What Did I Learn From My First Gen Y Hire? Don’t Be Like Me!

by Tanya March 18, 2014

I know, I know. This is already a third work-related article in a row and this is not even a recruitment blog. I don’t plan my articles much in advance, so I guess there has just been work work work on my mind lately.

I’d like to share my first Gen Y hire with the world … and the things that I learnt from it.

Last week I interviewed five writers. It wasn’t a rocket science really, somehow I just knew immediately who’s the one … it’s the gut feeling!

If you can combine that gut feeling with some apparent personality traits – you can easily be able to make the best choice!

When I say “gut feeling” I mean likability and the feeling of connection with the person I’m talking to. I understand that gut feeling is subjective, but I also know that subjectivity is just as important as objectivity, because when you end up working with that person every day, you may as well get along.

Apart from the subjective gut feeling, there are simple traits that set an Average Joe apart from the Star:

– Attitude

– Reasoning abilities

– Situation handling skills

These personality traits are pretty obvious when you speak to people! They either have it or not.

I like positive people, who believe that they can make things happen (note that it doesn’t mean that they can’t fail at times; as long as they hope and do everything they can to succeed, it’s all good). You need and want to make things happen for them to ACTUALLY happen, so can-do attitude is a certain must!

I also like people, who can quickly come up with logical conclusions and connections between different things in the world. That shows wider knowledge, curiosity and intelligence.

And lastly – situation handling. You can’t be perfect all the time, and that is fine, but coming out of situations with eye-opening, clever solutions, or even humour, is just refreshing and makes you memorable.


Things Gen Y should do on the interview:

– Show your personality, otherwise you won’t be remembered

– Be confident in your own skin (celebrate your difference. I’m different, too. Everybody is! Show me and everybody else that being different is okay)

– You don’t have to think like me. I already have myself and my ideas. I want to find a writer, who doesn’t agree with me, who I can brainstorm bigger and better ideas with.

– The fact that I’m interviewing you doesn’t make me better than you. Mutual respect and appreciation is very important!

I believe that if you treat people nicely and let them think big, they will. Make them feel like they are part of the company’s success and they will give more. Treat them like faceless employees and you will get ones.

People, even though so different, are essentially the same. We all want to love, feel loved/liked, get satisfaction and appreciation at work and in personal life.


Things Gen Y shouldn’t do on the interview:

– When people answer with one short answer and aren’t generally very wordy, makes me feel awkward. It makes me feel that I’m saying something wrong. If you want to succeed, make me feel comfortable.

– When people lack something and say “I don’t have it”, or “I can’t do it”. You can always show that even though you don’t currently have the abilities, it won’t take you long to learn them (that’s the crucial can-do attitude I was talking about above).

– When people play it safe. These are the people, who say all the right things (that tens other candidates are saying), but are lacking that certain something, that many aren’t brave enough to say.

Every genuine hiring manager wants to see the real you, what makes you different from others, don’t be afraid to show it!

And finally, after five Skype interviews with different people, I could easily pick the one. It was the positive, personable girl, who had a different angle to fashion writing (I must say I agreed with the most of what she said, even though similarity with myself is not necessarily what I’m after). She was honest and real and I’m not even surprised that she has continuously produced  outstanding work so far.

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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