The Student Room Group

I feel really bad that I can't get a job

18-year-old taking gap year(s) here. Finished A levels in the June, had the Summer off and started applying for jobs in September.

Since then, I've applied for far more than 50 jobs, I've got 7 interviews, the most recent two having been on Wednesday and Thursday.

I really try not to let it get me down, but it's difficult sometimes because at least some of the jobs I've interviewed for have been cool and I would have loved to do them. And, I'm worried that I won't be able to find a job because it seems like I'm not good enough to do jobs that even 16-year-old get hired for. One job said I 'just wasn't the right fit', another job said 'I interviewed well just not as well as the other candidates' and this recent job I didn't get said 'they want people who have been trained'.

It's really embarrassing because I keep having to say to my family that I'm going for these interviews and then after a couple of days I'll have to tell them I was rejected. And, I hate letting them down like that, because I never let them down with school. Everyone had such high hopes for me and I can't even get a job, and then they think I regret not just going to uni. I feel like such a disappointment.
Reply 1
Original post by mx-person
18-year-old taking gap year(s) here. Finished A levels in the June, had the Summer off and started applying for jobs in September.

Since then, I've applied for far more than 50 jobs, I've got 7 interviews, the most recent two having been on Wednesday and Thursday.

I really try not to let it get me down, but it's difficult sometimes because at least some of the jobs I've interviewed for have been cool and I would have loved to do them. And, I'm worried that I won't be able to find a job because it seems like I'm not good enough to do jobs that even 16-year-old get hired for. One job said I 'just wasn't the right fit', another job said 'I interviewed well just not as well as the other candidates' and this recent job I didn't get said 'they want people who have been trained'.

It's really embarrassing because I keep having to say to my family that I'm going for these interviews and then after a couple of days I'll have to tell them I was rejected. And, I hate letting them down like that, because I never let them down with school. Everyone had such high hopes for me and I can't even get a job, and then they think I regret not just going to uni. I feel like such a disappointment.

The whole job market can be very demoralising, but it really is a numbers game (assuming you're looking for retail/hospitality/entry level jobs), and getting your first one is hard because you don't have experience.

You are being too hard on yourself - you have done well to get to the interview stage, and that in itself is useful experience. It's not like school where, if you have the ability and work hard you will get good grades. In an interview you have no way of knowing how good the other candidates are and their attributes and experiences are completely out of your control. Usually all/most of the candidates selected for interview could do the job and do it well, but the employer is only looking for one of two and they will look at things like experience or how each candidate would fit into the existing team. None of this is a reflection on you, and if your parents are employed themselves, they should know this.

It might be worth looking at volunteering to increase you experience in the areas you want to work. An afternoon a week at an Oxfam shop will teach you how to use the till, stock control, customer service skills. Equally there are lots of volunteering opportunities in education, care/health, environment etc and as you're 18 you shouldn't be restricted in what you can do, and it might be a welcome change. Looking for seasonal work with Christmas approaching is also a good idea.

It can be difficult when people know you're having an interview and then not getting the job, but your parents should know that this is just the working world. They will be disappointed for you, particularly if it's something you really wanted, but they shouldn't be disappointed in you, and I'm sure they're not.

Best wishes. Hope you get something you like soon.
Original post by mx-person
18-year-old taking gap year(s) here. Finished A levels in the June, had the Summer off and started applying for jobs in September.

Since then, I've applied for far more than 50 jobs, I've got 7 interviews, the most recent two having been on Wednesday and Thursday.

I really try not to let it get me down, but it's difficult sometimes because at least some of the jobs I've interviewed for have been cool and I would have loved to do them. And, I'm worried that I won't be able to find a job because it seems like I'm not good enough to do jobs that even 16-year-old get hired for. One job said I 'just wasn't the right fit', another job said 'I interviewed well just not as well as the other candidates' and this recent job I didn't get said 'they want people who have been trained'.

It's really embarrassing because I keep having to say to my family that I'm going for these interviews and then after a couple of days I'll have to tell them I was rejected. And, I hate letting them down like that, because I never let them down with school. Everyone had such high hopes for me and I can't even get a job, and then they think I regret not just going to uni. I feel like such a disappointment.


On a gap yr too :smile: dw keep applying. If you are failing at the interview stage reflect on why. Watch interview example answers on YouTube. List key experiences you have had personally/school/volunteering/work to know what to refer back to bc the hardest part is talking ab yourself, then just elaborate on skills you got that would be transferable. I think group interviews will be easier for you if you don't have work exp. Try applying for companies who need lots of ppl eg primarkk, fast food. Good luck
Original post by mx-person
18-year-old taking gap year(s) here. Finished A levels in the June, had the Summer off and started applying for jobs in September.

Since then, I've applied for far more than 50 jobs, I've got 7 interviews, the most recent two having been on Wednesday and Thursday.

