Could this be why you missed out on that job?

Posted on Sep 12, 2013 01:44 PM |

Have you ever missed out on a job and wondered if the age-gap between you and the interviewer had anything to do with it? Well, if you’re 19-26 years old then in all probability it did.

A study of 6,000 job seekers and HR professionals by US job site Nexxt.com shows that there is a big gap between Millennial / Gen Y job seekers and their typically older interviewers. The two groups perceive each other rather differently!

On one hand, Millennial job seekers see themselves as hard working but their recruiters do not.

On the other hand, HR professionals perceive Millennials as tech-savvy, but only one-in-three feel that they are in fact strong in the technology department.

Clearly, recruiters are still allowing stereotypes to prevent them from properly understanding younger staff. They are potentially missing out on fantastic skills and energy.

If you are a job seeker in the 19-26 age bracket, here are some tips for opening employers’ eyes to your potential by addressing the major interview issues uncovered by the research:

1. Teamwork

Problem: Only 22% of HR professionals believed Millennials would make good team players. This is much lower than the Millennials self-assessment of 60%.

Solution: Be sure to have examples of working in a team and how you contributed to the team’s work (and hopefully successful outcomes) ready to talk about in your interview.

2. People-savvy

Problem: Only 14% of HR Professionals thought that Millennials were strong communicators, versus 65% of Millennials who think they relate well to others.

Solution: Remember to demonstrate people skills by being warm and friendly but respectful to your interviewers. Listening attentively to the people you meet and asking pertinent questions when it’s appropriate are more important than talking about yourself too much.

3. Hard working

Problem: Only 11% of HR professionals thought Millennials would work hard while 86% of Millennials identified themselves as hard workers.

Solution: Make sure you’re super-prepared for your interview. Read everything you can about your potential employer from their website, annual report and any media mentions you can find. Make a list of any question you think you might be asked, and make sure you can answer them confidently. Arrive for your interview a few minutes early, and make sure your phone is off so there’s no chance it’ll distract you during the interview. Have a referee who can attest to you being reliable and focussed on your job.

4. Loyalty

Problem: a mere 1% of HR professionals believed Millennials to be loyal to an employer compared to a massive 82% of Millennials self-identifying as being loyal.

Solution: Take a look at your CV – if it’s a long list of different employers you’re probably playing into this impression. If you’re looking for a job now, there’s no easy fix for this, apart from considering staying in your current role for longer before moving on. Work on sustaining motivation in your job and developing long-lasting relationships with clients, managers and colleagues.