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7 Questions Millennials Should Ask During Interviews

7 Questions Millennials Should Ask During Interviews

Millennials, do you spend hours prepping for a job interview by researching companies, googling common interview questions and rehearsing answers? You may be missing one step! Don’t forget that an interview is not just about employers determining if you’re right for the company. Millennials should use this time to determine if the company is the right fit for them as well. Get past your nerves and work up the courage to ask your potential employer these questions: 

1. What are the opportunities for advancement?

One of the top reasons Millennials leave a company is because of lack of advancement opportunities, so it’s important to weed out any employers that will not offer this long-term growth. Millennials may be hesitant to ask this question so employers don’t get the impression that they are trying to get ahead before even getting a foot in the door. However, interviews are not just about finding a job, they are about finding the right fit for you, and if that means having opportunities for you to develop professionally, this question must be discussed.

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2. What is the job flexibility?

Millennials crave job flexibility, so why not find out how rigid the environment is before signing on for a job? This question does not have to come off as you having demands or wanting to sleep in late. Instead of saying “can I work a 10-6 shift? I’m not a morning person” try “What is the work-life balance like in this department?” The answer to this question will be more telling, as the potential employer will probably give you information about people in your department with families or activities outside of work that will help you determine the flexibility while still allowing you to make a strong first impression.

3. How much of an impact will I have?

To get a sense of where you stand on the totem pole, ask your potential employer questions about what kind of decision-making impact you will have. Will you be able to give ideas on solving department issues? Or will your biggest decision be what to have for lunch? Millennials love being responsible for important assignments and brainstorming solutions to company problems, so finding out ahead of time that this won’t be available to you will save you a lot of trouble working in the wrong job.

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4. What kind of interaction will I have with upper management?

Millennials do not want to work in an atmosphere where upper management is segregated from lower level employees. This generation wants to collaborate with team members on all levels, and get feedback and coaching from people they view as mentors. If you want to mix and mingle with the big wigs, but the position you’re interviewing for will have you trapped on another floor with similar employees, ask if there are mentorship opportunities available. Make sure you’re coming across as someone who wants to learn from the best, not someone who wants to be the best brown-noser.

5. What are the benefits?

Millennials may be more interested in short-term benefits like vacation time and the number of sick days, but during an interview, get an idea of long-term benefits as well. Find out what kind of retirement plans the company offers, and if health insurance covers dental and vision. As a Millennial, some of these benefits may not impact you soon, but you’ll be thankful you have them in the future.

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6. What reservations do you have about me?

This is a hard question for Millennials to ask in a situation that is already nerve-wracking, but it should be asked in every interview. Asking a potential employer this question shows you are a direct communicator and open to constructive criticism. Be sure to handle whatever answer comes your way in a professional manner. If they are hesitant about gaps in your resume, acknowledge that you understand why it is a concern, and then explain why it shouldn’t impact their hiring decision.

7. Who previously held this position?

Get a glimpse into the corporate environment by asking what happened to the person who came before you. If the person was promoted, this is a positive sign that the company believes in upward mobility, and that your position is a great starting point. Some employers may not openly tell you if the person who previously held the position was fired or left for another company, but always look for body language signs to signal that this could be the case. Fidgeting or nervousness in the response may be a red flag that the company does not treat employees well, or easily fires entry-level employees. 

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Trying to land a job so you can work your way up the corporate ladder? Take this free assessment by Joel Goldstein, President of Mr. Checkout Distributors to find out about your leadership strengths and weaknesses!

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

But do you know what motivates your people?

It’s simple:

  • Is their work stimulating?
  • Does it challenge them?
  • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
  • Do you encourage creativity?
  • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
  • Do you praise them?
  • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
  • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
  • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

  • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
  • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
  • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
  • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

6. Monitor Their Workload

Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

  • Red means they’re fully loaded.
  • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
  • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

The Bottom Line

A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

More to Motivate Your Team

Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

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