Express Employment Professionals recently teamed up with the School of Media and Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in Stillwater, OK, to conduct research about Millennials and their attitudes toward the American Dream. Also known as “Gen Y,” Millennials were born between 1979 and 1995 and make up 30% of the population. As they enter the workforce and establish career paths, it’s important to understand the motives and desires behind this robust generation.
Express and OSU students surveyed Millennials, the majority of whom are working full or part time, to examine how this generation approaches the interview process.
Interview Dress Code
When it comes to the attire you should wear for an interview, the majority of Millennials agree that “business professional” is the most appropriate. In fact, the general consensus among all generations is that this attire is the best choice for interviews. Sixty-eight percent of Millennials and 65% of Non-Millennials selected this answer, followed by 29% of Millennials and 35% of Non-Millennials who selected “business casual.”
Interestingly, the majority (55%) of Millennials reported they would wear business professional attire to an interview even if they found out the company has a business casual dress code.
The survey results suggest that Millennials don’t have a preference when it comes to whether their interviewer is male or female. Fifty-six percent of Millennials reported no preference, along with 71% of Non-Millennials.
When it comes to the age of their interviewer, Millennials reported that they would prefer to be interviewed by someone older than they are. Sixty percent chose “older,” 6% selected “younger,” and 34% reported “no preference.”
Interviews can be stressful, and Millennials aren’t immune to the anxiety that often comes with landing an interview. When asked about the hardest part of preparing for an interview process, answers included:
- Preparing for questions
When preparing for an interview, there are several steps to make sure you put your best foot forward. According to the survey results, Millennials already practice many of those steps. When asked how they prepare for interviews, answers included:
- Research the company
- Print resume
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Look at the job description
- Select an outfit
- Practice answering possible questions
What to Bring
According to the survey, Millennials believe the number one thing to bring to an interview is your resume (98%), followed by business cards (66%), cover letter (64%), and brief case (21%). While 18% of Millennials think a cell phone is okay to bring to an interview, none of Non-Millennials surveyed selected this option.
Difficult Interview Questions
Interview questions can often be difficult to answer. When asked to select the hardest interview question, Millennials chose:
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? – 47%
- Describe a difficult challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it – 30%
- Where do you see yourself in five years? – 16%
Following up after an interview is vital in order to stand out from the competition. When asked whether or not they are comfortable following up with a potential employer after an interview, 73% of Millennials said they are comfortable. And, 73% of Millennials reported sending thank you notes after an interview.