In the past few years, every major media outlet, from Forbes, to CNN, to Time and everyone in between has published articles about the narcissistic, lazy, selfish tendencies of the entire millennial generation.
Surely I’m not the only one who knows that’s not true, right?
I spent my 20s and 30s struggling to advance my career as far or as fast as I wished. Year after year, I hit my sales quota. I was always in the top 10%.
But I never managed to crush my job interviews.
Despite my sales success, I struggled to land higher paying management roles. The post-interview feedback was always the same: “we decided to to go with a candidate with management experience.”
HOW DO I GET EXPERIENCE IF YOU WON’T GIVE ME A CHANCE!
I was so frustrated! I bounced between companies thinking that it was “their fault”.
Nope – the same thing happened at different companies.
Then, I discovered the secret that jumpstarted my career advancement (more on that in another article). As I ascended into healthcare senior sales leadership roles – the millennial generation was launching their careers.
I’ve spent several years recruiting, interviewing and hiring millennials. During that time, I’ve noticed some trends. Some negative. Many positive.
I’ve learned a lot about the interview process and what motivates millennials.
The research on this will back me up. Studies show that millennials work hard – but they aren’t willing to settle for a dissatisfying job. While it might appear that 20- and 30- somethings aren’t willing to play by the rules at work and expect handouts, that’s not exactly what’s going on. It’s more likely that younger members of the workforce would rather make a little less money somewhere else if it means more happiness and less stress.
Don’t mistake work-life balance and a sense of purpose for entitlement and laziness.
A Pew Research study found that generosity and giving back is a top priority for nearly 70% of millennials. Late last year, Entrepreneur reported that although millennials are believed to donate less time and money than previous generations, people ages 18 to 34 are the driving force behind the $241 billion crowdsourcing industry. Millennials actually make up 33 percent of donations on cause-based crowdfunding websites such as YouCaring.
As for laziness, many employers of millennials would beg to differ. In a 2014 survey of 1,000 millennials and 200 hiring managers, nearly 30 percent of millennials reported that they were already working in management positions. In late 2015, the New York Times reported that one-third of Goldman Sachs’s managing director promotions went to employees born after 1980.
Basically, millennials in the workforce are crushing it.
If you count yourself a Millennial, there’s a good chance you’re hardworking, generous, and you have a strong moral code. But there’s still some work to be done when it comes to fitting in around an office and making a potential boss want to hire you.
In a survey of hiring managers, the recruiting firm Adecco found some gaffes commonly made in job interviews by people born between 1981 and 2000.
If you’re hoping to nail your next job interview, here are 6 things you need to do:
1. Dress to impress.
A survey of hiring managers revealed that dressing inappropriately is the top mistake Millennials make during interviews. You should always err on the side of overdressing rather than coming in too casually. This means no sneakers, no jeans, and cover your tattoos. Skip the flashy jewelry especially if it’s dangling off of a body part. You might be able to switch your hair color to something drastic once you prove yourself at work–but skip it during the interview phase.
2. Clean up your social media account.
According to Forbes, nearly 70% of hiring managers said millennials make the mistake of posting compromising content on public social media accounts. Hiding your accounts is a good idea–but it might not save you. You never know who’s following along and everything on the Internet lives forever. Even top politicians fall prey to that mistake. Avoid using profanity, always check your spelling and grammar, and remove any photos of yourself that are too revealing or show you engaging in not-so-innocent hobbies.
3. Do your research!
You should never show up at an interview without knowledge of the company you’re trying to work for. A Forbes article revealed that young workers are considered creative (74%) and strong networkers (73%), but they are not thought of as organized (8%) or detail-oriented (17%). Fight that stereotype by getting your facts straight before you sit in front of your future boss’s desk. Here are a few things to do:
- Research the company you work for and learn about their top clients or recent sales.
- Research the industry they are in so you have a general understanding of what you’ll be doing.
- Review the job requirements and responsibilities and be able to prove you can handle every task.
- Update your resume to reflect the company, industry and job requirements so you have lots of talking points to go over during the interview.
4. Watch your mouth.
I get it: You want to make sure your next job is a good fit. But there are certain questions you should never ask in a first interview. Here’s a list of things to avoid saying:
- “What do you guys do here?”
- “How much does this job pay? Do you provide health insurance? How much vacation time will you offer me?”
- “I hated my last job because…” (Hint: It doesn’t matter why you hated your last job. It’ll leave a bad taste in the hiring manager’s mouth if you start bad-mouthing people).
- “I don’t have any questions.” Don’t forget to prepare a list of great questions before the interview. This makes you look prepared, interested, and informed about the position.
- “Honestly, my greatest weakness is that I work too hard.”
- Any sentence that includes using “like” as a placeholder or “literally” in the wrong context.
- “I want to own my own business one day, so this will be a nice place to start for a little while.”
- “Can I work remotely instead of coming in every week?”
5. Don’t brag.
Too often, young people come across as overconfident in interviews. Nobody likes a bragger! Obviously you have a lot to offer, but remember that you’ll be working under a manager if you land the job. Make sure they know that you are willing to learn, humble enough to listen and dedicated enough to put in whatever it takes to get the job done.
This is an area that most people, not just millennials, miss. Immediately following an interview (the moment you walk out the door) – send thank you emails to everyone you met. Why so soon? Many companies convene at the end of a day of interviews to discuss the candidates. If interviewers are torn between candidates – a well-timed email can sway the decision your way.
If you stick with these tips and come in to your interview with a sense of confidence and professionalism, there’s a good chance you’ll get a call back.
If you’re interested in learning more about breaking into the lucrative and rewarding world of Healthcare Sales, connect with me here: www.justjohncrowley.com
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