One of my goals here at TeensGotCents is to research some of the best part time job opportunities out there for teenagers. It just made sense to me to take a look at Chick-fil-A because it is one of my favorite places to eat, the employees are always genuinely polite and friendly, and they are closed on Sundays. Joe Mayo, a Chick Fil A operator, graciously agreed to allow me to interview him recently. We covered the general topic of how to get a part time job and specifically the opportunities that Chick-fil-A offers to teenagers. Here are my questions and his answers:
Me: What specifics do you look for in a teenager who applies for a job at one of your restaurants?
Mr. Mayo: The main thing that I look for is a passion to serve other people. That’s what we are about, serving other people. Of course, attitude is important and we are looking for people that are energetic. Particularly with teenagers, we look at what other activities they are involved in. We really like it when teenagers are involved in extracurricular activities with their school – sports, clubs, things of that nature. Specifically, we are looking for leadership ability.
Me: What can a young person do to make their application stand out from the crowd?
Mr. Mayo: The main thing is very simple. Complete the application thoroughly. We get 8 – 10 applications every single day. Unfortunately, if an application is not filled out it will probably not get looked over.
Me: What common mistakes do teenagers make as employees?
Mr. Mayo: Let’s flip that – let’s talk about what teens can do well. We have an incredible team here and some of the things that they do well is that they shine amongst their peers. It shows leadership and this is one of the main things that we look for. There is an opportunity to grow with the company here, so leadership ability is really important. That can be shown in several ways. Come dressed appropriately for an interview, even go so far as to be dressed professionally when you turn in an application. We have all heard that first impressions matter, and they do. Be sure to let us know what types of activities that you are involved in at school, in the your church and/or in the community. All of these things matter so be sure to include them on your application.
Me: What is the best single piece of advice that you can offer to a young person looking for a part time job?
Mr. Mayo: The main thing is to be yourself during the interview but be sure to role-play prior so that you can practice what you might say. This is so important particularly because you will probably be nervous, especially if this is your very first interview. Additionally, be sure to have a few questions for the person conducting the interview. It really helps if you have done some research about the company. This is your opportunity to direct the interview.
Me: What opportunities does Chick-fil-A offer it’s part time employees?
Mr. Mayo: Flexible schedule, closed on Sunday, great place to work and the opportunity for a long term career with a wonderful company. 65% of Chick-fil-A operators come from within, and from that group there are several that started as teenagers and just stayed with the company. There are also those who now work at the Chick-fil-A home office located in Atlanta.
Me: Does Chick-fil-A offer scholarships or help with college expenses?
Mr. Mayo: When people become a team member at Chick-fil-A they will have the opportunity to qualify for a scholarship. There are different requirements, but once they become a team member they can learn all about the requirements and such. Chick-fil-A has given over 31 million dollars in scholarships to team members in Chick-fil-A restaurants in the past. This is a great opportunity for any team member, not just teenagers.
Me: What long term opportunities does the company offer and why should a young person consider a career with Chick-fil-A?
Mr. Mayo: First of all, Chick-fil-A is just a great company. Like I said, 65% of our owner/operators come from within so that shows that people want to continue working with the company on a long term basis. The home office in Atlanta offers many different opportunities. With home office you have so many different opportunities such as accounting, marketing, consulting, and many other type of professional jobs. You can start off as a part time employee as a teenager and turn it into a career.
Me: Is there anything else that you would like teenagers to know before applying for a part time job?
Mr. Mayo: The main thing that teenagers, and anyone, should be aware of is that it is extremely competitive. We get so many applications every day. My recommendation is to not get discouraged, be patient, and be persistent. We have had people that patiently turned in an application every 30 days for months before they were given a position. Those are the type of people that we are looking for in employees. During the process, you may be interviewed by several different members of the team. Again, be patient and persistent.
Me: Thank you so much for your time Mr. Mayo – I really appreciate your willingness to sit down with me today. This has been a big help!
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TO ENTER: To enter the giveaway, just answer the following question in the Comments section of this post: “What is your favorite Chick-fil-A menu item?” Just shout out your favorite food from the Chick and you’re automatically entered to win the prize! The winner will be announced Monday afternoon and will receive items including an insulated Chick-fil-A cup, a mini football, and a stuffed cow – as well as coupons for free sandwiches, waffle fries, ice cream and cookies!
Giveaway sponsored by TeensGotCents and Joe Mayo, Chick-fil-A operator. The contest ends at 3pm on Feb. 4th and the winner will be announced later that evening.