The Candidate You Want and the Millennial You Need: Ditch The Boring Behavioral Questions

In part one of The Candidate You Want and the Millennial You Need, we had a myth-busters session to set the record straight on all of the #FakeNews surrounding Millennials in the workforce. Now we’re offering up tips on how to ditch those boring behavioral questions and helping you navigate what to ask instead.

Don’t Hit Snooze!

Starting off with “tell me about yourself” can be a drag and will most likely result in an awkward dating profile kind of response. Instead, start off by making the candidate comfortable. They will open up, and you’ll get to know more of their story. For example, questions like, “What inspired you to apply for this position?”, or “What accomplishment are you most proud of?” will give you some insight into what makes talent tick and help you transition into the tougher questions.

First Rule of the Fight Club…

Don’t just ask how they handle conflict. Instead, ask them for real-life scenarios that demonstrate these crucial skills at work. Again, be more direct to get to the meat of what you want to know. Questions like, “Have you ever failed to meet a goal or a deadline?”, or “Can you tell me about a time when a coworker disagreed with you?” are more to the point and will also challenge your candidate to be honest and transparent. This helps when determining if the candidate is a fit for your culture – and remember, culture fit is very important when working with Millennials!

I Want You to Stay

So, you want to know if they’re going to stick around? Try asking questions like, “What key factors describe your perfect company?”, or “What are you looking for in a long-term career? These questions will give talent the opportunity to put a positive spin on any of the negative experiences they may have had with previous employers, while also highlighting what’s important to them. Oh, and you’ll get an inside look at how they view your company in comparison to other organizations.

Say You Love Me

Find out why they think they’re a great fit for the role – but don’t ask the question point blank. Dig deeper by asking in a way that sets an expectation for both you and the candidate. A great example of this is: “If I offer you the position today, what projects could you accomplish in the first 90 days?”, or “In a year from now, what successes will we be celebrating?” This creates an enticing challenge for your candidate and also gives you a better idea of how they plan to meet the expectations of the role – or even better, how they can exceed them.

All Eyez on Me

A great way to conclude any interview is to ask what questions a candidate has for you… but simply asking that may lead to an awkward silence or a simple smile and pass. Instead, try asking something like, “As a potential employer, what can we do to ensure you feel valued?”, or, “What are 3 things you need to know about the company that you weren’t able to google?” Find out what they’ve been dying to know all along and answer those questions as honestly as possible. By asking this way, you’re keeping the candidate in the forefront, and requiring their engagement and participation. You’re also showing that you care about their experience – thus making a connection you both can feel good about.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking “I can’t ask all culture questions!”

I agree, you shouldn’t – but it’s important not to skimp on them when interviewing a Millennial. Learning your Millennial candidate is half the battle. By understanding how to communicate with Millennials to learn what their needs and ambitions are, you can be confident in your new hire and leverage all they have to offer your company. Millennials are hungry and ready to make a difference in this world, give them the opportunity by leading them – you won’t be disappointed.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series, where we will talk about Millennials and the benefits of cross-generational collaboration on your team.



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