A young woman with her hair in a high ponytail sits across a conference room table from two older women and an older man, all wearing business casual clothing.
When you're interviewing for an entry-level position, you want to ask questions that draw out the candidates' best qualities, ambitions, and areas that need improvement. — Getty Images/gpointstudio

When you’re looking to fill a new position, the interview process can give you greater insight into whether a person is the right fit for your company — but only if you ask the right questions. Here are ten interview questions to ask entry-level job candidates.

[Read more: Could Second Chance Hiring Ease Your Hiring Challenges?]

"What internships or professional experiences have you had that make you a good candidate for this role?"

One of the challenges of hiring entry-level employees is that most of their experience is related to their degree. This question can help you determine what skills they’ve gained outside the classroom.

"How would you describe your work style when working on a project?"

This is a good question for recent graduates since everyone works on a group project in their college career. The candidate’s answer will help you determine how they deal with conflicting viewpoints and how this could translate to their behavior at work.

[Read more: Hiring Part-Time vs. Full-Time Employees: 4 Things to Consider]

"Can you describe a class you struggled with during college?"

This question can help you identify how that person deals with challenges. It’ll help explain the thought process they use to deal with obstacles and how they manage to push through and be successful regardless.

"What is most important to you in a new job?"

Knowing what’s important to the candidate will help you determine whether their values match the company's values. This can help you determine cultural fit and show you what this person is looking forward to doing. Are there any tasks they’re anticipating or specific skill sets they’re looking to develop?

"What activities do you engage in outside of work and school?"

This question is helpful for a few different reasons. First, it shows a lot of initiative when job candidates are committed to activities beyond work and school. It shows that they have a variety of interests and are committed to growing and challenging themselves.

Also, individuals who can manage their schoolwork and stay involved in extracurricular activities likely have good time management skills. Plus, they probably have a high level of curiosity and the ability to look for creative solutions to problems.

The candidate’s answer will help you determine how they deal with conflicting viewpoints and how this could translate to their behavior at work.

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"

Asking this question shows you whether or not that person is planning and thinking about their future. It can also help you determine whether the job they’re applying for matches what they say they want in their career. If their answer doesn’t align with the job description, it could mean they won’t be happy in that role.

"What motivates you?"

You want to know how your employees approach their goals and objectives, and understanding what motivates them is one of the best ways to do it. This question also helps you discover whether a candidate is a good fit for your company culture.

[Read more: 6 Tips to Recruit Employees From Colleges]

"What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?"

Asking this question can help you determine the job candidate’s level of self-awareness. Are the strengths they mention ones that will be helpful in the position?

The way the individual answers this question will be telling as well. When they discuss their weaknesses, look for examples of how they’ve turned a negative into a positive. Everyone has shortcomings, but you want to look for job candidates who are seeking opportunities to grow.

"What do you know about our company?"

This question helps you gauge how much research the individual has done and can provide a clue as to their level of excitement. If the job candidate has very little knowledge about your company, this could indicate they aren’t very interested in the position.

"Why do you think you’ll do well in this position?"

Finally, you want to know why that person thinks they’re a good fit for your job opening. What hard and soft skills do they have to help them succeed in the role? This is also an excellent opportunity to determine what sets them apart from other candidates.

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Published May 11, 2022