If you have been looking for young, fresh talent, you have probably found that the potential employee pool of the modern era is somehow different from its counterparts in the past. The Millennial generation is different in many ways, but there is one fundamental difference: They do not need your job.
The job seeker of today will hold five to seven careers in his or her lifetimes in completely different industries. Contrary to whatever you may believe about the student debt discussion, the Millennial is less economically encumbered than any generation previous because they are unmarried and do not have kids until later in life.
Getting these new Millennials to work for you is the secret to attracting new business. However, you need to ask different questions in the interview. Here are a few that you need to completely leave on the cutting room floor.
Question 1 – Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is perhaps the most disingenuous question in human history, job interview or not. You are looking for the answer, “Happily working for you for less than I am worth with no other life responsibilities!” New job seekers see right through it. It doesn’t work anymore – there are simply too many choices for employment out there for a young, tech savvy individual.
Question 2 – What are your weaknesses?
Who wants to reveal their weaknesses? This question attempts to create a false camaraderie while attempting to make your talent pool qualify itself out through self-incrimination. All you will get with this question is politically correct self-censorship from this generation, and rightly so. You yourself know that anyone who would answer this question honestly probably isn’t looking to get hired in the first place. You wouldn’t answer it honestly, so do not ask it.
Question 3 – We have a lot of talented resumes; why should we hire you?
Do not play the bluff that you have more talent than you know what to do with. This is a play for later negotiations as well, to give the employee less to stand on when asking for a proper salary.
First of all, social media among the new Millennial generation has made every job posting public knowledge. Unless you are an international corporation who is flying in talent from around the world, people know who else has interviewed for the position. Make this bluff to the savvy job seeker and you show your hand.
Question 4 – What would your past bosses say about you?
Again, who is going to answer this question honestly? This is also a moot point with the amount of information that you can find about a person online. Perhaps this particular employee had a racist or a sexist boss. However, the old boss is not on trial here, and anything bad that boss would say about the person in front of you will only reflect poorly on the person in front of you. There is no way that you can discern any information that is actually relevant about the interviewee with this old school question.
Additionally, any job seeker worth his or her salt has come in to you with a list of past references that you can call. Do so and stop wasting valuable time in the interview with the talent.
Question 5 – Why do you want to work for us?
Did you seriously take an interview with a candidate that did not have the common sense to personalize the cover letter? Do you know whether this happened or not (many recruiters ask this question because they have not taken the time to actually read the cover letter or resume thoroughly).
People want to work for companies because companies have paychecks for them. Stop trying to build an entire relationship in a 10 minute conversation. Also, if you cannot tell who truly wants to be there and who is faking their body language to get a job, perhaps you should not be interviewing potential candidates in the first place.
Question 6 – How did I do in this interview?
First of all, whoever came up with this question is to be lauded for understanding that the interview process is now a two way street. The truly talented employee pool of today has more choices than ever, and this question is an attempt to show that the interviewer understands this shift in power.
However, it is quite the feeble attempt.
The interviewee has no idea if you have the personal fortitude to hear an honest answer to this question. There is no way that he or she can answer it honestly. Would you start off being totally honest with a complete stranger? You can only expect the same politically correct answer here along with a look of confusion.
Amy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, a company that simplifies the hiring process for small to medium size businesses. Prior to that Amy has held similar roles at Rent.com, eBay and US Interactive.
For Amy, corporate culture isn’t about dogs and free lunches, it’s about empowering employees and creating an enriching environment for people to excel.