Poor Interview Prep Huge Factor in Recent Grads Being Passed Over for Jobs

01.17.24
Poor Interview Prep Huge Factor in Recent Grads Being Passed Over for Jobs (Getty Images)

ChicagoSome employers prefer to hire older job seekers over recent college graduates, in part because young professionals don’t make a good first impression in job interviews.

According to an Intelligent survey of 800 managers, directors and executives, around 39% of employers felt that way. Others were more willing to offer older professionals more benefits and higher salaries than to hire new college graduates. 

More than half of the employers said young recruits struggle to make eye contact during the interview and half said they asked for unreasonable compensation. Meanwhile, almost half said young candidates showed up in inappropriate attire and nearly 20% said a recent college grad brought a parent to a job interview.

The report adds to a chorus of employers who’ve expressed concerns about Gen Z’s ability to adapt to corporate life. PWC, Deloitte and KPMG have said Gen Z recruits who graduated during the pandemic struggle to exercise basic communication skills and office etiquette. That’s why these companies have offered extra classes on soft skills to help them adapt. 

Here are other insights from the report:

  • Nearly 60% of bosses said it was very or somewhat true that recent grads are unprepared for the workforce, with more than half agreeing that young professionals "don't respond well to feedback" and have "poor communication skills."
  • Nearly two-thirds of employers said it was "very true" or "somewhat true" that recent college grads are "entitled," while 58% said it was very or somewhat true that they "get offended too easily."
  • 60% of employers said they would be willing to offer more benefits to attract older job seekers, 59% said they would offer higher salaries, 48% said they would allow remote or hybrid-working opportunities, and 46% said they would be willing to hire overqualified candidates.

Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on X: @noahwritestoo.

Edited by NaTyshca Pickett

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