Just between you and me, in the workplace, we millennials have a bad reputation. People think we’ve had things handed to us, that we aren’t thorough, that we’re technology obsessed, and lazy, and entitled, and privileged.
Whether or not these stereotypes are true, they do mean that we have a lot more to prove when we step into a job interview. Here are ten tips to set yourself apart from the crowd and rise above the stereotypes surrounding your millennial-ness when you’re interviewing for a job.
- Make your personal statement stand out – Personal statements are your first impression on your potential employer. So, along with making sure your statement is concise and articulate (which comes from editing and revision), you should also try and make it memorable. Add in an (appropriate!) anecdote along with your most pertinent experience. Employers are reading potentially hundreds of personal statements for one position, you want your name to ring a bell when they reflect on the candidates.
- Check your social media – According to their 2016 annual social media recruitment survey, CareerBuilder reports that 60% of employers will check social media accounts when looking into potential candidates. This means you need to update you LinkedIn, and check your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Google yourself, see what comes up. After this, maybe determine whether or not you need your social media accounts to be private.
- Do your research – Before you go to your interview, get online. Check out the hospital or trust you’re applying for. Look at their website, look at their Twitter. What’s the ethos of the organisation? What’s the history? The current projects? When you learn about the organisation before your interview, you can bring up what you know during your interview, which makes you look prepared and enthusiastic.
- Dress accordingly – When you’re dressing for your interview pick a professional outfit in which you feel comfortable. According to employers, 55% of first impressions are determined by “the way you dress, act, and walk through the door.” Plus, 77% of employers claim that they don’t want applicants to be “overly fashionable” or “trendy.”
- Practice your answers – Interviewers might want to catch you off guard, so it’s a good idea to practice some of the questions you might expect before you go in. Questions like “Why should we hire you?” or “What is your biggest weakness?” If you’re prepared for those, the curveballs won’t seem as daunting.
- Relax, don’t panic – In the interview when you feel yourself getting nervous, take a deep breath. It’s always okay to pause for a moment and collect yourself. The best response when you don’t know what to say is: “That’s a great question…” It gives you a few seconds to stall and think of an answer without stuttering and looking unprepared.
- Be positive – From questions about yourself, to inquires about past job experience, it is good to keep your answers truthful, but positive. Interviewers want to see someone kind and enthusiastic. Someone they would like to work with.
- Body language – Sit up straight, shake hands firmly, make eye contact, and smile. You want to project yourself as calm, confident, and collected through your physical demeanour. Fidgeting or making too many hand gestures can distract from your answers.
- Ask your own questions – At the end of an interview, potential employers will typically ask you if you have any questions about the position, the hospital/trust, etc. Have some prepared or make notes of questions that might be raised during your interview. This shows that you’re actively listening, conscientious, and willing to learn.
- Follow up – Tell the interviewer how excited/interested you are in the position. Follow up by sending a thank-you email or letter that says how much you liked meeting them and how interested you are in the position. It shows that you’re serious and considerate.
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