When I work with business owners regardless of their industry, one of the issues that seems to cause deep frustration is hiring good employees. With the face of the workforce changing so drastically, hiring and retaining quality people is not simple. You have to take into account the background of this newer generation and really explore what kind of person is sitting in front of you with their resume in-hand. The average Millennial (person born between 1980 and 2001) does not stay at one job more than 23 months. That rate of turnover is unproductive and costly to business owners.
I have 10 interview questions that I suggest using when you are trying to recruit new employees. These questions should help you in identifying Millennial Superstars that will not only work hard for you but also stay around.
1. If you were starting a company tomorrow, what would be its top three values?
Every good relationship starts with trust and aligned values. Insight into a person’s priorities -- as well as honesty and integrity – usually emerge in the candidate’s answers.
2. Tell me about a time you were passed up for an award or promotion you felt you deserved. Millennials can get frustrated if they don't achieve quickly. Seeing how they respond to this question will give you an idea of their commitment and resiliency. Knowing up front that a person was shattered that he or she didn’t get a promotion in their first year of work at their last job gives you the opportunity to assess whether they will fit into your company’s culture.
3. Would you rather be an inventor or a leader? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It will simply help tell you where their passions lie and if they like to build things or build people. Depending on what the job is, you can determine the fit.
4. Who inspires you and why? The job candidate’s answer often gives the interviewer a peek into who the interviewee models him or herself after. The response can also highlight the sorts of behavioral patterns the interviewee respects. A response of Miley Cyrus compared to one of Princess Diana gives you a world of insight.
5. How do you like to receive feedback? Millennials are a group that desires frequent positive feedback. Balancing this against your internal culture will be important. While baby boomers generally only desire a yearly performance review and Gen Xers like to hear feedback at least quarterly, the next generation needs much more constant and real-time praise and/or critique.
6. Which book are you currently reading? Passionate people tend to read books or listen to audio books to improve their skills. Whether the books are specific to a skill such as sales and marketing or they’re reading a book focused on self-development doesn’t matter, they are all good signs. If they’re reading a fiction book and haven’t read an educational book for a while, that’s may be a red flag. Superstars are always looking to better themselves, and the smartest people I know are always learning and absorbing new information.
7. Tell me about a time when things felt helpless but you knew you would pull through. Millennials are an optimistic group, and you want to be sure you are bringing that into your organization. Hire people with optimism and you will find they reach for big goals and try to change the future for the better. This question should be a deal breaker if they do not convey a positive attitude.
8. Give me an example of a situation when you worked in a diverse group with different opinions. Millennials are the most inclusive generation, and it would be a flag if they did not have good examples of inclusive behavior and collaboration. I consider this to one of the best traits about our next generation. I am happy that my kids are growing up in such diversity.
9. Tell me about the volunteer or charity work you do. The new generation is famously passionate about giving back, whether through missionary work, the Peace Corps, military service, or local charities. Giving and selflessness are hallmarks of great leaders. Having no answer here may indicate someone who is not very well-rounded.
10. “What do you think this job requires?” While a Millennial may have a fantastic work ethic, and work harder than older employees, he doesn’t necessarily approach a job willing to do whatever it takes to get it done. The new age worker wants to know specifically what he is expected to do. He’ll also want to know when he can expect a promotion or a raise. The candidate’s idea of what it will take to do the job may be very different from what you know it requires. How many hours is the candidate prepared to work? Is he willing to take the time to learn new skills that the job will require? Be sure to give the candidate an idea of how long he would probably have to be at the job in order to get a promotion or a raise based on what it took the people who previously held the job to advance.