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How to Interview Gen Z

Published from CareerWise Colorado.

Just when the workforce has become accustomed to the millennial mentality, there are new “kids” on the block.

Enter Generation Z, the 61 million individuals who were born between 1996 and 2010. But, don’t be fooled by their age. These young adults bring innovative perspectives and values that will undoubtedly alter the future of employee recruitment, development and retention.

So how do you find the GenZer that is perfect for your company?  The first step is understanding them.

Our first digital-native generation grew up in tumultuous times. Their formative years were shaped by a post 9/11 world. For their entire life, the nation has been at war abroad, and their schools under fire at home. But they’ve also witnessed social change like Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement.

Because of this, Gen Zers are realists, activists, and passionate making an impact.

A recent study conducted by Center for Generational Kinetics, revealed these life events formed a generation that is dedicated, hardworking and embraces learning and growth.

Keeping these traits in mind during the interview process will help you find the best young adult for your business.

Your Gen Z candidates probably won’t have a lot of professional experience on their resume, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a successful employee. According to a recent study by EY, more than two-thirds of GenZ believe it is more important to be seen as curious and innovative than have a specific skill or expertise. Those technical skills will come quickly once on the job, but their interests and talents exist now, so your interview should focus on those traits.


Check out the top three tips and accompanying questions to understand how to bring out your candidates best in an interview.


  • What motivated you to apply for an apprenticeship?
  • What is your dream job? Why?
  • What inspires you when you experience a challenge?
  • Describe a challenge you have overcome and how you changed moving forward.
  • How does this apprenticeship play into your short-term and long-term career goals?
  • What was it about this company that first drew you to this role?
  • What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
  • What do you expect to learn through this apprenticeship?


  • Tell me about a time you had a conflict or were frustrated with a teacher. How did you deal with the situation? How does that connect to your work as an apprentice?
  • Tell me about a time you have worked as a team. (Ex: sports, school project, band/orchestra etc.) What did you like and what did you find difficult?
  • Tell me about a school assignment that you didn’t find particularly interesting. How did that make you feel and how did you motivate yourself to finish it?
  • Tell me about your BEST day at school. What about it made it great?


  • Describe a problem you encountered that you were able to solve by using technology.
  • As a younger individual, what can you bring to our company that someone from a different generation may not be able to?
  • If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

When you take the time to fine tune your interview process to look beyond the typical markers of success on a professional resume, you’ll find that there is a wealth of talent waiting to contribute to your company, your culture and your bottom line.