How to conduct a strong, successful millennial job interview (And hire the right candidate)

by By jtassava

11 min read

There are a growing number of millennials entering the workforce. So, when hiring it is important to understand what the ins and outs of the interview process with a millennial candidate should look like. A different approach is called for than when interviewing older generations. From preparing candidates for the interview, to “de-coding” the millennial mindset and being prepared for what they want to know from you, this post will help you be more successful the next time you are hiring. Here’s what you need to know in order to conduct a positive millennial job interview:

How to prepare for a millennial job interview

Before you can schedule any interviews, you need to create a job posting. The job posting should do more than outline duties and responsibilities for the position— it should incorporate, and be based on, your core values. By taking this approach, you will be more likely to attract applicants whose values are in line with those of your practice team. You will be one step ahead, by filtering out the individuals who would not be a great fit for you and your team.

Once you have a promising pool of applicants, it is a good idea to tell your interviewees what to expect. Since millennials are between the ages of 22 and 37 years old, it could be their first or second job interview in their area of expertise. Let them know how long you expect the interview to last, if you expect them to dress in business clothes or business casual attire, and if the interview will be with multiple individuals or just one person. Providing millennial candidates with these pieces of information will help them feel more confident and prepared for the interview.

“De-coding” the millennial mindset

millennials working at a coffee shop

After you have prepared your millennial interviewees, you want to make sure you are prepared to understand and discuss topics of importance to them. Specifically, the terms “work-life balance” and “flexibility” will likely come up in the interview. The millennial generation sometimes gets a bad rap when it comes to these topics. Some feel that millennials are lazy and don’t like to work hard; however, this is usually not the case. Instead, many millennials simply have their own definition of work-life balance and flexibility which differs from how older generations define these terms.

What does work-life balance mean to a millennial?

a man working on his tablet in the officeTo many millennials, work-life balance has more to do with a mental state, than it does with physically being at work vs. being elsewhere. Millennials want to feel as though they are happy with both their job and their life outside of work. Are they able to take the time to enjoy their hobbies and spend time with their loved ones? This doesn’t necessarily mean physical time. Even if, for example, they only work 30 hours a week, if the hours spent at work are too stressful they may not able to mentally enjoy their personal time.

Millennials are driven individuals. They are driven to succeed in their careers, but also outside of their careers. If their careers do not allow them to fulfill their personal aspirations, then they will not feel as though they have positive work-life balance. As an interviewer, it is important to understand this distinction. Express how a candidate can still fulfill their personal goals if they join your team. It is important to not just assume that when a potential employee mentions work-life balance that they want to work as few hours as possible.

[bctt tweet=”Work-life balance has a different meaning to millennials than previous generations. When interviewing, make sure you understand your millennial job applicant’s definition to see how you can meet their needs as an employer.”]

How flexible can you be?

a millennial smiling as he works on his laptopAnother topic that causes some to view millennials in a negative light is their desire for flexibility. Flexibility and work-life balance tend to go hand in hand. Having greater flexibility often leads to a more positive work-life balance. Therefore, millennials may be interested in knowing about any flexibility that comes along with a new position at your practice. Will they ever have the ability to work from home, even for a just a few hours per week? How much PTO do they earn per month, and how many holidays will they need to work? How easy is it to switch schedules with their coworkers? Can they request specific hours when they would like to work? When millennials feel they have an employer who offers both work-life balance and flexibility, they see it as strong work-life integration, which is what they really want long-term.

Be prepared to discuss culture candidly with millennials

Finally, many millennials will be interested to learn what your culture is like and will want you to be transparent with them. Be prepared to openly and honestly discuss your practice culture with potential new employees. Avoid sugarcoating anything, because you don’t want employees to leave soon after you hire them. Millennials do their research and access websites like Glassdoor where they see reviews of various companies from past employees. Be transparent with millennial candidates, just as you want them to be transparent with you.

As higher numbers of millennials continue to enter the workforce, as an employer, you want to be prepared for a millennial job interview. When you field your applicants with a job posting based on your core values and prepare interviewees with what to expect, you are more likely to interview confident millennials who are the right fit for your practice. When you understand that the terms “work-life balance” and “flexibility” often carry different meanings for millennials vs. previous generations, you are able to see eye-to-eye with your interviewees and provide them with the information they are looking for. Finally, when you are transparent about your workplace culture during a millennial job interview, you are more likely to bring long-term employees on board.

A real-life millennial-in-the-workplace, Jesi Tassava works as an Executive Assistant at veterinary consulting firm VetSupport. She can be reached at [email protected].

Jesi Tassava

Jesi Tassava

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