Millennials are often viewed by older generations as being lazy or as being more focused on enjoying personal life experiences than working toward career growth. These and other common misconceptions about millennials can make it difficult for you to succeed with your job interview.
After all, you may feel as though you need to overcome a particular stereotype and be the best candidate for the position at the same time. This seemingly puts you at a disadvantage in comparison to other job seekers. However, there are simple steps that you can take to change preconceived notions and land a great job in your field.
Be Aware of the Stereotype
In some cases, certain aspects of stereotypes actually do relate to you, but many people fall outside of the typical mold in substantial ways as well. The labels of a stereotype can affect how others see you even before they meet you.
These labels can impact your overall performance level when they get in your head, and they can also negatively impact self-confidence and self-esteem. To overcome stereotypes, you must first acknowledge what the stereotypes are and how they impact how others see you.
Rather than get upset, be aware that stereotypes affect most people in one way or another. This includes older adults, women, people of different ethnicities and more. Stereotypes are unfortunate and not always fair or accurate. An example is how women are hoping to find a software engineering job or any job in the field of STEM. Times are changing and there are plenty of places to pursue career paths, you can leverage how good you are in the interview to get a spot at your desired position.
However, you must accept they exist before you can overcome them. When you simply acknowledge how others may view anyone from your generation, you can develop a strategy to combat those stereotypes in a job interview.
Millennials are often viewed as lacking commitment and drive. Some millennials frequently job hop, and this notion can be detrimental to your ability to find a job.
You could counteract this stereotype by researching the company in-depth before the interview. During the interview, speak about future projects and endeavors planned by the company and how you may assist with these projects over the years. If they ask whether you have any questions, use that time wisely and without fear. It shows initiative and honest interest.
You can also simply mention some details about the company’s founder, its mission and more. When you show a hiring manager that you have taken extra steps to learn about the company, you can create the image of being motivated and excited about the position. This combats the preconceived notion that you are simply using the job as a stepping stone for bigger and better things.
You also should choose professional attire for the job interview. Even if you know that the office environment is business casual or even casual, you must show your professionalism during an interview by dressing to impress. Avoid overly trending clothes that significantly show off your generation. Rather than draw attention to your age and generation, use your attire to showcase responsibility and attention to detail.
Another step to take to prepare for your interview is to revamp your social media profiles. Many hiring managers will search for your social media accounts, and they may use that information to form a more well-rounded decision about who you are.
Remove anything risqué, overly political or juvenile. Instead, create a profile on each of your accounts that indicates maturity, responsibility and even social or environmental consciousness.
Know That Actions Speak Louder Than Words
While what you say during an interview is important, many hiring managers will focus more heavily on your resume, experiences, skills and education. Your interview is a time to focus attention on these attributes rather than to simply show that you are a great conversationalist.
When possible, avoid talking about personal matters or opinions, issues with previous employment and more. Instead, focus on the attributes that make you stand out.
If there are any volunteer activities that you participate in, this is the time to mention them. Raise awareness about how many languages you speak, what your technological skills are and any informal education that you pursued.
Remember that hiring managers are looking for a core set of skills and education, but they also place value on individuals who have a more unique set of skills or a varied background. Leaders appreciate your willigness to go the distance and engagement in lifelong learning, because it is an opportunity for you to contribute to the team. These extras can place you ahead of the competition and help you to stand out.
Be Ambitious, But Not Too Much
Remember that a common stereotype about millennials is that they expect a fast and easy ride to the top of the career ladder without putting in the time and effort required. The preconceived notion is that raises and promotions are expected rather than earned.
While you can and should be ambitious, you need to focus attention on the fact that you understand what it takes to achieve your ultimate career goals. You also need to show off why you are ambitious, such as because of a strong desire to help others through your efforts.
Control The Job Interview
Stereotypes can potentially be damaging to millennials, but they affect everyone. If you are going to overcome stereotypes that have given others preconceived notions about who you are, you must be aware of those stereotypes. You also must actively combat them by demonstrating your individuality, focus, drive and goals.