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.