What to Expect from an Interview with a Generation Z Candidate

What to Expect from an Interview with a Generation Z Candidate

You’ve interviewed Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Now it’s time to prepare for Generation Z. They will soon be pouring in through the doors, so know what to expect when you interview them for open positions.

Who are Generation Z?

Generation Z are the children of Millennials who have been getting hype for quite some time. You may have heard of them by different names: the Homeland Generation, Plurals, iGeneration, Post-Millennials. No matter what you call them, Generation Z are those born between the mid 1990s and early 2000s. This makes them alien to the preceding age groups.

What Makes Gen Z so Different?

If you think about the mid 90’s until today, what is it that stands out? For me, it’s technology. The rate at which the waves of science, engineering, and the internet have crashed down on us has been overwhelming…. for most of us. But this isn’t true for Gen Z.

These eChildren were born in an era that allowed them to grow up with their own cell phones, tablets, and laptops. They have been gaming, communicating, and sharing selfies online since they were toddlers. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have my own cell phone until I was 18 years old, and my family computer was on dial-up internet, so we could barely share compressed family portraits with our out-of town-family without using postal mail.

So, How Will Interviews Be Different From What You’re Used to?

Only 11% of Millennials had an entrepreneurial spirit, according to Millennial Branding’s Gen Y and Gen Z Global Workplace Expectations Study. This study showed that 17% of Gen Z want to start their own business and hire employees of their own. So, Generation Z candidates that you interview are more likely to be interested in starting their their own business than what you’ve grown to expect.

You should take this into account when interviewing. Watch for signs that the applicant is interested in staying with you long-term. If this is an important factor for the position, make sure to communicate that right away.

Next, 42% of Millennials were motivated by money to stay longer with an employee, from what Millennial Branding published. Here, only 28% of Generation Z said money would make them want to stay. This shows that a non-monetary incentives for long-term employment could encourage Gen Z employees to stay with you.

You may want to ask your Generation Z what job perks would entice them to stay with your company. From a communication perspective, it may be best to come up with a list of optional rewards that would work for your organization, and present them as choices. Then, the candidate might feel simultaneously rewarded and include in the decision-making process.

Consider These Employment Benefit Ideas for Generation Z

If you have the authority to do so, consider offering employment benefits to your applicant in exchange for time milestones at your company. If this is not in your jurisdiction, you might want to bring a couple of these ideas to the higher-ups. Gen Z might appreciate and be likely to stay with you longer, knowing they can take advantage of the following perks.

  • Freedom to choose work schedule
  • Extra paid vacation time
  • Bonus travel funds
  • Recreational season passes
  • Debt reimbursement (student loans, credit cards, etc.)
  • Gifts (personal laptop, automobile, gift card, etc.)
  • Childcare or family leave time
  • In-building spa services (massage, facial care, pedicures, etc.)
  • Annual wellness packages (gym, yoga, nutrition, etc.)
  • Health care services (eye exams, dental work, medical check-ups, etc.)
  • Weekly hospitality services (meal delivery, dining, personal housekeeping, etc.)
  • Compensation for volunteer time (Gen Z is known for being more philanthropic than previous age groups and want to be a part of something greater than themselves.)

How Should You Communicate With Gen Z?

Before the interview and during follow-up, how are you going to interact with Generation Z? Until now, email and phone calls have been the standard for pre-employment communication. But, more than half of the sample of Gen Z surveyed by Millennial Branding think that email is outdated.

So, even if you’ve received the candidate’s resume via email, consider text messaging, Kik, and other messaging tools for the recruitment process. These methods are more modern. It may be a good idea to ask the applicant how they prefer to be contacted. Offer state-of-the-art and traditional options.

For the actual interview, you may think that it’s acceptable to meet via Skype, FaceTime, or another video conferencing platform. These kids grew up with this technology, after all. So, this statistic could surprise you: 53% of Gen Z prefers face-to-face communication with management.

How you conduct the interview will impact your candidate’s first impression of your company. They may perceive a video conference interview as an indicator that their employment experience will be similar. This could make the applicant uncomfortable. So, if you can’t interview in person, and the day-to-day office interactions will include face-to-face communication with management, let your candidate know this.


Start recruiting the iGen to your organization by knowing what it is that moves them. When they start attending job interviews, you will be prepared to find the right candidates for the job. Consider offering creative incentives to keep these entrepreneurial-thinking workers with you long term. Offer modern communication methods before, during, and after the interview, but let candidates know that your company values in-person interactions.

Janice Kersh

Janice Kersh is a freelance writer, now working for http://essaywriter.pro/ company. In her spare time, she likes reading and baking.

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