A love letter to a Millennial job seeker from a Millennial interviewer

Katrina Ricard (The Philippine Star) - July 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Dear Millennial Job Seeker,

I write to you, not as another self-proclaimed Millennial expert does, but as an “early Millennial” who has undergone the same frustration you must be going through now as you look for your first or second or third job. (I might also be imparting my wholly unsolicited advice to you in service to all HR practitioners in the country.)

Like you, I’m tired of being misjudged as a lazy, entitled, narcissist by what seems to be a decade-long propaganda fueled by Gen X middle managers. Labels have a way of being self-fulfilling prophecies. Why do you think #sorrynotsorry became so successful? And though we are not to blame for being born in the midst of a global technological transition, “having it easy” is the main critique of our generation.

The thing is, I don’t believe it is all that easy. Whereas our parents were brought up to believe that hard work and a strict cookie cutter profession are fundamentals to success, we were raised to follow our passions, expand our horizons, and do one thing a day that makes us scared. “Follow your heart and be yourself” might be the one true adage of our generation. But when the bills come around and reality sets in, who but a lucky few have the resources to spend their days exploring?

I do not mean to discourage you from finding that which makes you happy. I do believe that you should keep pursuing your passion, and I don’t think that this is exclusive to an elite few who have decided to take a non-corporate route.

If you do decide to go corporate, however, commit to it. At least for a while. Please do not make your interviewer feel that you would rather be #YOLO-ing on a beach somewhere for a living. It is a disservice to both your and your interviewer’s time.

Having said that, come to your interviews on time and do your research. Now that we are in the information age, there is no excuse for you to come in half an hour late, saying you got lost along the way. There are a number of apps that you can download to prevent these kinds of situations.

Second, read up about the company you are applying to — no matter how small and insignificant they may seem to you. You might be applying to this job as a way of testing the waters and seeing if corporate/this industry is really for you, but a lot of these companies have allocated their time and money into hiring for the position you are interviewing for, and it is very disrespectful to come in without proper preparation.

Do not, under any circumstance, inform your interviewer that you came by on a whim because you were bored with your current job. Word spreads around, and there is nothing more irk-worthy than an ingrate who is willing to shove their employers under the bus as soon as a more interesting opportunity comes along. Don’t burn the bridge before you even cross it.

Come in appropriate attire and exhibit proper hygiene. The company you are applying to might not have a dress code and their employees come in purontong shorts all the time, but that does not mean you should. At least not on your first interview. Unless you are applying to the banking industry, I am not telling you to suit up (tie included). If you do decide to interview in full hipster/normcore/grunge regalia, keep the greasy hair and dirty fingernails in check, please.

Last and most importantly, be courteous. It is now completely acceptable to request feedback post-interview, but please wait a while to do this. Many HR departments have to go through a process and will not be able to give you an answer the day after your application. Texting is rather informal; write a short e-mail instead.

After you get your job, find a good quality pinot grigio to share with friends for your celebratory whine and wine dinner. You may still have that dull ache in your stomach that signals that you would rather be Instagramming food shots for the rest of your life. But for now, revel in the thought that you have a paycheck that can cover your unlimited mobile data plan.


Millennial Job Interviewer

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