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Interviewing Tips For Gen Y
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Interviewing Tips For Gen Y


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A seasoned recruiter and a Generation Y student intern combine to give twenty-somethings hints on job interviews.

A seasoned recruiter and a Generation Y student intern combine to give twenty-somethings hints on job interviews.

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  • 1. The Who, What, Wear, When, Why, and How of Interviewing: Tips to Help Gen Y By Lynn Hazan & Claire Mattison Who to pay attention to: • Do preliminary research about the company you are interviewing with. Look at its website; track the company and its presence on social media sites like Linkedin, FaceBook and Twitter. Also investigate the hiring manager and staff you will meet. • Before the end of the interview, ask for a business card so you can double check names and their titles and send follow up thank you letters. • Be nice to everyone you meet! Be aware that some companies ask their receptionists/front line staff for feedback on how you presented yourself. • Know yourself, your strengths, and your areas for improvement. Be honest about what you can come in and immediately do. What you should do to prepare: • Know the position you are interviewing for. Make sure you exemplify the character traits and skills you can contribute to the position and the company. • Turn off your cell phone. • Bring a portfolio of samples. Your portfolio can be in an electronic format. This can include writing samples, class projects or “spec” (speculative) work. • Make sure everything is letter perfect. There should be no spelling mistakes or typos on your resume or samples. • Stay current on world events. You want to be able to hold a conversation about what major events are happening today and how they may relate to the job. • Practice answering standard interview questions: For example, Tell me about yourself? Why should I hire you over anyone else? • Eat a light meal before your interview. This keeps your mind active. Wear professional clothing: • Plan your outfit. Make sure there are no missing buttons, holes, or stains. • You don’t want to be remembered for your smell. Don’t wear heavy fragrance and avoid smoking before your interview. • Wear clothing that reflects the environment of the company. It is always good to dress in good taste: No jeans, short skirts, or low cut tops, and avoid large labels on your clothing. Look at websites like, and for outfit ideas. • Wear clothes that fit well and are comfortable. When you are comfortable, you are confident. When timing matters:
  • 2. • If you are bringing any print materials, print them the day before, not the day of. If you are submitting an electronic portfolio, e-mail it with the resume you are sending when you first contact the employer. • Allow extra time to get to the interview. Plan for emergencies and delays. • Send a “Thank you” via email within 24 hours of the interview. • Even if you are not accepted, follow up about employment. Let the company know you are interested in future opportunities. Why you are important to a company: • Show how you can add value to the position and the company. Gen Yers add new and diverse thought processes to companies. • Do talk about leadership, internship, and school experiences. They all count. • Be honest about your work and what you have accomplished. Embellishment of your experiences can get you into trouble. Lack of experience does not necessarily disqualify you from a job opportunity. • Employers want people with tech skills. Stress your experience and comfort with social networking and new media. How you should act during the interview: • Throw out your gum before the interview. You want the interviewer to focus on what you are saying, not what you are chewing. • Greet the employer with a firm handshake, smile, and make eye contact. • Be positive and enthusiastic. • Don’t fall into the trap of trying to mimic the interviewer. • Don’t get too comfortable in the interview. Just because the interviewer puts his or her feet on the desk does not mean you should! • Use appropriate language: no swear words or crutch words such as “like” and “umm.” • Don’t play with things on peoples’ desks. • Talk about what you are going to do at the company, not what your future plans are once you leave the company. • Be realistic about titles and salary. • Ask questions! This shows you are interested. • Feel free to ask about growth and learning opportunities. Be realistic and pragmatic. You may have some boring work to do. That’s part of the job. • Enjoy the interview. You can never predict the outcome, yet you can help influence the decision. © Copyright 2009, Lynn Hazan & Associates. All rights reserved.