Congratulations on getting an interview, it’s no minor feat! It’s important to remember that the employer will be far less forgiving in an entry-level job interview than in an internship interview. Hiring a full-time employee is much riskier than hiring an intern for the summer. So come well rested, prepared, and as relaxed as you possibly can.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 entry-level interview questions and answers to help you prepare to land your first job after. They fall into the following categories:
Pro Tip: visit this page on your phone to turn these questions into flash cards for practicing!
Tip #6: Show Your Interest
I think your presentation and the way you present yourself to the interviewers and anybody that you interact within the interview process is extremely important.
So not just what you say, but how you say it. Eye contact and body language say a lot about your interest in the position and the company as a whole.
Showing your interest makes a recruiter feel that you’re confident and that you can certainly do the role, and also that you are excited about this opportunity.
I think you should be excited about interviewing a company that you’re interested in. And that sounds silly, but I think that going in excited and I think that’s why body language and eye contact are all very important aspects.
Tip #1: Be Open, Transparent & Direct
I think it’s important for candidates to be authentic and transparent throughout the entire interview process.
Keeping the line of communication open through the interview process is really important for both sides. If you have other opportunities on the table, say that. The recruiters are your advocates and an essence kind of your best friend. Being direct – give us, you know, enough feedback – if you are not interested, or if you if the commute is an issue, or if you want more money, if your clearance was an issue – just let us know.
1. Give me an example of a time in which you handled a looming deadline. How well do you perform under pressure? That’s what the employer is trying to understand. Don’t be afraid to show your weakness here. This, like most situational questions, is trying to get at what you learned or took away from a past situation. Admit your weaknesses and how you’d handle them differently. Then highlight your strengths. Fortunately, you’ve probably had lots of recent experience with tight deadlines in your classes.
2. What were some of your favorite/least favorite classes? Why? Don’t just give a list of your classes or answer with something generic about how you liked all of them. Be opinionated here and honest. Try and stick to classes you enjoyed because they were stimulating or challenging and avoid saying that you enjoyed a class because it was easy or because you did well in it. The employer wants to see what piques your interest in your measure. They’re evaluating your ability to be genuine and passionate about things.
5. Describe a situation in which someone critiqued your work. How did you respond? You’re (hopefully) going to get lots of feedback in any new job. How you take that feedback and what you do with it will often determine whether or not you keep the job. If you’re not willing to listen to feedback (even if you think it’s wrong) and attempt to address concerns, you likely won’t do well in many professional environments. To answer this question, try and find a situation where someone not only critiqued you, but a situation where you disagreed with that critique. Attempt to demonstrate how you still listened to the critique, voiced your own opinion, and did your best to understand where the critiquer was coming from. Show that you have the capacity to listen and change your behavior.
5. What are your longer-term career goals (or where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years)? There is no “right answer” to this question and it’s certainly ok to say that you don’t have any. However, be prepared to explain why you don’t have any. One solid strategy is to downplay your career goals and aspirations (you are young after all) and play up your interest in the company and industry of the job you’re applying for. Showcase your passion to be a part of whatever it is they are doing.
This question is often used to break the ice and see how personable you can be. Be careful not to drone on endlessly for this question. It’s easy to get caught up in your back story and lose track of time. A safe answer is to give a brief overview that covers where you grew up, where you went to school, why you chose your major, any internship experience you have, and why you’re applying for this job.