I really try not to let it get me down, but it's difficult sometimes because at least some of the jobs I've interviewed for have been cool and I would have loved to do them. And, I'm worried that I won't be able to find a job because it seems like I'm not good enough to do jobs that even 16-year-old get hired for. One job said I 'just wasn't the right fit', another job said 'I interviewed well just not as well as the other candidates' and this recent job I didn't get said 'they want people who have been trained'.

It's really embarrassing because I keep having to say to my family that I'm going for these interviews and then after a couple of days I'll have to tell them I was rejected. And, I hate letting them down like that, because I never let them down with school. Everyone had such high hopes for me and I can't even get a job, and then they think I regret not just going to uni. I feel like such a disappointment.


I'm 16 and it was really hard for me to find a job as well.
Most postions want 'experienced workers' or people who they know won't quit - since most students quit once they've either saved up enough money or don't need to work anymore, ygm?

Currently I teach as a tutor and I make £££, I'd say apply to a center as well as promote urself as a private tutor. Once you get one student privately, it's a smooth ride from there.

GOODLUCK DOE
Original post by mx-person
18-year-old taking gap year(s) here. Finished A levels in the June, had the Summer off and started applying for jobs in September.

Since then, I've applied for far more than 50 jobs, I've got 7 interviews, the most recent two having been on Wednesday and Thursday.

I really try not to let it get me down, but it's difficult sometimes because at least some of the jobs I've interviewed for have been cool and I would have loved to do them. And, I'm worried that I won't be able to find a job because it seems like I'm not good enough to do jobs that even 16-year-old get hired for. One job said I 'just wasn't the right fit', another job said 'I interviewed well just not as well as the other candidates' and this recent job I didn't get said 'they want people who have been trained'.

It's really embarrassing because I keep having to say to my family that I'm going for these interviews and then after a couple of days I'll have to tell them I was rejected. And, I hate letting them down like that, because I never let them down with school. Everyone had such high hopes for me and I can't even get a job, and then they think I regret not just going to uni. I feel like such a disappointment.


7 interviews from 50 applications is a pretty good yield in my experience! It's easy to apply to hundreds and just get a couple interviews. So you're actually doing fairly well I think :smile:

It can be discouraging but try and keep things in context - you're getting a decent number of interviews so evidently you are presenting at first a compelling application. I would recommend focusing on the interview side and seeing how you can improve there, since you are getting interviews. Reflect on the interview, what kinds of questions were asked, how you responded, and what feedback you got from them.

I'd recommend looking into your local jobcentre as well - aside from financial support through jobseekers allowance or similar which is helpful to have, they also usually have some facilities to help you better find jobs e.g. CV reviews, mock interviews, careers advice etc. Also if you are receiving jobseekers allowance for a certain length of time you may be eligible for specific roles ring fenced for people in that position designed specifically to support people getting into work and getting experience!

Something else you might want to look into, especially if they're referencing lack of experience/training, is looking to see if you can do some volunteering work locally in a charity shop or similar. This can help get you some practical on the job experience from which you can draw relevant examples in interview. Also, although it may be a little on the late side for it, look into any temp holiday roles at the moment, e.g. at the post office or similar. Usually businesses hire extra temps for a few weeks in December to manage the crowds.

In general too, you may want to look into local temp agencies and see if you can sign up with any of them and see what they can offer you - often they can place you even in shorter term work without interviews or similar, and when going through a temp agency you also can leave usually immediately without notice if you find something better that is permanent. And a temp role can turn into a permanent role!
Original post by mx-person
18-year-old taking gap year(s) here. Finished A levels in the June, had the Summer off and started applying for jobs in September.

Since then, I've applied for far more than 50 jobs, I've got 7 interviews, the most recent two having been on Wednesday and Thursday.

I really try not to let it get me down, but it's difficult sometimes because at least some of the jobs I've interviewed for have been cool and I would have loved to do them. And, I'm worried that I won't be able to find a job because it seems like I'm not good enough to do jobs that even 16-year-old get hired for. One job said I 'just wasn't the right fit', another job said 'I interviewed well just not as well as the other candidates' and this recent job I didn't get said 'they want people who have been trained'.

It's really embarrassing because I keep having to say to my family that I'm going for these interviews and then after a couple of days I'll have to tell them I was rejected. And, I hate letting them down like that, because I never let them down with school. Everyone had such high hopes for me and I can't even get a job, and then they think I regret not just going to uni. I feel like such a disappointment.


First of all it does depend on the kind of job’s you’re applying to i applied for a sales job retail I currently work at footlocker I think I did about 100 applications till I got my job so i would say keep applying and ik it gets frustrating since a lot of the firms dont even reply to your application but it took me a while to find a job as an 18 year old as well.

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