How to interview entry-level job candidates:
Interviews with junior candidates can be challenging as they lack professional experience making it difficult to assess their skills. But, with targeted entry-level interview questions you can easily assess their abilities and potential.
- Problem-solving skills: What is their approach when it comes to handling work-related challenges? (give them hypothetical scenarios)
- Time-management skills: How do they manage deadlines? (ask how college projects or internships)
- Communication skills: How do they describe themselves and their objectives?
Interview questions for entry level job candidates:
- Why did you choose this subject for your specialization?
- Have you ever received constructive criticism from your professor? How did you react?
- If your manager gives you a task you know nothing about, what would be your approach?
- During your internship what type of projects did you handle? What was your role and what type of challenges did you face?
- What skills would you like to develop during your first year at work?
- How did you plan your schedule when you had to complete many assignments and projects on tight deadlines?
- Do you have any experience of working in a team? (e.g. for a college project or during an internship)
- If you are on a call with a customer and don’t know how to answer their questions, what would you do?
- Why did you apply for this position? What do you know about this job role?
- How do you think your education has prepared you for this role?
- Do you have any plans for further studies? Which course are you considering?
How to assess entry-level candidate skill?
- Start with simple questions in order to make candidates feel comfortable.
- Ask situational questions. Also, give hypothetical scenarios to understand how candidates manage work-related situations, even if they don’t have relevant experience?
- Ask about their internships, extracurricular activities and volunteer work. These types of experiences will help you in knowing how candidates interact in a team environment and how they use their skills to achieve results.
- Include an assignment in your recruitment process to better evaluate candidates. This is very helpful when recruiting for creative roles.
Possible red flags for entry-level job candidates:
- They lack motivation: Junior-level employees usually show interest and a “can do” attitude for their new role. Candidates who don’t ask follow-up questions and look disengaged might not be interested in the position.
- Unprofessional attitude: Don’t be too strict when judging junior candidates. However, signs of unprofessionalism, like missing deadlines for assignments or showing up late are clear red flags.
- Arrogance: Employees in junior roles usually require training and mentoring from seniors. A “know-it-all” attitude may prevent them from learning new skills.
- Different career objectives: Junior candidates have a tough time identifying jobs in their area of interest. If you find that their career objectives don’t match your job role, it might be difficult to retain them in the long-run.