7 Interview Skills Millennials

Are Missing Tried and tested tips that will guarantee a great interview.

It’s not a mystery that millennials have a tough time landing good jobs. But it’s not just slow job growth that’s hurting millennials…in many ways they are hurting themselves. Here are seven simple ways you can nail your next job interview and shake that millennial stereotype. 

1.   Do your research!

What is the company’s mission statement? What are the industry trends? What is the exact job description of the job you’re applying for? Make sure you feel confident walking in the front door. You should be able to hold a long conversation about the company and industry.

 Two-thirds of respondents said millennials tend to demonstrate a lack of research preparation for interviews. Do internet research, read as many articles as you can find about the industry, and try to find company connections on LinkedIn.

2.   Clean up your social media and brand yourself.

Think about how you would feel if your interviewer sat you down and pulled up all of your social media pages. Would you feel comfortable seeing them scroll through your Facebook? How about those old tweets from high school? 

An overwhelming majority of hiring managers said millennials make the mistake of posting potentially compromising content on social media. This compromising content can come in the forms of explicit photos, oversharing, profanity, and poor grammar and spelling. Also, make sure you have a clear brand across your online profiles. Hiring managers will remember who you are and feel your authenticity through the screen.

Creating a personal brand across your social media pages can really set you apart—especially in communications and marketing professions.
Creating a personal brand across your social media pages can really set you apart—especially in communications and marketing professions.
(Photo from unsplash.com)

3.   Dress-up…more than you think.

Seventy-five percent of hiring managers said millennials’ biggest interview mistake was dressing inappropriately. Going back to #1, do some research on the company culture. If it’s unclear what you should wear, dress business professional! 

Angela Romano Kuo, vice president of human resources at the professional job-matching company TheLadders, said, “You never want to wear something that can be distracting, so if you have to think twice about it—skip it.” You might regret wearing that t-shirt when your interviewer is in a tie.

4.   Make eye contact and smile.

According to body language expert, trainer and consultant Susan Constantine, “If your eyes in an interview are fidgety or continuously shifting back and forth, this can mean you are trying to conjure up an answer that you are not sure is the right one.”

Lack of eye contact can convey a lack of confidence. Show your confidence through a genuine smile and steady eye contact.

5.   Practice the tough questions.

“What’s your biggest weakness?” or “Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at your past job.” Do you have constructive, authentic answers to questions like this? When thinking about the tough questions like your biggest weakness, it is smart to stay away from the necessary skills for your job.

For example, if you are going to be asked to give presentations, don’t mention that you hate public speaking. Remember to always end these tough questions with what you are doing to improve or what you have learned. 

Remember to stay calm and collected when you are answering difficult questions.
(Photo from unsplash.com)

6.   Prepare a closing personal punch line.

We can all agree that the end of an interview can be awkward. However, it is also one of the most missed opportunities for many interviewees! Keep in mind that the closing of an interview is a great opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the job. Be sure to prepare some powerful closing statements that will leave a good impression.

For example, you could say, “Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. Hearing about the cutting-edge technology your company is working with has enhanced my desire to be a part of your team!” Final impressions can be the most lasting.

7.   Write a thank you note.

Remember what your mom taught you. Always express your gratitude for the interview- even if you are unsure about whether or not you want the job. Part of the job search is building connections.

Derek Jack, the Career Services Director at BYU, says that a thank you note, or email, should be sent within the first 24-48 hours after the interview. Sixty-eight percent of hiring managers say ungrateful job seekers are jeopardizing their own candidacy. Don’t worry about getting the letter just right. If you are genuine about your message of gratitude, it is likely to be appreciated.

As a millennial, you may identify as a lot of things—but a weak interviewee doesn’t need to be one of them. Work on these seven skills and we guarantee you will feel prepared and confident in your next interview.

Abby Giles is a senior studying Public Relations and Civic Engagement Leadership. She hopes to use her degree to make a difference and inspire change. When she is not busy working on an assignment or teaching herself a new skill, you can find her running, watching movies or searching for something sweet. Visit her website abbygiles.com to see more of her work.

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