Top 10 Interview Questions for Graduates

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When it comes to hiring new employees, the interview process reveals a lot about a candidate. This is particularly true of a graduate who is likely to be new to the job market. So, what are the best interview questions you should be asking graduates you have lined up for your new positions?

How has your university experience prepared you for a career?

Not only will this question inform you of their relevant training, but it will also notify you of transferrable skills that can be applied to the role you’re interviewing for. For example, a degree in drama may not directly link to a career in marketing, but the presentation and communication skills are very valuable to the field.

What was your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you handle it?

This question will tell you how your candidate reacts under pressure and reveal their problem-solving skills. Much of the working world involves searching for solutions to existing or impending problems, so this is a valuable skill to have in any sector.

Tell me about your work experience. How has it prepared you for a career?

Most graduates won’t have a lot of career-related experience, but their part-time jobs can teach them skills that can be applied to the career world. For example, a graduate who has previously waited tables will be experienced in customer-facing scenarios and upselling. These skills can be seamlessly transferred to plenty of other fields, such as sales.

Have you completed any internships? What did you gain from the experience?

Typically, an internship will be unpaid and the value comes from the skills and experience that you learn for your desired sector. If a graduate has previously completed an internship, you can be certain they’re dedicated to their field of interest as they have worked in the absence of financial motivation. Similarly, they may already be trained in certain processes, saving time in the onboarding process.

What major problems have you encountered at work, and how did you deal with them?

As previously mentioned, problem-solving is key in the career world, and work problems may be more directly transferrable than student problems. This is because work problems tend to require greater urgency, conveying how someone performs under pressure.

How would you describe yourself?

Though it seems simple, this is one of the most difficult questions to answer as an interviewee as it’s so open. What a candidate chooses to share with you can reveal a lot about their character. Additionally, it’s extremely skilful to select relevant information that an employer would like to hear when presented with such an open-ended question.

What motivates you?

Finding out what a candidate is passionate about is another way of revealing a lot about someone’s character. Their motivation doesn’t necessarily need to be directly related to the role they’re interviewing for; the fact that they’re passionate about something displays drive and ambition.

What’s your greatest strength?

Being self-aware is one of the most important elements of navigating a career. Despite this, it can be difficult for an interviewee to answer this question without seeming boastful. If they’re able to respond confidently without appearing arrogant, you’re onto a winner.

What are you looking for in a job? What’s important to you?

This question not only reveals whether a candidate is right for a job, but also whether the job is right for the candidate. From their interview answers you’ll be able to determine whether their values match that of the business and if they’d be dedicated to ensuring the company’s success.

What do you see yourself doing five years from now?

This question will determine if you’re interviewing a goal-oriented individual who is dedicated to the company. You’ll be able to establish whether you should be investing time into training them and guiding them towards opportunities.

For further guidance regarding good interview questions, please contact us.

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