Millennials and new entrants into the job market often complain about the experience trap, where businesses demand workers with experience but that only prevents workers from getting jobs to gaining that experience. However, this trap is problematic for job interviewers as well, as they may be passing on useful employees by looking only at experience while ignoring the old adage of “hire for attitude, train for skill.”
Interviews are the place where a HR professional can discern a prospect’s attitude and find the best candidate. But millennials have certain unique characteristics, and a HR professional should realize certain tips which can draw out more information and lead to a better hiring decision.
Pay Constant Attention
A business should look for millennials candidates with a good attitude, but discerning a candidate’s true personality at an interview can be tricky. A person who is normally grumpy and introverted may try to appear charming and friendly at the interview, causing you to make a bad decision.
There are certain questions you can ask to discern a candidate’s personality, but a great method is to surreptitiously watch the candidate before and after the interview when he or she is less cautious. Are they friendly with the receptionist and other job seekers, or is they fiddling around on their phone and by themselves? Unguarded moments are a great chance to get more clues about what a candidate may really be like to work with.
Learning and Motivation
Determining whether your candidate is truly motivated to work with your firm or whether they just want a paycheck is always critical, and especially so when interviewing millennials. The stereotype about how new job seekers are looking for experience and easily job hop exists for a reason, and an unmotivated millennial will leave quickly upon perceiving a better opportunity.
Fortunately, determining motivation is easier compared to figuring out their personality. The best method is to inquire what they know about your company’s industry. Most job seekers should at least know what your company does, what it stands for, and other such relevant information. Any job seeker who does not even do that should be dismissed immediately.
But a truly motivated employee can talk not just about your company, but your industry and how it may change over the next few years. An employee who has put in the research effort is obviously willing to go above and beyond and has a real interest in your business and industry. And that is just the sort of motivated employee you want.
Assess their Communication Skills
Whether you are hiring for a fry cook or a lawyer, every job requires communication skills. But new candidates may be unfamiliar with how communication in the workplace differs from school or their social life. While you should certainly ask them about their communication skills and examples of times when they have been a great communicator, remind them that they should use an example from time spent volunteering, at an internship, or some other extracurricular activity. Good questions would ask them to open up their experiences and use examples from their lives that can relate to the job they’re applying for.