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Tips for Interviewing Entry-Level Candidates

Hiring entry-level candidates presents a unique challenge. Since these individuals have limited work experience, the interview becomes the primary method to determine if they will be successful.

Although this may result in added pressure on the hiring manager, the following steps can make the interview process as informative as possible.

Assess Their Technical Skills

Without a proven professional record, you may find it difficult to determine exactly what an entry-level candidate knows. Work samples and experiential or hands-on interviews may be useful, as well as inquiries about past experiences that translate to the current position.

  • Tell me about your educational background.
  • What school/college subjects did you like best/least?
  • How have any summer jobs, part-time jobs or volunteer work prepared you for your career?
  • Did you complete any internships? What did you learn from these experiences?

Consider Their Soft Skills

Soft skills, such as time management and problem-solving, are important across industries. You should be able to evaluate some of these traits, such as communication skills, throughout the interview process. Behavioral or situational questions can provide additional insight.

  • Describe the process you use to prepare for tests or exams.
  • Give an example of a time you took on a leadership role.
  • Tell me about something that went wrong on a job. What did you do to fix it?
  • How would you approach a supervisor with a suggestion or criticism?

Uncover Their Motivation

As with other individuals, an entry-level candidate’s motives may vary from simply collecting a paycheck to building a career with a company. The amount of effort they put into researching your organization and the position can be a good indicator of their true reasons for applying for the job.

  • What do you know about our company?
  • How can you contribute to this organization?
  • Why did you decide to apply for this position?

Ask About Their Goals

Before hiring an entry-level candidate (or any candidate), make sure their ambitions line up with what is possible. Are there opportunities for advancement or training within the organization? Similarly, is the applicant interested in a long-term commitment or simply a stepping stone?

  • What are you looking for in a job?
  • What do you hope to learn in this position?
  • How do you plan to achieve your career goals?

Evaluate Their Fit

In the excitement of the job hunt, an unseasoned worker may be more willing to jump at an opportunity than a seasoned veteran. Therefore, you may need to assist entry-level employees in understanding the reality of a role. Ask questions such as “What do you think your day-to-day duties would be in this position?” Or better yet, ask them to shadow for a day or two, so they have a clearer understanding of real-life, on-the-job expectations.

Is your organization looking to add talented entry-level workers to your Midwest team? At Aventure Staffing, we recognize the key to great companies is great employees. We can screen, interview and assess candidates for you so you can focus on your business. Contact us today to find out more!

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