Even when you’re interviewing for a role that isn’t entry-level, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked some entry-level interview questions. And whether you’re a seasoned pro or this is your first interview, coming up with an answer that impresses the hiring manager isn’t as simple as memorizing whatever shows up in your search results.
This guide will give you the tips and tricks you need to answer entry-level interview questions with ease.
15 Common Entry-Level Interview Questions
While you’ll also likely hear some of the below questions during an interview for a higher-level position, here are 15 interview questions to prepare for when applying for an entry-level job:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you apply for the job?
- What are your greatest strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why do you think you’re qualified for the position?
- What are your career goals?
- How has your education prepared you for the job?
- What were some of your least favorite classes? Why?
- How did you hear about the job?
- What do you know about our company?
- What type of work environment do you thrive in?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What questions do you have for me?
- Is there anything else you want to share?
- Behavioral questions (Tell me about a time when… How do you handle…)
How to Answer Entry-Level Interview Questions
It seems easy to prepare for entry-level interview questions. And, in some respects, it is. Because they’re so common, you can research an answer that works in any and every interview.
But that strategy alone is unlikely to help you land the job. Even though hiring managers know these are common (and easily researched) entry-level interview questions, they still ask them because they reveal a lot of information about the candidates — how prepared they are, how interested they are in the job, and what kind of employee they might be. And your answers tell the hiring manager how much work you did to create an original response that explains why they should hire you.
So, how do you create a memorable and outstanding answer for these entry-level interview questions?
Include Unique Examples
“Most job seekers will have memorized all the lists of the ‘right’ answers,” says Bernadette Pawlik, senior partner at Pawlik/Dorman Custom Search and recruiting insider and career strategist at Coffee & Consult. “And, trust me, most employers know those lists and they [don’t appreciate it when] someone answers, ‘What is your greatest flaw?’ with, ‘I’m a perfectionist.'”
Instead, Pawlik advises job seekers to come up with at least two well-thought-out examples that help them answer each of these questions. Pawlik explains. “So, if someone says, ”Why did you choose your major,’ have two examples of what drew you to that major. If someone asks you why you are interested in the company, make sure you have 30 minutes of research in that company invested so you can answer with two examples.”
Two examples may seem like overkill. But having more than one can help you stand out to the hiring manager. It demonstrates you’ve done more than memorize the “one best answer.” And it shows that you’ve thoroughly prepared for the interview and are deeply interested in the role.
Show Your Excitement
Researching the company helps you prepare answers that are specific to the company and the role. For example, you can mention a challenge it faces and how you’ll use your skills to help the company overcome it. Your research can also help you determine what questions you should ask during the interview so you can better understand the role and the company’s culture.
And spending time researching the organization will also help you express your deep and genuine excitement about the job as you answer the entry-level interview questions.
“If you go in having researched the company (google the company name to get analyst reports, read every article you can find, google the C-Suite) and you can reference what you learned, you convey authentic enthusiasm,” says Pawlik. And authentic enthusiasm is often the best answer to any interview question.
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