6 Interview Questions to Ask Millennials

Share By Giovanna Fabiano

If you’ve ever been in the hot seat during a job interview, you’ve likely had to answer the same round of questions you’ve heard before: “What is your best quality?” “What’s your worst?” or the dreaded, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Yawn.

Interviews can be as monotonous as a factory assembly line, but are managers actually learning anything about a job candidate by following the same old script?

As more millennials enter the workforce — with a different mindset than their older counterparts — employers may have to change their interview style to find the right candidate.

Here are six questions career coach Heather Huhman suggests asking to turn the tables on the traditional job interview:

1.    What’s one thing you’d change about your last job and why?

Real life experiences are the key to figuring out whether the candidate’s goals are in line with the company’s. The answer to this question can help a manager learn about the prospective employee’s salary requirements, desired hours and how he/she gets along with others.

2.    What would the person who likes you the least in the world say about you?

This question, like the more common weaknesses inquiry, only works if the person is honest. But it also backs the employee into a corner: not saying anything negative about oneself in response to a question like this is a no-no.

3.    What TV character describes your work ethic?

This is a fun one that can be customized, depending on the company. For example, if the candidate is going for a job at a small or midsized firm, cultural fit is even more important. If you work in an environment that’s similar to The Office, and someone responds by saying they’re a combination of Angela Martin’s work ethic and Jim Halpert’s personality, you may have found what you’re looking for.

4.    If you could work in one TV sitcom office, which would it be?

This question, like the one above, helps you connect with the candidate and see if your personalities mesh. Just don’t hold it against her if she says “30 Rock” and you’re more of a “Murphy Brown” fan. It’s probably a generational thing.

5.    Tell me about a time you’ve failed.

Everyone makes mistakes. If you’re a manager, you want to make sure employees can honestly cop to their failures and learn from them.

 6.    If you could be an emoji, which one would you be?

Rule of thumb: You’d almost always rather hire this guy over this one.

Just remember, use this a guide to determine whether a candidate’s personality is the right fit for your office. But only fire off these questions after you’ve scrutinized LinkedIn profiles and checked references. Nothing beats work experience and proven success in similar positions, says Bill Belknap, a career coach for the Five O’Clock Club.

“Companies that have a good interview process are ones where you have to talk to several different people in the company, including people outside the department you’re interviewing with. That’s how you get a perception of whether a person can do the job, as well as ‘cultural fit’ — do people see themselves able to work with you?”

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comments (3)

  1. Colin

    Very good article, which is a nice read for hiring managers and millennial job candidates. However I didn’t much appreciate the cheap services sell at the end for the career coaching. “Nothing beats work experience and proven success in similar positions” —> You should take a look at “The Success Equation” by Michael Mauboussin. He makes the insightful point, based on rigorous statistics and supported by multitudes of evidence, that the “portability” of job skills (or ones ability to switch companies and continue to achieve a high standard of success) is very hard to predict based on prior job success or even work reviews. When looking at the “portability” of job success for a variety of careers from finance, to doctor’s, to professional athletes, skills and success oft pan out into very different realities. Luck and random influences are too vast to be properly taken into account when predicting an individuals likelihood for job success. The truth is, is that there are very few reliable indicators of job success, especially when youre looking for that golden employee, the one that can do something for your company that no one else has ever been able to do or possibly conceive. t\The best you can hope for is a decent process that recognizes these analytical short comings and appropriately adjusts for that by not instilling statistically insignificant in other words, arbitrary, cut-offs prior to interviews. That is why I would disagree if you are suggesting that experience be used as a hard filter is in ways an overly-simplistic, and rather effortless approach to choosing the correct job candidates. The result of such simplistic thinking when hiring an employee, really at any position, is nicely summed by Wilson Casey, “Every selection of one is a rejection of many”, from his book, Firsts: Origins of Everyday Things That Changed the World.

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  2. paul laniosz

    Your questions fail to answer the two questions that I needed to know before hiring someone .——–Can you think and make decisions on your feet and do you understand that we need to make a profit.

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