The millennial generation has a lot of things going against it. We have an uncertain economy. We earned degrees we don’t know how to sell to employers. Most important, we have a job market that would much rather pretend we don’t exist than actually hire us.
The fact is though, we deserve some of the blame for our job hunt troubles.
Studies show that we consistently come up short during the interview process in areas where we should be overwhelmingly succeeding. So we’ve decided to put together five crucial interview tips so you can nail that next opportunity.
1. Put Your Phone Away
Millennials are notoriously glued to our phones. On average, we actually spend over 3.2 hours on them per day. A whopping 22.4 hours over the course of a week. While this may not be a problem in and of itself, it certainly is a problem during the interview process.
The fact is, gluing yourself to your phone doesn’t make for the best first impression. Even when waiting for your interview in a lobby, you’re sending the wrong message.
Employers want to see that you’re focused, enthusiastic, and that you have ambition. Is the first thing your potential employer sees is you surfing the internet? Or going on a texting spree? They could question your work ethic without ever giving you a chance to prove yourself.
Setting an early tone is crucial for nailing your interview, and excessive cell phone usage may project the wrong image. Why? Because it’s impossible for others to know whether you’re further researching the company or surfing Facebook.
2. Dress to Impress
Our generation also tends to make some questionable wardrobe decisions before we attend interviews. According to a survey provided by Forbes, 75% of potential employers believe that the top mistake our generation makes during the interview process is showing up in casual dress.
By not taking the extra time and effort to look professional, we validate the negative stereotypes people have about millennials.
Showing up to an interview in jeans or a t-shirt displays apathy, laziness, and a sense of entitlement. It makes an unflattering statement that we deserve the position without going to the extra mile to actually earn it.
3. Don’t Be Over Eager
This may sound contradictory in comparison to the advice we’ve provided so far. But it’s entirely possible to come off as over eager during the interview.
While employers want you to be enthusiastic and engaged, members of the millennial generation are known to inadvertently appear desperate. You want to project an air of professionalism and enthusiasm without going off on tangents. Doing so runs the risk of turning off potential employers, so take your time before answering. It’s much better to pause thoughtfully than to stall for time by rambling.
4. Seriously, Don’t Be Late
A recent study found that 33% of millennials believe that showing up to an interview late is entirely acceptable. We shouldn’t have to say this, but it’s not. Showing up late is the easiest way to cost yourself a job. It gives your employer ample reason to ignore your qualifications and achievements. Hiring managers already have their fair share of reservations about the millennial generation. Adding fuel to the fire is the last thing you want you do.
One way you can negate the risk of not making it to your interview on time? Make your travel plans in advance.
Look up traffic reports if you’re driving. Show up early to your bus and subway stops. You can also splurge on an Uber. Do whatever it takes to make sure you aren’t late. Or better yet, grab a cup of coffee across the street and show up well in advance. This give you an opportunity to calm your nerves and compose yourself for the interview. It will also project an image of professionalism.
5. Consult with a Career Coach
Our last piece of advice for preparing yourself for the interview is to consider consulting a career a coach. This is important for a number of reasons. Sure, there are other ways to prepare yourself for these important meetings. But consulting with a professional can give you crucial insights into how to conduct yourself. It can also help you tailor your skills for your target industry.
Consultations with career coaches can prove invaluable in overcoming lack of experience in the professional world.
As stated, the millennial generation has a lot of things going against it in the current job climate. Despite these obstacles, our generation has unique skills and insight. And we have ample opportunity to succeed in today’s professional world. The trick? Learning how to conduct yourself professionally in every aspect of the hiring process.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Resume to Interviews!