Common Interview Questions for Entry-Level Positions
When applying for an entry-level position, you are often competing against several candidates that could have similar qualifications, so you must take every opportunity to make a positive impression throughout the hiring process. Properly preparing for an interview by examining commonly asked questions and developing effective answers is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you communicate your eligibility and interest in the position.
In this article, we provide a list of questions that you might be asked during an interview for an entry-level position as well as some sample answers to a few of the most common questions.
Interviewers typically ask some general questions to get to know you and your personality, such as:
Tell me about yourself.
What is your biggest motivation?
In your opinion, what is your greatest strength?
What is your greatest weakness?
Why are you interested in this position?
Tell me what you know about our organization.
What accomplishment of your makes you the proudest?
Do you work well within a team?
How would you define success?
What are your professional goals?
Questions about experience and background
Because you're interviewing for an entry-level position, you might be asked about your educational background, internships or previous work experiences. Some common questions include:
Tell me a little bit about your degree and time in college.
What made you choose your university or college?
Which college courses did you enjoy the most? Why?
Which college courses did you enjoy the least? Why?
How has your educational background prepared you for this role?
Describe your biggest challenge in school and how you overcame it.
Tell me about your previous jobs.
How did your previous roles prepare you for this position?
Have you participated in any internships?
What was the most important thing you learned from your internships?
Related: 100 Common Job Interview Questions
In many cases, interviewers ask situational or behavioral questions so that they can get a better idea of how you handle certain situations. For example, you might encounter in-depth questions like:
Describe a time when you had a pressing deadline and an overwhelming amount of work to do. How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time when you were a part of a team. What was your role and how did it go?
Give me an example of a time when you took on the responsibility of teaching a concept to a classmate or colleague.
Have you ever had a disagreement with a peer? How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time when your work was critiqued. What was your response?
Have you ever encountered a major issue at work? How did you deal with it?
How would you present a criticism, issue or suggestion to a supervisor?
Describe a time when you were faced with an ethical dilemma. How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time when you had to align with a decision that you didn't agree with?
Describe a time when you had to work with a particularly difficult individual. How did you manage the situation?
Interview questions with sample answers
Here are some common interview questions with example answers that you can use as a guide as you craft your own responses:
What is most important to you when looking for a job?
When they ask this question, interviewers are hoping to evaluate whether you share the company's values and would align with the company culture. Before your interview, make sure that you spend some time reviewing the job description and researching the company so that you can determine their values and what they're looking for from their employees. Using the information you gather, you can develop a response that relates back to the position and highlights that you're an ideal candidate for the role and the company as a whole.
Example: "I'm hoping to find a position with a company like Freedom Tech, where I can continue to develop the production and management strategies that I learned in college so that I can help the company achieve its goals and establish myself as a valuable team member. I place a lot of importance on feeling like a contributing member of a stable team while still maintaining a healthy work/life balance."
What do you hope to be doing in five years?
Most of the time, employers are looking for candidates that would become long-term employees. This question is often posed so that the hiring manager can gauge your level of commitment as well as your ambitions and overall career path. You can communicate that you would be dedicated to the company by mentioning them by name in your response and describing how you hope to advance within the organization.
Example: "In five years, I hope to be the lead copywriter here at Marketing Solutions."
What are you hoping to gain from this opportunity?
This is yet another way for employers to discover your strengths and weaknesses. Based on your answer, they can determine whether you have the skills and experience they need and whether they can supply training to develop the abilities you lack. Additionally, your response gives hiring managers a chance to evaluate your willingness to learn, so make sure that you express your interest in professional development.
Example: "I would love to continue to develop my skills as a graphic designer under the guidance of the creative director so that I can grow in my craft and develop exceptional work that meets the needs of our clients."
What do you think your day-to-day functions would be in this role?
Your interviewer might ask this question to assess whether you have reasonable expectations and if you're a good fit for the role. You can usually avoid any misunderstandings by studying the job description before your interview and familiarizing yourself with the responsibilities they are hoping you'll satisfy. If they correct you or clarify a certain aspect of the role after your answer, how you handle their response will tell them a lot about you and whether you're an ideal candidate.
To reiterate your interest despite your misunderstanding of the role, make sure that you acknowledge the actual responsibilities of the position while remaining enthusiastic about the opportunity.
Example: "Judging from the job description, I would be responsible for generating leads, satisfying quarterly sales goals and negotiating contracts with our clients."
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