Day to day, in the news and conversation, millennials are being treated widely different to those of previous generations. There is a general negative assumption of those born between 1981 and 1997, and this assumption continues through to employment making employers wary of those of the younger generation.However, studies have shown that millennials have similar goals to employees of any generation. They’re eager to do well, make good money, and advance in their career. It is unfair to place all millennials in the same box but it is up to the individual to branch away from these perceptions.
Below is a list of the most common assumptions made and how to prevent or overcome them when interviewing for a job.
“Millennials are lazy”
This sweeping statement has come from an article posted by Time Magazine in 2013 (“Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation”) stating that millennials are narcissistic and lazy. This is the sort of thing that employers will read and despite whether it is true or not, it will stick in their minds and can stand in the way of your employment. It will be your job as the employee to convince them otherwise, and in order to do this it is important to emphasise your hard work ethic, mention early morning and late nights and willingness to keep working until a task or project is done.
“Millennials are entitled”
There is a false sense of arrogance about millennials, with people believing that they expect raises and promotions regardless of whether or not they really deserve it. They also are said to not understand the value of doing tedious, entry level work, but they have just as much eagerness to do well and understanding of starting off small as the older generation do. Be careful of how you answer certain questions in your interview, for example the where do you see yourself in 5 years question, be optimistic but also realistic.
“Millennials aren’t invested in companies”
The root of this assumption is that millennials lack loyalty and job hop frequently. This is a tough one because there are many acceptable reasons as to why the younger generation may not commit to one particular job for a long period of time, for example there may not be much room for development when first starting off so switching jobs could simply allow an easier advance in salary and employment. However, too many reasons like this for leaving previous jobs could work as a disadvantage and make your expectations look too high. You obviously cannot change your previous job experience and should never lie on a job application, however there are ways in which you can reduce the appearance of job hopping on your CV.
“Millennials lack soft skills”
Soft skills are just as important as hard skills when it comes to employment, and there is a broad perception that this is something millennials lack. The simple way of demonstrating good communication skills and attention to detail when applying for a job is just to submit a flawless application. Proof reading your CV so it is free of typos and answering questions clearly could help you considerably.
“Millennials lack basic manners”
This is something that is a pet hate to many, having no manners. But it is something that a lot of people believe millennials lack, from dressing appropriately to making eye contact, it is definitely a big deciding factor during an interview. It is encouraged of course for individuals to maintain a sense of themselves and not be too robotic, but you must also dress and act appropriate according to where you are, after all, first impressions are everything.