Many B4T employers and mission agencies are focused on finding a good fit for each young person that they miss the fact that their interview questions should be designed in a way to help both the young candidate and the interviewer weed each other out. Interviews are no longer solely about the candidate, grasp the fact that in an interview the millennials are also interviewing us. With each question, each interview, we need to seek a mutually beneficial relationship, between the candidate and the company/team. If a relationship does not appear to be mutually beneficial, let the candidate walk.
One mistake I see companies and organizations making during interviews is jumping straight into questions about what the candidate will be doing, or is called to do. An interview needs to be the beginning of a relationship, not just a time of Q&A. Dialogue needs to occur. The millennial needs to be encouraged to ask questions without judging the intent. Plan to structure most if not all of the entire first interview around getting to know the person and discussing (not telling) the culture of the company and/or team and/or organization. In the second interview then focus on “the job” and the skills needed to succeed. If millennials feel they are a cultural fit there is a much higher probability of their returning for another interview. If you start with “the job” don’t be surprised if you never see them again.
Here are some of the questions that may help you vet for mutual cultural fit.
1. How do you see yourself enhancing our culture and making the people around you better?
Start with the culture, not the job. Millennials need to know it’s not just about work and getting things done – they want to make a difference, they want to impact lives. You want to hire people who are thinking about how they are going to better the workplace culture and who understand how they can fit in.
2. How have you been the creator of your world and not the victim of your circumstances?
Life happens, there are things we cannot control. This question enables you to hear how the individual reacted to problems in the past. Does he pass the buck? Blame somebody else? Avoid the problem or person? Or does he arise to the occasion to accomplish his objective?
3. If you did a SWOT analysis on yourself, what would be your most exceptional strengths and least desirable qualities?
People who know themselves are desirable. Check their self-perceptions with their references to understand the biggest strengths they bring to the table. And then validate that these strengths match what the business and team needs at this time.
4. What are your aspirations, your dreams, for your future? Lay it out for me, so I can see if this job will help you on your journey.
You need to listen to their specific aspirations and dreams and then honestly consider if this position helps them get closer to achieving them. If the job is not moving the person forward toward her dreams, you can expect her to leave within 2 years. If the job is not a good fit, make suggestions to help the person find the right situation for them. Be recruiting for God’s team, not just your own.
5. How does this job get you to the next step of where you want to go?
If there isn’t a clear answer to this, do not hire the candidate. You want the person to view this position as a stepping stone that gets them to the next step of in their walk with God and their career (either at your company or elsewhere). Remember, millennials are independently motivated to get things done. Organizations tend to see new recruits as making life-time commitments. Life-time commitments to organizations are a thing of past. Understand that millennials view their walk with God as a process and each commitment they make, no matter the length of time, is a step in fulfilling God’s process in their lives.
6. When the going gets tough and you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” what is your answer going to be?
This is key. You want to hire low maintenance people. You cannot be there for them every moment of the day. You cannot be their cheerleader 24/7. As a leader it is your responsibility to your employees/team to ensure that all new hires will be self-motivated. Candidates need to know their motivations and why they’ll sacrifice and when needed be there for their peers.
7. Why would somebody want to join this company/team and take this specific job?
People who really want the job do their homework. They will have studied the company, the position, plus the team they are applying for and know the pros and cons of working with you.
8. What would you say is your biggest failure in life to date? What was your biggest success?
Hire people who have accomplished big things in their lives. Hire people who have experienced failure and have shown they can overcome it. Employing somebody in their 20s who has never pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone means that when you push them outside of it, they are likely going to fall apart. Knowing a person has experienced failure and knows how to handle it is important.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.