If you’re looking at entry-level jobs, it’s possible that you haven’t had much experience with interviews. If that’s the case, you may be nervous or uncertain about what to expect from the interview process. It’s completely normal to feel this way, even if you have done a lot of interviews in the past. But there are certainly some questions that are more common in entry-level interviews than more intermediate or expert-level ones.
To help give you an idea of what to expect, here are some common entry-level questions that should give you something to think about ahead of your interview.
Common interview questions for entry-level jobs:
“Why are you applying for this position?”
This is an opportunity to expand on why the job appeals to you and how you see it fitting into your future and your career path. Be open and honest about what attracts you to the role, what the job would mean for you professionally, and why you’re the best fit. Try not to make the focus of your answer about your future, but it’s good to include that so they know right off the bat that you have a broader vision. The most important thing you can do when answering a question like this is to position yourself as the absolute best candidate for the role.
“Tell us about yourself.”
This probably feels like a big, broad question, and may even seem difficult to answer. The best way to approach it is to focus on short, notable talking points. Talk about your background and education a bit, but try to talk about these things in a way that relates to you as a person, your motivations, and your personality if possible. This is your chance to share more about who you are on a personal level so a potential employer will know if you’re a good fit with the company culture and with the other employees.
“What have you learned from your studies that you feel best prepares you for this job?”
Talking up your education is important in the right context, and this is your chance to do just that! Whether you’ve got an MBA or a Bachelor’s degree, the approach is the same: let the employer know that you have an understanding of what’s in front of you and that you have the knowledge necessary to achieve success in the role they’re offering. Try and pinpoint a few things that are relevant to the job, if possible, as you’ll be better off the more you have to offer.
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Though similar to the question about describing yourself, this question really allows an employer to get a sense of how aware you are of your own abilities, and it also lets them know what to expect from you. You should generally interpret this question as having to do with day-to-day work habits rather than skills that are specific to the requirements of the job itself. In that vein, play up any positive attributes that you feel you have as a worker, and don’t be afraid to also point out areas in which you acknowledge that you can improve. Employers will appreciate your openness and awareness of yourself as a worker.
— Article by Sean Kelly. In addition to being an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter, Sean Kelly also co-founded a nonprofit local news publication in Savannah, GA called The Savannahian.