There’s no doubt that Generation Y is improving our workplace. Their comfort with digital technology, always-on mentality, and entrepreneurial spirit have the potential to revitalize how companies do business — that is, if they can get through the door in the first place.
Recently, Paul Davidson of USA Today interviewed Jaime Fall, vice president of the HR Policy Association, to get an insider’s perspective on how millennials sometimes flunk job interviews.
“It’s behavior that may be completely appropriate outside the interview,” says Fall. “The interview is still a traditional environment.”
What kind of behavior are we talking about? Well, how about…
1. Texting during the interview.
Most people born before 1990 wouldn’t dream of texting during a casual dinner — or, OK, if they really had to, they’d be embarrassed about it. But Generation Y is so comfortable with texting that they’ll do it in the middle of a job interview.
2. Bringing an entourage.
According to Workopolis, 3 percent of Gen Y applicants bring their parents to job interviews. Even more bizarrely, one of the sources Davidson interviewed reported that an interviewee brought a cat to a job interview — and played with it during the conversation.
3. Being overconfident.
“I love Gen Y, but we all know that they have been conditioned to have a wonderful sense of self-esteem,” says Kate White, of career guide “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This,” in an interview with Forbes. “One mistake younger people tend to make is making it all about them.”
No matter what generation we’re from, this is a good reminder that interviews are as much about establishing a rapport with the interviewer (and by proxy, the company) as answering questions correctly or finding out whether we can see ourselves in the job.
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