Considering how awful a job can be, it’s difficult to imagine that so many young people are out there actually looking for work. Seems to me it would be so much easier to be born with a trust fund. Even more surprising – apparently, many of the boys and girls who are putting their young lives – and their young resumes – on the line, are not being snapped up.
It’s a depressing situation, but there is hope. Doug Mitchell, CEO of Argenta Field Solutions in Corpus Christi, Texas, has come to the aid of millennial job seekers with “Five Tips on Mastering Job Interviews.”
Why Mr. Mitchell aims his tips only to millennials is a mystery, since there definitely are some young people who have found work. [I don’t know how a 14-year old can graduate from medical school, but that’s who appears to have replaced my doctor when he retired.]
Since millennials don’t like to read, I’ve produced a Snapchat-worthy precis of this excellent advice, which you can Tweet to any millenials who may be stalking you and your job.
Tip No. 1 is “The Basics,” like knowing “Who are you meeting?” and “What does the company do?”
For me, these are two items, which are much better not to know. Who cares who you are meeting? A job interview is all about you, Mr. or Ms. Millennial, not some doofus so low on the corporate totem pole that he or she is given the demeaning assignment of doing introductory job interviews. As an entitled millennial, your basic goal is to leap-frog this cipher, whoever they may be, and get in front of someone who can make a decision, like the big boss’ Pilates teacher, or the person who stocks the breakroom candy machine.
As for knowing what the company does – this is also not essential information. Once they come to their senses and put you in charge, the company’s business model is going to change, radically. Explain to the interview droid that while building cars, or toasters, or software, may seem like a viable business to the ancient ones who run the company now, you plan to move the business into high-growth areas that appeal to millennials like yourself. You’re talking authentic products, like artisanal condiments, and artisanal beer, and artisanal soap carved in the image of Lena Dunham. (If the brilliance of your ideas is not immediately embraced, walk out. Just be sure to get the address of the company, which presumably you also do not know, since you will need it for your artisanal GPS to guide you back to your dorm room.)
In Tip No. 2, Mr. Mitchell writes, “You hear about a company’s mission statement, but what about YOUR mission statement?”
Exactly! Ignore the misguided obsession about the bogus needs of the employer, and focus 110 percent on the critical concerns of the job candidate. The areas Mitchell wants millenials to cover in their mission statement include “what you are” and “what you’re about?”
I’d suggest, “what you are” is someone who is sick and tired of being grilled like a halibut by an out-of-touch, out-of-luck, out-of-time loser and “what you’re about” is a big fat salary from a job where you get to boss people around.
Tip No. 3 is about weaknesses and strengths, which I find very insulting, since any millennial with a Barista degree from Harvard clearly has zero weaknesses. If some teeny-weeny tiny weakness does exist, I humbly suggest using the classic technique “to highlight what you can do for the company.” Explain that by hiring you, everyone else in the company will look really good by comparison.
Tip No. 4 has to do with the millennial convincing the interviewer that they will “create that spark that tells them you’re on the team.” If “spark” is defined by surly behavior and constant demands for attention, this should be no problem.
Lastly, Tip No. 5 revolves around telling the potential employer “where you want to be in 90 days and a year from the hire date.” I’d recommend honesty here. In 90 days, you want to be in the Cayman Islands with the money you’ve looted from the company treasury; and in a year, Venezuela, where young people are appreciated, and there is no extradition treaty.
Will following these tips get a millennial hired? I highly doubt it, and how wonderful that will be. With no annoying young people around, old fogies like thee and me may actually be able to keep our jobs!
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.