5 Tips for Interviewing Gen Zs

5 Tips for Interviewing Gen Zs

March 1, 2023
Shari Steinbach

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, Contributing Editor

Gen Z now makes up almost a third of the world population and will account for 25% of the global workforce by 2025. Like other generations Gen Zs want to have meaningful professional experiences and are eager to learn, grow and contribute. They are digital natives and also care a great deal about work life balance, ethics, and culture. Chances are you will be interviewing and hiring some of these ambitious individuals to enhance your retail team in the near future. Here are 5 tips to help you conduct successful interviews with Gen Zs.

1: Embrace technology talk – To effectively communicate with Gen Z you need to speak their language which is tech. Infuse technology into your interview process to show potential employees that you value efficiency. For example, opt for online video conferencing to conduct interviews and make necessary recruiting materials available digitally. This can include job descriptions, onboarding videos, and training webinars.

2: Ask about preferred work style – Gen Z employees do not automatically expect to adhere to an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule in the office. Instead, they want to discover different office work styles and find the one that is mutually acceptable to their lifestyle and company needs. It is imperative to discuss and clarify Gen Z employee work style expectations during an interview. Ask them if they prefer working in the office, hybrid, or fully remote. Their preferences need to match your company’s work patterns for short and long-term success.

3: Learn how they like to be supervised - This generation is not fond of traditional rigid management styles. They prefer a boss who serves as a mentor who guides them along their work journey while providing valuable feedback to help them grow and advance. Discuss this work aspect when interviewing a Gen Z candidate by inquiring how they envision a perfect supervisor-employee relationship. Ask about how much autonomy they would like on the job and how well they receive constructive criticism.

4: Tap into their enthusiasm – Gen Zs will not have years of work experience but they make up for this in motivation. Leverage this energy by finding out what they are enthusiastic about and what drives them to work hard. Ask why they were motivated to apply for your position and what they want to achieve in this professional retail role. You can also inquire about what would inspire them to overcome challenges at work. These questions can help you uncover a candidate’s strengths while also learning how best to incentivize them.

5: Keep your questions creative and personal – Gen Z candidates prefer a personalized interview experience that allows them to have an honest conversation. Instead of asking the old stereotypical questions such as “where do you see yourself in three to five years?”, establish a genuine and open communication style. Ask detailed questions, be curious about their passions, and engage your Gen Z candidate in the interview process by encouraging them to share comments and ask questions.