Young Job Seekers Feel Insecure in Interviews -- Older Workers Still Have Some Advantages
Young job seekers fear the interview more than any other aspect of the job-seeking process, which just might support the theory that they use electronic devices to communicate so much that their one-on-one skills suffer. A new poll of young adults conducted by Everest reveals that the job interview itself poses the major challenge for those seeking a new position.
Many older job seekers breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing this, as most are not as involved in tweeting and texting as their younger counterparts, and have more confidence and experience meeting with people in person.
Four of 10 young respondents (40 percent) said interviewing is the one skill they need to improve most to help land a job. Polishing a resume ranked second at 29 percent, ahead of following up with the employer (15 percent) and understanding employer expectations (14 percent).
The 500 respondents, all between the ages of 18 to 35, know their ability to converse is critical to a successful job hunt. And nearly half, 45 percent, think speaking skills are one of the two most important attributes hiring managers use to judge potential employees. This quality ranked higher than personal appearance (40 percent) and education (25 percent).
Only previous work experience, named by 60 percent, surpassed speaking skills in importance. And that is another aspect of the job search where young workers are at a disadvantage. Older workers can take heart in the fact that their experience will put them at an advantage
What job interview question is the toughest to answer? Nearly 3 of 10 (28 percent) named, "What is your worst quality?" Other questions deemed difficult were, "Where would you like to see yourself professionally in five years?" (20 percent) and, "What is your salary requirement?" (cited by 19 percent). These are legitimately tough questions, likely to trip up anyone of any age.
Respondents also were split in how they would thank their interviewers. More than two-thirds (68 percent) opt for a verbal thank you at the end of the interview, 31 percent would send a handwritten card or note, and 29 percent would write an e-mail.*
Older workers tend to go the more old school route of a hand-written, mailed thank you note, which definitely leaves an impression younger workers apparently forget.
Other survey results uncovered these perspectives*, and although only younger workers were surveyed, most older workers tend to concur:
- Being on-time ranked first as one way job seekers believe they can make a favorable impression at a job interview, cited by 91 percent as either very important or important. More than eight in 10 said leaving a nice copy of your resume (85 percent) and providing references (83 percent) are ways to impress.
- The Internet was named the best source for finding job opportunities. Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) said employment websites are ideal sources and more than half (51 percent) named listings on prospective employers' websites. Friends and family ranked second at 57 percent. Traditional sources still have popularity, as 44 percent selected classified ads in newspapers and 25 percent said alumni/former school connections.
- Experience, by far, was named as one of the three most important aspects of a resume, cited by 81 percent of respondents. Also ranked highly were description of skills (65 percent) and education (55 percent).
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* Multiple responses were permitted