive socially out in the world.
Focusing on etiquette for teens in your high school classroom will help you continue to positively impact your students. You’ll provide them with skills and knowledge that last a lifetime.
Why It’s Essential To Focus On Etiquette For Teens
As an educator, you understand the value of social skills for every student. Particularly for high school students, knowing how to act in both social and professional situations is essential!
Basic manners and etiquette for teens helps them make positive impressions on the right people. Whether your high schoolers are applying for part-time jobs or apprenticeships, college, or interviewing, etiquette is the key!
Plus, etiquette helps teens know how to respect others. In such a vulnerable emotional time as adolescence, the more respect and empathy we can foster, the better!
Teenagers who use good manners (and have amazing social skills) are more likely to receive opportunities to grow and thrive. In a modern world grounded in tons of new social etiquette rules, teens might not receive proper manners education at home. That means the classroom might be the only place they could learn social skills and etiquette for the professional world!
Etiquette for teens impacts their ability to excel, both in school and professionally as they enter the workplace.
Every teen should have a certain set of skills that will help them socially, academically, and professionally. No matter what subject you teach, etiquette for teens is incredibly important….and easier than you think to add to your classroom.
Some basic etiquette for teens to focus on include:
How to make (and appropriately maintain) eye contact
How to introduce themselves
Using appropriate language when speaking with others
When to put their devices away and be completely present
How to navigate a place setting
How to manage and present themselves well on social media
Basic interview skills
Good posture when sitting or standing
Dressing for professional occasions
Receiving these basic skills will help any teenager navigate the world more smoothly. All of these skills are easy to teach, but incredibly valuable (and lifelong).
How To Start Adding Etiquette for Teens To Your Curriculum
Etiquette for teens doesn’t have to be the entire focus of your classroom. It’s easy to add small, teachable moments to your lessons, no matter what subject you teach.
First, make sure you model good behavior in your classroom. Consistently model the etiquette and social behaviors you’d like to see your students learn.
You can even point out moments where you practiced specific etiquette skills.
Next, point out and celebrate when a teenager in your class is using those amazing etiquette skills. Whether it’s skills from a lesson you’ve taught or something you haven’t covered yet, celebrating etiquette helps teens see its value.
Be direct when teaching etiquette for teens. Don’t assume that all teenagers know even basic social skills or manners!
Everyone’s home situation, background, and lifestyle are different, so create an even playing field by showing and telling what’s right (and explaining why it’s right).
You’ll also want to highlight the true benefits of good manners and etiquette for teens in your classroom. Let’s be honest: no high schooler likes feeling as though what they’re doing is irrelevant! The more you can show them how valuable these skills are, the more open they’ll be to learning.
Teaching etiquette is about self-respect and respecting others.
You should highlight to your students that etiquette and good manners aren’t just a set of strict rules. Instead, encourage students to reflect and use these skills because of how it makes them feel on the inside!
Benefits of Etiquette For Teens
Students who learn and use etiquette become more polite, well-rounded teenagers and adults.
Etiquette for teens actually leads to a number of positive character traits, like:
Greater confidence and self-esteem
Empathy for others
Improved etiquette and social skills in the classroom and at home
Better manners in everyday life
Confidence to take on leadership roles and new challenges
All of these character traits help teenagers navigate adolescence and beyond. As they grow older, those fundamental etiquette lessons will continue to add value to their lives.
High school is one of the most important times to focus on manners and social skills. Etiquette for teens provides lifelong value and builds character. Even better, it helps prepare them for amazing opportunities as they grow older!
If you’re ready to start focusing on etiquette for teens in your classroom, Manners To Go’s curriculums can help you! Providing etiquette and social education to your students in any subject is easy with the right strategies and tools on your side.
Life Skills | Manners | Character Education | Social Emotional Learning
10 Tips to Teach Manners in Your Classroom:
It is amazing what happens when you bring this to a child’s attention. Eye contact is the basis for feeling and showing that you are confident.
What a great way to start the day. Greet your students every morning or end the day with a handshake
The best way to teach about introductions, is to organize a role-playing activity for your students. They can pretend they have never met each other. Teach them to say “hello, my name is”.
Sit up straight. Stand up straight. Having good posture shows that you are confident and interested.
How to Hold a Fork
Holding a fork correctly is important and shows that we have good table manners.
Napkin in Your Lap
Teach your students to put the napkin in the their lap during recess or lunch.
Do your students know how to start or carry on a conversation with each other or with someone they don’t know?
Be Fully Present | Put Down the Phone or Device
Isn’t it a beautiful gift when someone pays attention to what you are saying and shows they are interested?
Deference | Respect
Allowing someone to go first or opening the door. This is deference. This is respect. Model this in your classroom.
Say good morning or good bye to your students or co-workers
Teach Manners in Your Classroom
Good Manners Set the Stage for Future Success
As an educator, you know how important social skills are for a child’s success. Children who are polite, well spoken, and attentive to others find it easier to get along with their peers and make a positive impression on the adults in their lives.
As a result, more opportunities come their way, laying the foundation for future success in life.
Yet too many children are not being taught proper manners or other valuable social skills at home. Which means it’s up to us as educators to equip them with these important life tools – and help them grow up to be responsible, caring, successful global citizens.
Now you can help students improve their behavior in as little as 10 minutes a day… a week… or month.
Most likely we already share something in common. We believe that teaching children manners, character and social emotional skills are very important.
Manners To Go™ is a full-service company for those choosing to teach manners to children. You can make a difference. All children and teenagers deserve to feel what it is like to be confident, and use good manners out in the world.
Manners To Go™ is taught in public, private and charter schools around the world. The New York Times, Parents Magazine and Fox News have all featured Manners To Go and the many benefits of teaching social skills to children.
Whether you are an educator who wants to teach it in the classroom or someone who is looking to become trained and certified, we provide all the solutions.
My name is Lisa Richey, and I am the founder of Manners To Go™ . This brand has given me the honor of teaching manners to thousands of people around the world. The journey has taken me from Portland, Oregon to the Middle East. I believe that manners are not about judgment or rules. Manners are about self-interest. It really is about how using good manners makes you feel on the inside.
Lisa Richey provides etiquette programs to businesses, schools, and individuals.