5 Best Practices for Interviewing Millennials

Posted by Ericka Spradley

October 2, 2012

The Huffington Post recently published an article outlining the biggest interviewing mistake of the millennial. To my surprise, Adecco reported that 75% of the 501 hiring managers who were polled indicated that millennials “fail to wear appropriate interview attire”. Needless to say, I was taken back because75% is an alarming statistic in this age of college career centers and technology.  When it comes to THE most basic part of the interview, some millennials are eliminating themselves far too early by showing up in anything less than professional attire. For those who do show up appropriately dressed, the job of the interviewer is to adapt their strategy to attract and retain the best talent. In order to do that, there are 5 best practices that I would suggest to recruiters when interviewing millennials:

  1. Dig for motivational fit.  Millennials unfortunately have a stigma attached to them; entitled, lazy, opinionated, so the interviewer should probe to find out what motivates the candidate. Does the candidate lack confidence? Is he or she too confident? The appropriate questions will determine whether or not the candidate will embrace the organizational culture and ultimately want to grow with the company. Attracting the right candidate is good, but retaining him/her is even better.

  2. Provide a concise timeline and set expectations. Millennials like fast and now, so be aware that hiring a candidate can take several weeks. In those instances, it’s best to inform the candidate of what the process entails as well as how long it will take. The interviewer’s ability to level set in the beginning could be the difference between losing or gaining top talent.

  3. Eliminate stress during the interview. This practice can be used for millennials and other job seekers as well. The interviewer should honest, authentic, professional and efficient. At the start of the interview, introduce yourself and tell the candidate how the interview will be structured. Please do your absolute best to place the client at ease as you engage in conversation with the job seeker. By doing so, the client is more apt to open up and share information.

  4. Include behavioral-based questions during the interview. This type of questioning speaks to past performance, which in the mind of some, is a good indicator of future performance as well as skill set. With millennials being labeled as a group who doesn’t like to commit, perhaps using a few behavioral questions will help you gauge the candidate’s level of commitment.  

  5. Resist the urge to multi-task in your mind. I’m sure you have competing deadlines and priorities, but it is in your best interest to give the interviewee your undivided attention. By showing up focused and allowing yourself to be in the moment, you now have an opportunity to conduct a more effective interview. Instead of thinking about your workload or what happened moments before the start of the interview, you can capture the necessary information that you will need to make the best hiring decision.

Ericka Spradley, Recruit

Ericka Spradley is the President and Founder of My Next Level. Shehas many years of leadership experience and her understanding of the multi-faceted leadership realm has provided a level of expertise in human resource management and career growth. Among her significant accomplishments, Ericka has served as Vice President of Professional Development with The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Strayer University Chapter, she was a columnist for Classroom to Cubicle, an online magazine for college students, and she is currently a Yahoo! Contributor columnist.