Job Interview Perceptions

In a March 2013 survey conducted by Braun Research Inc. for Adecco, there were some interesting insights on hiring recent college graduates. The Way to Work survey results included:

  • 66 percent of hiring managers did not believe new college graduates are prepared for the workforce
  • 34 percent of hiring managers said inabilities to directly and clearly answer questions and articulate skills and experience during the interview are common reasons they don’t land the job
  • 20 percent of hiring managers said not showing interest in the position is a common reason young adults don’t get the job

From this survey, there are vital reminders for new college graduates in their job interview pursuits:

  • Be prepared. Read about the company, the industry, and the market. Keep reading on whatever your professional interests are (e.g., marketing, finance, sales, etc.)
  • Rehearse. Have someone as you sample interview questions. Search for sample interview questions and prepare your thoughts and answers.
  • Get energized. Be interested in the job opportunity. Be interested in the company. Be interested in the person asking the questions.

Join the conversation in this guest post by Danny Rubin

In June, the job market said good-bye to one million people.

Even though we added 195,000 people to the payroll that month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a million others quit looking for work. The main reason? Frustration and discouragement.

On the Web, gloom and doom run rampant. One girl’s rant on Reddit spurred an huge conversation on why twentysomethings can’t get hired. If you have a job and want to feel good about your life, read a few Unemployment Stories on Gawker. Like a punch to the gut of our sagging economy.

Job Interview - MillennialEvery part of the hiring process counts, but a face-to-face interview is the best opportunity to dazzle the boss and land a coveted offer.

To maximize those precious moments, here are the four types of interview questions every Millennial should ask an employer.

Each one demonstrates critical thinking and declares: I’m in it to win it.

Scenario: you’re interviewing to do marketing/communications for a grocery chain.

1. The Background Check

People love to talk about themselves. Period. If you come prepared with a question about the boss’s career (thanks to LinkedIn digging or a Web site bio), he will perk up, brag on himself and find you impressive — even though you only asked a question and listened.

Sample interview question: 

“I noticed that you started your career in marketing for Ringling Brothers circus. What was that experience like?”

2. The Office Insight

Every company has a Web site. So read it before the interview. Check out past and current projects, staff bios and get a general sense of the office culture. Then, drop something like this to prove you did your homework.

Sample interview question: 

“I read several of your recent press releases and saw you’re making a push to carry more gluten-free products. How big is the demand right now for gluten-free foods?”

When the boss says, “Do you have any questions for me?” You can answer with any or all of these: The Background Check, The Office Insight, The ‘Wow’ Factor or The Inception. Each question has the potential to impress and help you land the job.

3. The ‘Wow’ Factor

The bio question, the company question…both solid. Now, turn your focus to the industry, in general. Read news about the grocery biz and put the company in context with the latest headlines. That’s next-level stuff, which prompts a ‘wow’ from the boss.

Sample interview question: 

“I see Kroger just bought Harris Teeter. That seems like a major shake-up in the grocery industry. What does the Kroger takeover say to you?”

4. The Inception

With the ‘wow’ question, you took the interview from an uncomfortable boss-applicant arrangement to a conversation among peers. Now, plant a seed in the boss’s brain with a cool marketing idea. Make him feel like he needs you on the communications team right now.

Sample interview question:

“I really like the way your store offers online deals based on my previous purchases. For me, a twentysomething, it’s a smart strategy. Wouldn’t it be cool to do a targeted campaign that reaches young adults where they spend time online?”

Boss says “You know, that’s a really good idea.”

Aaand…he’s incepted.

One million people?

If we could, we would all quit the job market.

No one wants to look forever.

Try these four types of interview questions and give yourself the best chance at landing the job.

Which interview questions do you like to ask? Join the conversation.

Image: Creative Commons, Some rights reserved by bpsusf.

Guest Author

Danny RubinDanny Rubin is the managing editor of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. Don’t just read the news — use it to gain an edge on the job. You can follow the blog at @NewsToLiveBy. – See more at: Damn Right I’m Part of the “Me Me Me” Generation.