Top 15 most frequently asked entry-level interview questions and answers: The entry-level interview process differs from other interview models in a variety of important ways. This article provides an overview of the types of interview questions asked, the types of answers given, and the logical thought process behind the answers.
When you begin the job search after graduation, you will probably be asked a number of questions during an interview. One set of questions may be general interview questions, and another set may be specific to entry-level job candidates.
The importance of adequate preparation prior to an entry-level interview cannot be stressed enough. Knowing your resume content and career information and having a sense of the company is great but being armed with the types of questions that recruiters are likely to ask is just as important.
To help you ease your transition into the corporate world as a new employee, here is a list of the top 15 most frequently asked entry-level interview questions and examples of appropriate answers.
Entry-Level Interview Questions and Answers
Tell Me About Yourself
The question ‘Tell me about yourself is a common interview question. The main reason for its popularity with hiring teams is that it used to be a good icebreaker, enabling applicants to feel more at ease and talk freely. This question is intended to determine how well you can market yourself as the best candidate for the job. That’s why it is important to focus on things that will make you stand out from your competition.
Tip: Some people find it helpful to give a brief summary about their background and skills, for example, what school they went to and what courses they studied; any entry-level experience they have; and why they’re interested in this particular role.
2. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
During interviews, you should discuss your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth. This is a question that comes up often in job interviews. When an interviewer asks this question, they are trying to get to know you better as a person.
When discussing your weaknesses at an interview, try to focus on weaknesses that are relevant to the job you’re after. Think about how those weaknesses relate to your abilities and character qualities.
Tip: When talking about your strengths and weaknesses, don’t be afraid to discuss some of the less-than-ideal aspects of your personality. Just make sure that you are honest about it, and explain how you are working to become a better person. Also, while honesty is important in this section, you should avoid listing overly negative traits like “loves to gossip” or “runs with scissors.”
3. Do You Have Any Part-time Work Experience?
A job interview offers many chances to show off your skills and accomplishments. If you’ve worked before, bring it up during your interview and discuss how working with other people helped you gain both work and real-life experience, and refine your communication, collaboration, and problem-solving (as many as are applicable) skills.
Tip: Consider mentioning, in your interview, three instances in which you resolved problems at work or school, e.g., you confronted an administrator about a problem with another employee or a peer, tackled a difficult task, and more.
4. Where Do You See Yourself in The Next Five Years?
The ‘where do you see yourself in the next five years’ question serves to ensure your career plans are in line with the organization’s.
No hiring manager wants to hear you say that you would only be with them until a better opportunity presents itself. When answering this question, be sure to point out the ways that the position could help your own career advancement, and how it could help you to achieve your long-term goals.
Tip: Don’t feel obligated to provide an answer—there’s no one right answer. Just make sure you explain why you don’t have one.
5. Tell Me About Your Educational Background
As a new job-seeker, it is likely that you will have little or no work experience. But your education and other attributes will be the focus of the interview since many entry-level jobs require educational degrees from prospective employees. You will be asked to talk about your academic background to help you demonstrate your qualifications for the job.
So, here’s the thing: you probably don’t actually like the field you’ve chosen, but did so for practical reasons (that is okay). But do not tell the hiring manager this. You picked it because you thought it would be fascinating, challenging, or lead to a profitable career.
Tip: The key to answering this question effectively is knowing why you picked your major and conveying it unmistakably. Be straightforward, regardless of whether your explanation doesn’t appear to be intriguing. It’s smarter to be straightforward with yourself and the interviewer in advance than to endeavor to declare to them what you figure they need to hear.
6. Why Are You Interested in This Role?
The answer to the “Why are you interested in this role” question can be very obvious if you have looked at the position and can say “I’m interested in this because I like what you do here, and I enjoy a challenge.”
7. Describe Your Internship Experience
While many entry-level roles don’t ask for relevant work experience, many fresh applicants acquire some form of experience and it’s usually through internship programs.
Note: If you do not have any, do not lie about it. Simply state that you do not have internship experience.
Tip: Keep in mind that your internship or work-study experience should be directly related to the job you are applying for. You should also use this section as an opportunity to showcase your transferable skills. For example, the leadership skills you developed as an intern may have been beneficial to your team and might be applicable to this role.
8. How Has College/University Prepared You for This Role?
The ‘How has your educational background prepared you for this position?’ question is very similar to the ‘What have you learned from past jobs or internships that could be applied to this position?’ question, with the major difference being that this question is focused on technical skills you acquired in school.
Tip: Describe the skills you learned in school and how they fit into the role you are interviewing for.
9. What Was Your Favourite Subject?
When selecting your major, choose a subject that reflects your skills, interests, and experience. Don’t choose a subject just because it’s easy or your friends did.
Tip: Because you were fascinated by economics and enjoyed classes that explored such topics as international trade, resource allocation, and monetary policy, you developed a methodology for conducting thorough research and solving complex problems.
10. How Will Those You’ve Worked with Describe You?
Interviewers may ask you how past co-workers have described your personality in order to determine your self-awareness. Are you going to praise yourself or discuss the weaknesses you have?
Tip: It is best to maintain a balance. Tell them that you took up their criticism constructively, but discuss how your contributions to projects and your professional conduct have left a positive impression on them. You can also mention that you are still in contact with them if this is the case.
11. How Will You Handle a Looming Deadline?
The workplace is not always positive and uplifting. One main principle guiding hiring managers during entry-level interviews is to assess which job candidates will fit best into their organizations.
So, you may finish at the top of your class, but still not pass the interview because your handling of the situational questions does not make you out to be the best fit for the organization.
Tip: This interview question can help you demonstrate your time-management skills. Even if you have never had a job in an environment that required strict time management, you probably encountered situations while in school where you were forced to prioritize your schedule.
12. Describe A Time You Disagreed with a Colleague or Classmate
Conflict is the norm in human relationships. The workplace is not exempt from this. When you are asked to describe a time, you disagreed with a colleague or classmate during an entry-level interview, the hiring manager is gauging your ability to resolve conflicts efficiently and determine whether your teamwork and collaboration skills are up to their standards.
Tip: Tell us about some disagreement in an appropriate setting. For example, one person’s idea versus everyone else’s, or your way versus another person’s way. Do not tell a story about something like someone having your chicken while you are being interviewed.
13. What Are Your Hobbies? /What Do You Like to Do Outside of Work?
This question is designed to give you an opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills in a relaxed and creative environment, but remember that it is still an interview, and your response should be professional.
Your hobbies can tell an employer a lot about your personality. Examples of hobbies that can give an employer insight into who you include:
- Listening to podcasts.
- Spending time with loved ones.
14. Describe A Time When Your Work Was Publicly Criticized
Please clarify if you are the type who takes an offense to be disagreed with or disregards criticism. No hiring manager would be willing to hire someone who might cause problems at work due to disagreements and criticisms.
Tip: You should describe a time in which someone publicly criticized your work and you have an example of how you handled the public criticism.
15. Describe A Time When You Managed a Project or People
It might seem odd, given that you are applying for an entry-level position, but hiring managers consider more than just what you can bring to the organization at this time.
When you apply for a job, you should be ready to show your leadership competencies and how you manage tasks, whether small or large.
Tip: If you do not have any workplace leadership experience, you can bring up a school project or group you led.