Job Interviews Are the Biggest Challenge for Young Job Seekers

Job hopping may be more common than it used to be, but young job seekers still struggle with finding and interviewing for the right opportunity.
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Data Summary

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    Almost a third (29%) of Gen Z workers report that interviewing is their biggest job search challenge.
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    Identifying jobs to apply for is also challenging for job seekers in this age group (28%).
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    Health insurance is workers' top concern when searching for or selecting a new job, with more than two in five (44%) naming this a priority.
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    Many job seekers (41%) rely on sites like LinkedIn for job search information.
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    A majority of job seekers (51%) are interested in working with a career advisor in the future.

Changing jobs, sometimes called "job hopping," is not only more common than ever but also not judged as harshly by employers as it was in years past.

This is good news. The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that college graduates hold an average of 12 (men) to 14 (women) jobs between the ages of 18 and 54.

And as working lives extend to age 65 and beyond, you may experience more job changes and job searches than you expect.

BestColleges' latest research survey, conducted in June 2022, asked 1,000 working Americans about their biggest job search challenges, most important employment considerations, resources for staying up to date on hiring trends, and thoughts about getting help with the job search process.

Of those working Americans, 781 people identified as white and 242 identified as BIPOC (i.e., African American or Black; Native American or American Indian; Asian, Asian American, Asian Indian, or Pacific Islander; and Hispanic, Latino/a, or Latinx). Our comparison of the responses of these two groups found that their experiences, priorities, and practices were similar across the questions we asked.

Their responses may help you prepare for your next search.

Job Interviews Are One of the Biggest Challenges for Job Seekers

When asked about the biggest challenges of their most recent job search, respondents' top answer overall was "identifying jobs to apply for" (24%). Other challenges included "participating in job interviews" (22%) and "writing or updating my resume" (20%).

For younger workers, the biggest job search challenge was "participating in job interviews" — selected by 29% of those in Gen Z (i.e., ages 18-25) and 24% of millennials (i.e., ages 26-41).

Interviews are hard to avoid. They can be held in person, online, on the phone, or even via email, and may include more than one meeting. Interviews are also part of most employers' hiring processes. Interviewing is a skill that gets better with practice, and there are a few things you can do to prepare.

Tips for Success

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    Set up informational interviews, in person or virtual, with people already working in your field of study. This is a helpful way to build your network and gain confidence in leading a conversation in a professional setting.
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    Use apps like My Interview Practice and Google's Interview Warmup to practice responding to interview questions in a simulated setting. Other online tools also allow you to schedule a practice session, or mock interview, with an industry professional or peer. Check for pricing details — some apps are free while others have fees.

Almost All Job Seekers Are Concerned About Health Insurance

A large majority (78%) of people in the U.S. said that feeling like their job makes a difference in their community or the world was important.

But when asked to identify the factors they consider most important when making a decision about a new job or job offer, health insurance was the top concern across age groups, genders/sexes, and races/ethnicities, as well as across most income levels.

The top three considerations overall were "health insurance" (44%), "monetary compensation (e.g., salary, bonuses)" (40%), and "paid time off" (30%).

Older workers were even more likely than younger workers to select health insurance as the most important consideration. But it is important for all job seekers to understand health-related employment benefits. College students have health insurance needs, too.

Tips for Success

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    Find out what types of employment benefits and perks you can expect to encounter in your next job search. From 401Ks to wellness facilities, there may be more options than you’ve considered. The availability of some benefits, such as pet-friendly offices, can also tell you something about the company culture.
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    Many employers expect job candidates to negotiate salary and benefits. Learn how to ask for the benefits that are important to you in your next job offer situation.

LinkedIn Is the Most Popular Resource for Job Trends

There are many resources available to follow ongoing trends in careers, industries, and the overall job market. The workers in our survey identified LinkedIn and similar online networking sites (41%) as their primary source for job information.

Company websites (39%) and company review sites (28%) such as Glassdoor were also popular sources. About one-quarter (26%) said they stay up to date with job-related trends through websites and publications that address employment trends in their specific industry.

What do you do to stay current on job search trends?

Tips for Success

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    Take some time to optimize your LinkedIn profile. And learn more about how you can make the most of LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your field of interest, join professional groups, and explore companies.
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    Use the Professional Association Finder from to identify the professional associations that advocate for workers in your chosen field or industry. These associations provide a variety of products and services, including publications, newsletters, and networking events.

Working With a Career Advisor Can Be Helpful

Most of the working people we surveyed (80%) reported that they were confident in their job search skills. However, a little more than half (51%) said they would be interested in working with a career advisor in the future.

Almost one-quarter (24%) of survey respondents said they have trouble finding jobs to apply for. This and other job search challenges can be addressed and overcome by working with career coaches, counselors, advisors, and specialists. Many career offices also offer access to subscription-based resources and tools, such as those used for mock interviews.

Career development professionals provide a wide variety of assistance and can recommend the best resources for your job search.

Tips for Success

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    Take the first step by contacting your college's career center to connect with a career counselor. Many institutions provide specialized career services organized by school or major.
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    Ask about access to subscription-based resources and tools, such as those used for mock interviews.

Many college students are already working while they are in school. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 40% of full-time and 74% of part-time undergraduate students were employed in 2020.

Whether you are preparing for your first job search or have already experienced a career change multiple times, BestColleges' latest research can inform how you prepare for your next role. Download the full Career Planning and Job Search Trends report for more information about today's job search experiences and employment priorities.