While most jobseekers face issues like competition, a volatile economy and outsourcing, millennial jobseekers have an extra hurdle to cross to succeed in their next job interview.
Often a misunderstood bunch, millennials are pegged as impulsive, entitled, lazy and/or selfish. Yet, contrary to popular belief, Singaporean millennials have similar values and priorities from their Generation X or Baby Boomer predecessors. In fact, according to a report by ManpowerGroup, a large population of Singaporean millennials hold full-time jobs, consistently upgrade themselves and are resilient by nature.
Millennials may actually have it even tougher than previous generations. They compete in more dynamic working environments, where they have to vie with talent globally to land jobs and cannot rely on any single employer or skillset for a lifelong job.
Technology is also infiltrating everyday lives of modern employees. This means employers are increasing aware of their employees' personal activities, demanding they be on call 24/7, via text email and text messaging, and even on their holidays, as well as having to constantly upskill.
Overcoming all this still doesn't guarantee a position at a company of your choice. To get through the door, you need to make a good impression during your job interview. Want to know how to know what it takes to be successful in a job interview? Check out the four job interview tips below.
1. Run through an interview preparation checklist
Equip yourself with vital information that will give you a competitive edge to ace an interview. In your checklist, include the need to research the company and the position offered in detail. If you are shortlisted for the interview, start by reading through the job listing again. Make a mental note of the roles and responsibilities required.
Ensure your resume lists down relevant past accomplishments that highlights your competency for the job. Follow the news to stay ahead of current issues related to your expertise, the company you are applying at, and other best practices that could be discussed.
Other things to prepare include: printing out a hardcopy of your resume, bringing along your certifications and placing a pen and notebook in your bag.
Remember to dress for success. Pick an outfit that matches the environment you plan to work in and avoid looking too casual. Go the extra mile by cleaning up your social media profiles. Get rid of any captions, pictures or videos that may put you in a negative light.
2. Observe and mirror the energy that's in the room
Did you know that if a person mimics your body language, it means they're paying attention to what you're saying? Follow the lead interviewer's body language and tone. Ace an interview by mirroring his or her speech length and use and tone of language.
Introduce yourself with a firm handshake and make eye contact. It'll help to convince the hiring managers that you are ready to commit yourself to working with them. Millennials are already living in a world that is constantly evolving, so use this gift to your benefit if you are asked unexpected questions the interview.
Recently, phone and video interviews have started to replace face-to-face meetings. The same rules apply during remote interview sessions. Regardless of the energy, be professional and dress appropriately for the interview.
3. Be transparent and communicate your expectations
With certain negativity associated with millennial jobseekers, the onus is on you to highlight your strengths. Be open and transparent in discussing your responses to anything the interviewer asks or has concerns with.
You also want to lay out your expectations on the table. Discuss your interviewers' thoughts about their ideal candidate for the role. Talk about management needs, teamwork styles and so on. Show what you have to offer and how you fit in their organisation by outlining ways you can align yourself with their corporate culture and work ethics.
Having said that, a successful job interview is one where the candidate is also encouraged to ask questions. Communicate your needs to your recruiters. Talk through things that matter to you, whether it be work-life balance, growth opportunities, or the company's corporate and social responsibilities.
4. Demonstrate qualities that go beyond your resume
Your resume lists your qualifications and work experience in detail. In reality, however, you need to go beyond that to prove why you should get hired. One way to do so is by crafting well thought out answers for common interview questions such as "describe your strengths and weaknesses" or "where do you see yourself in five years' time?". Prepare answers that are relevant to the role offered and indicate a plan to grow over a long-term period.
During the interview, if you're caught off guard by a question, request for more details or time to get back to them. An answer like "if you share the details with me, I can think of ways how we can overcome this challenge together" can reveal your curiosity, teamwork, initiative and determination to solve problems.
Don't stop at just saying "thank you" when ending the interview. Construct an exit sentence that'll make you appear excited for the role without sounding too desperate.
What happens after the interview can be just as important
Keep in touch with the hiring manager. Failing to follow up after an interview can fuel the bad reputation already attached to millennial jobseekers. Stay on top of their minds by sending a thank you email within 48 hours of the interview. Better yet, if you couldn't answer a question or have more to add to a discussion during the interview, add a note in the email. Ask them if they'd like to set another meeting to discuss it at their convenience.
There are plenty of interview tips and tricks out there. As a millennial jobseeker, your individuality is the key to help you shine. Convert negative perceptions associated with millennials into positive traits to succeed in your next interview. Whether you're applying for the position of a financial advisor, nurse or engineer, recruiters want to hire an individual with qualities that are valuable to their company.
If you're looking for a fulfilling career as a Financial Services Consultant, AIA equips our people with the best-in-class business knowledge, service and professional ethics. In addition, you are also able to positively impact people's futures by empowering them to understand their insurance coverage requirements over the long-term.