A Brief Interview With the Next Generation

They're Great on Paper and Online, but Need to Sit Up and Speak Clearly

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Peter Madden
Peter Madden
I recently spent a few hours at Villanova University doing mock-interviews with soon-to-be grads who were interested in getting into our industry. A few observations from the day follow that I'm sure I could apply to many men and women graduating a few short months from now:

The Good

  • Very accomplished on paper. Each resume was chock-filled with internships and substantial, extracurricular activities.

  • Globally minded. Each had a fair amount of global travel for studies and work while in college. From social media for a football club in the U.K. to singing with the choral group in Argentina.

  • Honest to the core. None held back in terms of giving me thoughtful answers to each question I asked. Not a single canned answer in the bunch and I'm pretty damn good at spotting a fake. Makes me wonder if sharing in a transparent way via social media translates into the real world.

  • Inquisitive. All had some interesting, non-canned questions related to the industry and to my business specifically.

  • Well researched. Each did plenty of homework regarding yours truly. From my hobbies to AgileCat clients, they knew me almost as well as the authorities (kidding).
The Bad
  • Delivery. Where was the conviction? There was so much for each to be proud of on paper but it seemed to be a cosmic leap to figuratively slap me in the face with those accomplishments. I shouldn't have to strain to hear anyone in a professional interview. Enunciation is crucial!

  • Eye contact. I don't need a hole burned in my head from a non-blinking gaze, but it seemed that there was a lot of eye-diversion. Again, this plays into the conviction theme above. Physical presence is as important as the words being spoken. Speaking of ...

  • Uh, Um, Like. The big three. I actually think many of us could work on this bad habit.

  • Posture. When someone's uncertain, he reflects it many ways but none so transparent as the inability to throw the shoulders back and sit up straight.
The Conclusion
As far as technology has brought this next generation, from connecting them globally to furthering their professional skill set and personal hobbies, it has brought the collective way down in terms of in-person communications. I have to scratch at the incredible hair on my head at the grand trade-off being made so we can all update our statuses. I wonder how dangerous we'd be if we could advance our in-person communication as much as Facebook has advanced our online dialogue. This should be the goal.

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