Millennials have so much to offer to the workforce. Their aptitude with technology, ability to multi-task and eagerness to constantly grow in their career and learn new things make them a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, millennials also have a reputation for some not-so-savvy things, such as overconfidence, a sense of entitlement and lack of punctuality. According to a recent report from Advisor Perspectives entitled Millennials and the Labor Force: A Look at the Trends, “Millennials make up the largest percentage of our population today, yet have seen some of the lowest labor participation growth and highest unemployment out of all age groups since the turn of the century.”
Having grown up in a more complicated world, millennial job candidates may not be as informed as older generations on how to impress an interviewer. This young generation might benefit from going back to basics and brushing up on some important traditional interview best practices. Here are some helpful interview tips for millennials:
1) Do your research before the interview
With the Internet at their disposal, millennials have access to more company information than previous generations. So, there’s no excuse for slacking on company research before an interview. One of the most important interview tips for millennials that will lead to more interview success is knowing the company and the position you are applying for inside and out. For the position, go beyond reading the job description that company gave you and read other online descriptions of that job as well, to get a more well-rounded idea of the job requirements and responsibilities involved.
For the company, read their website and other online resources thoroughly. Get a good grasp not only on what they do and their mission statement, but learn about their different products, the company history, recent news headlines about the company, and any awards or accolades the company has received. And if you really want to know how to impress an interviewer, go a step further: look up the LinkedIn profiles of the major players at the company (including any of the people you will be interviewing with if you are aware of it). Get a good understanding of their job description and accomplishments with the company.
2) Listen well and be engaged
Another one of the important interview tips for millennials to remember is make it clear to the interviewer you are listening. Make eye contact, avoid fidgeting and other negative body language, and after the interviewer is done talking ask questions related to what they told you about the position, company, themselves, etc. Show your interest in the position throughout the interview, and at the end thank the interviewers and make it clear you think you are an ideal fit for the job. To really impress interviewers, summarize a few points about the position and company at the end of the interview that peaked your interest the most.
3) Don’t act desperate
You want to be engaged and have interesting things to discuss with interviewers. But to get closer to landing a job, one of the important interview tips for millennials is to avoid appearing desperate. You want to exude confidence, and speak eloquently. Don’t go off on long-winded tangents about your qualifications, and avoid gushing too hard about your desire for the job. It’s like dating; if the interviewer thinks you have other job options out there, you are likely to seem like a more attractive candidate to them. Wait for the right moment to show off certain skills you have, don’t give everything away right at the beginning.
4) Show what you have learned
When you are discussing past jobs, be sure to explain to interviewers what you have learned from both your accomplishments and your mistakes. Also, one of the important interview tips for millennials is to use your experience and accomplishments to paint a picture of yourself as a professional. Show what motivates you, and how you handle challenging moments on the job.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.