How to Interview Entry Level Candidates

 Hiring for entry level positions presents a classic Catch-22. 

On the one hand, you don’t want to risk hiring a job seeker with lots of experience, because he may be overqualified for the job (and likely jump ship).  On the other hand, it’s equally risky to hire a true entry level candidate with no track record, because it’s tough to determine if he’ll ultimately thrive on the job.

So what’s a smart hiring manager to do? 

Ask, and you shall receive.  Asking the right interview questions can help you determine if an entry level candidate is the best fit for the available position and your company.  The next time you’re hiring for starter positions, try using a few of these sample interview questions to assess commonly needed job skills:

Questions about Communication Skills

·         How has your education prepared you for this job?

·         Describe an experience where a teacher, boss or teammate failed to communicate effectively with you – and what you did about it.

Questions like these force a candidate to think on his feet and express himself clearly.  Pay attention to whether he responds immediately or takes time to process the questions first.

Questions about Problem Solving

·         Tell me about the biggest challenge you faced as a student – and how you solved it.

·         What’s an important lesson you’ve learned through making a mistake?

To succeed in any job, an employee needs strong problem resolution skills.  These questions will help you assess a candidate’s ability to think logically through a problem or issue.

Questions about Organization

·         How do you organize your day?

·         How do you determine what amount of time is reasonable for a certain task?

Look for responses that indicate a candidate considers everything he has to accomplish in a given day, before prioritizing tasks and getting down to work.

Questions about Motivation

·         Why do you want to work for this company?

·         Where do you see yourself in five years?

These questions will help you determine if a candidate has thought through his career plans.  Look for answers that reveal long-term goals that align with what your company has to offer.

Entry level candidates can grow into your company’s future leaders; however, hiring them can be a time-consuming and risky proposition.  As a leading national staffing agency, PrideStaff can cost-effectively locate pinpoint the talent you need, without the risk – freeing you to focus on more important priorities.  Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more about our direct placement services.