Interview with High Potentials: Job interview with Generation Y


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Text comes from: ERFOLGSERPROBTE EINSTELLUNGSINTERVIEWS: Wie Sie mit professionellen Fragen die passenden Mitarbeiter finden (2016) of Uta Rohrschneider, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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The Generation Y is on everyone's lips. Sitting down HR then towards the applicant, it often shows that they have already put together the answers to “conventional” questions. Real information? Nothing. We show you how to lure the candidates out of the reserve.

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Uta Rohrschneider UtaUta Rohrschneider is Managing Partner of grow.up. Management consulting.

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The classics in the talk

First of all: The “classics” among the questions in the interview, for example the question of technical skills, personal preferences, strengths and weaknesses, reasons for the Casting and the choice of company, commitment and motivation etc. should and must continue to be made. They are not "classics" for nothing, but because they provide you with valuable information.

But what changes over the years are the responses of the applicants to these questions. Every generation of applicants is strongly influenced by the respective (technical) developments of their time, by the understanding of culture and values ​​that prevails in this generation.

Different generations, different answers

Thus the perceptions of, for example, strengths and weaknesses of applicants of different age are seldom the same, but can be quite different due to their generational affiliation.

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When HR personnel interpret your candidate's answers and check whether they are suitable, they always make this interpretation against the background of the candidate's generation. In particular, taking into account the fact that applicants in your company will increasingly belong to Generation Y, it is important that HR managers adapt to this target group.

Understand the values ​​of Generation Y

This means that you develop an understanding of what this generation sees as normal and correct. Not because you want to share or accept their values, but because you can only make an appropriate selection decision against this background.

Put yourself in the situation of a job interview by hiring a member of a generation of your own as a HR manager: Since generation Y applicants place great value on personal satisfaction, you can only expect their full commitment if you offer them a job who can satisfy them. It is all the more important to make the right decision when selecting applicants in order to avoid incorrect placement. This applies particularly to university graduates.

4 topics that should be discussed

There are mainly four new theme areas that have gained importance in the interviews with Generation Y. Do not neglect to address these issues because you are making a statement as to whether there is a fit between the applicant and the job you offer.

The four themes are work-life balance, internationality, individuality and handling of technology. In the following, we describe the importance of these issues for Generation Y and the questions that can be asked to determine whether the candidate is really eligible for your position.

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It depends on the position

These topics include the work-life balance or the question of personal development. These four Generation Y topics are particularly important if you are looking for graduates for predominantly spiritual activities.

Although the topics are relevant to all Generation Y people and they want their company to take them into account, most of the applicants also have a realistic idea of ​​what a company can do to meet the requirements of the position at all.

What is the work-life balance in the company?

Before questioning your candidate about their ideal work-life balance, you should consider how the topic is seen and lived in your organization.

The word is on everyone's lips, but hardly anyone takes it as important as the Generation Y. She grew up in a world where there is an almost complete and always accessible to people. Unlike the generations before her, the boundaries between a clear working and private time are blurring.

Only if you know what your company's requirements and possibilities for the work-life balance of your employees are, and can also assess whether the ideas of the potential employee are consistent with the company's ideas.

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Checklist: What to do if recall?

If you want to evaluate the attitude and possibilities of your company on the topic of work-life balance, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there a fixed working time in the company that the applicant has to meet?
  • How long is the average working time? How many overtime hours are averaged in the desired position?
  • Are overtime compensated? If so, how (for example payout or as a leisure time)?
  • What is the company's requirement for accessibility (personally, by telephone, per eMail) the employee?
  • What are the rules for the breaks in the company?
  • How are the working hours recorded in the company?
  • What compensation does the company offer, for example, in the form of operating sports / clubs, slides and times, other perks, etc.?

Learn more from the applicant

It is worthwhile to answer these questions before talking to applicants themselves. Because the probability that your applicant will ask you these questions is high.

You can ask the following questions to find out how he personally relates to the topic of work-life balance:

  • What does work-life balance mean for you?
  • What is a positive work-life balance for you?
  • How do you imagine the optimal balance between work and leisure?
  • What expectations do you have about the company in terms of work-life balance?
  • How clearly do you separate your work and free time?
  • How would you like your average working time?
  • How do you wish to design your working hours?
  • What does flexible working time mean to you? What would be your wishes?

The matter of expectation

The balance of work and leisure is of great importance for many, especially young employees. Do not underestimate the extent to which demotivation or dissatisfaction can result from a non-matching of company and applicant work-life balance.

If you find that the applicant has different expectations than usual in your company, you should clearly state this to ensure that the candidate has a realistic impression of his future position and that you can make a proper selection decision.

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