You’ve heard terrible things about Millennials: they have a sense of entitlement, expect huge starting salaries, and can’t communicate without social media. Despite what you’ve heard, Millennials can breathe new life into your team—if you hire the right ones. Asking situational and behavioral questions helps you determine if they have the skills and work ethic to add value to your team. Here are 3 questions to ask Millennials before you hire:
1. How would you react in this situation?
Give your candidate an example of a troubling situation he might encounter on the job and ask him how he’d handle it. For example, “What would you do if you had a client tell you they weren’t happy with the work you did?” His answer here will help you learn how he’s going to interact with your clients and whether he can accept responsibility and recover from criticism with resilience.
2. Tell me about a time…
This kind of question lets you establish how strong your Millennial is at problem solving. For example, “Tell me about a time when you had to take action on a project that you weren’t sure how to handle. How did you get started and what steps did you take from there?” The response you get to this question helps you determine whether your candidate is a self-starter and will take initiative to research on her own, ask smart questions, and make logical moves to get where she needs to be.
3. What would you do?
Asking a “what would you do” question helps you determine what kind of initiative your candidate has and whether he’s going to handle things the way you’d like. For example, “What would you do if your manager came to you at 4:30 on a Friday and said he had just been handed an urgent project?” The answer to a question like this helps you establish several things: it helps you gauge whether your candidate is a team player, how much he’s committed to the job, and whether he is going to expect to walk out of the door at the same time every day. If he says he’d ask his manager how he could help with the project and stay late to finish it—great! If he says he’d try to help as much as he could before he left for the day—not so great.
Millennials can really make you roll your eyes, and as a company leader, you don’t have time to babysit and frequently explain why you do things a certain way. Ask open-ended, situational questions that directly relate to the work you do, the culture you have, the problems you face, and the work ethic you expect. These will help you determine if your Millennial has the brains and the brawn to make it at your company. Millennials think differently and while this can be frustrating, it can also bring a fresh perspective and new approaches to tackling old problems.