Job Interviews for the Young and Not-Yet-Famous

I have been talking with 20-somethings who are looking for summer jobs or “forever” post graduation jobs and what I hear about their interview experience is appalling.

You cannot use the same process for a 24 year old as you would for a 35 year old.  They are not equipped to answer questions about work challenges and dealing with difficult managers.

If you are going to go with behavioural questions like tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision, you had better be prepared for a description of what they went through when they were choosing which phone to buy.

And forget about asking why they want to work at your company.  You might get a canned recitation from your website but the real answer is that they need a job and your place seems like a good place to start.

Where do they see themselves in five years?  Nope, not that either.  Work today is nothing like it was five years ago – how we expect them to predict what it or they will be like in another five years?

One of my young friends was going for an entry sales job.  Do you know what they did? At the second interview, they dropped her and another candidate in the middle of an unfamiliar neighbourhood and instructed them to go door to door.  The company would pick them up in two hours to see how they did.

I’ll tell you how they did.  They used their phones to find a bus and went home.  On  they way, they jammed up their social feeds to tell all their friends about the lousy experience.

There are better ways to find out what these kids are about.  Talk to camp counsellors and co-op program co-ordinators about realistic measurement questions and activities.

If we don’t, we will turn them off forever.  And it’s tough enough out there with out that kind of crap.

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