While I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how great Millennials are, let’s face it – we’re not perfect. I’ve paid special attention to peers over the past several months to try and identify why we get a bad rap for being the newest generation on the corporate block. While I’m probably guilty of some of the same things, I’ve been validated by current and past employers who’ve told me that I’m an exceptional interviewee. But here are some things we Millennials do that are cringe-worthy in interviews…just try not to hold it against us.
We wear bad attire.
Recently, my Gen X’er boss conducted an interview with a Millennial man. He came to ask me if improperly tied ties are a thing now. I work in fashion, so you can imagine the horror of an improperly tied tie. No matter how “hip” you may think the company you’re interviewing with is, you should always dress conservatively and professionally for interviews. When in doubt, you’ll never be overdressed in a well-tailored suit.
We know absolutely nothing about the company or the position.
It’s so easy to apply for jobs these days. And most of the time, those of us looking for work are firing off multiple resumes in a day to virtually any position that sounds halfway appetizing. The biggest mistake we make is not checking to see what the company is about, what initiatives they’re working on, what their goals are for the year, what their financials look like, or what the culture is like. The even bigger mistake we make is not asking those questions during an interview.
We talk too much and we’re way too self-absorbed.
We’ve all won trophies. A lot of us did well in school. And we’ve all done some pretty great stuff. But don’t talk about how great you are the entire interview. Humility goes a long way. And if you must gloat, make sure you’re talking about professional accomplishments that are applicable to the position or the company. Make sure you take time to ask questions and listen to their answers.
Interviewing is tough. If you’re looking for a job, find a mentor or a friend to do a mock interview with. Practice makes perfect, so if you’re offered an opportunity to interview, take it. Even if the job isn’t 100% what you want, you can always use another opportunity to practice interviewing. And make sure post-interview, no matter what the outcome, that you ask for feedback on your interview.