Job Interview Question & Answer: Are You Age 18 or Older?
What It Means When An Employer Asks About Your Age
Hiring managers can’t ask applicants how old they are. Instead, they ask, “Are you age 18 or older?” Your response confirms if you are the legal working age for the job without putting the company in danger of discrimination. It also ensures that businesses follow age-related labor laws and lets supervisors know if new hires need a work permit.
How to Answer
Be honest about your age. If you don’t tell the truth, your employer will likely terminate you, which will ruin your chances of applying to the company in the future. Reply to, “Are you over 18?” with a simple yes or no answer. When prompted, describe any qualifications or experience you have that make you a good candidate for the job.
If you’re still in high school, you might also explain how you will work around your schedule and how you’ll get to work. If you have a driver’s license and a car, managers may see you as more responsible and reliable than applicants who rely on their parents or the bus to make it in time for their shift.
What Not To Say
You don’t have to give your exact age. The interviewer only cares whether you are 18 or older. Also, don’t get defensive. The manager must follow the law and only needs a simple response. Applicants should always research jobs before applying to find out if the business hires minors.
Tips for Answering “Are You Over the Age of 18?”
After you’ve answered whether or not you’re over the age of 18, explain any accomplishments or experience you have that might give you an edge over other candidates. Some possibilities you might talk about include:
- Leadership positions or participation in school organizations or sports
- Job-related volunteer work
- Education or certifications
- Important skills related to the position
- Years of experience in certain industries
- Up-to-date knowledge in your field
Sample Responses to “Are You Age 18 or Older?”
These example answers to “Are you over the age of 18?” will give you a better idea of how to address the question. Personalize your actual responses to your life experience and the exact position at hand.
Sample Answer 1 – Cashier at a Department Store
“Yes, I am over the age of 18, and I believe I meet all the qualifications for this job. I’ve also gotten high grades in every math and public speaking class I’ve taken, and I’m ready to take on a position that allows me to use those skills in the real world.”
Sample Answer 2 – Stock Room Associate at an Office Supply Store
“I am of legal working age, yes. Additionally, I’m an organized and diligent worker. You should see my closet at home. I sort all my clothes by season and color, so I can find what I’m looking for in a matter of seconds.”
Check the Age Requirement Before Applying
Before sending in your application, do your research to see if the position has an age requirement or whether the business hires people under 18. If you pick up an application in person at the company, ask to speak to the manager and make sure they hire minors, so you can avoid surprises during the job interview.
YOUNG OR OLD, NEVER DISCLOSE YOUR AGE OR YEAR OF BIRTH UP FRONT!
Instead, keep your answer concise — answering honestly with either “Yes” or “No”. Immediately after responding “Yes.”; I mention to the Interviewer that I have documentation to back my statement.
NOTE: Among the documents and certificates in the organizer I have brought to the interview, are my Birth Certificate and Social Security Card.
Only if asked, will I reveal these two pieces of identification. If the Interviewer does not ask to see one or both forms of ID, these pieces remain in the planner I have brought to the interview.
Even though EOE mandates exist, most employers desire to take on “team” members who fall between the ages of 20 to 28 years of age. Again, unless necessary, should you reveal your age or year of birth.