There has been a lot of talk recently about recent graduates from the Millennial Generation (Ages 18-35) not properly prepared to succeed on job interviews. A recent article in USA Today claims that hiring managers are passing up otherwise qualified candidates due to poor performance on job interviews. The article cites HR managers witnessing candidates using smartphones, dressing too casually, and even bringing pets into the office.
While the economy is sluggish right now and with jobs being hard to find, not being able to sell yourself and your skills on a job interview can result in you not getting the job you actually went to college for. It can also result in underemployment in the service industry or even unemployment. In order to broaden your skill set and start gaining valuable experience after graduation, you are going to need to perfect your job interview skills. Here are five common mistakes Millennials tend to make that you should avoid when searching for a professional career path:
Lose the Smartphone
We know that you are a digitally savvy, multitasking, social media maven, but let your resume show that instead of your smartphone. Many hiring managers disqualify otherwise qualified candidates because they decide to pull out their smartphones mid-sentence. While this may be appropriate in any other corner of life, you need to remember that an interview is a highly professional situation that requires your full attention. Keep your smartphone in your car if you can not control your habits so you are not tempted to check your Facebook updates or send out a random Tweet.
Be Prepared to Take on Many Roles
Due to the sluggish economy, many offices are merging once separate roles into single positions. This doesn’t mean that if you work for NASA you will be in charge of rocket physics as well as accounting, but it might mean that if you work for an advertising agency you will be responsible for writing advertising copy as well as bringing in a little bit of new business. While on a job interview, do not limit yourself to one specific position. Instead, sell yourself as a curious and motivated employee who is willing to take on any challenge at any time. Don’t worry if your skills are not polished in a particular area because most companies offer on-the-job training and team building activities to help you, their investment, succeed.
Look Like a Million Bucks
You might be interviewing for a casual work environment, but do not go into an interview wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Even if you only have one, wear your best business suit to every job interview in order to exude a level of professionalism that tells the interviewer that you are taking the process as seriously as possible. You can wear the jeans, t-shirts, pajamas, and hoodies when you have secured your position and have an actual desk.
Dnt Use Txtspk lol #kthx
“Textspeak” is an excellent way to save time and energy when you are communicating with your friends using services such as SMS, Skype, and Facebook Messenger. It is not a good language to use when you are speaking to a job interviewer because it is not professional. When you are speaking your potential employer just remember to use proper speaking etiquette, don’t abbreviate words, and make sure to enunciate syllables that may have been lost due to over-usage of smartphones.
Show Respect Even if You Don’t Get to Job
You feel as though you aced the job interview, but you haven’t heard back from your interviewer in over a week. You check their official Twitter Feed and see that one of your competitors has secured the job. While it may seem like a natural response to start bad-mouthing the employer through social media, that strategy will actually backfire because hiring managers in the same industries all speak to each other.
These 5 tips will go a long way in ensuring success for any job applicant. Take the process seriously and open yourself up to new opportunities as they present themselves. Who knows, you may even create your own position through your skill-set. Good luck and happy job hunting!