Most organizations have at least one entry-level position; many have more. Entry-level workers are crucial to businesses; in some industries, such as skilled trades, hiring entry-level employees is par for the course.
By their nature, entry-level candidates lack some of the skills and experience hiring managers are used to seeing in a candidate pool, making them difficult or impossible to evaluate on these measures. Instead, entry-level candidates should be asked about job-related skills that relate to their ability to work as part of an organization and to learn on the job.
Questions that assess crucial job skills for entry-level candidates cover categories like:
- Time management. How does the candidate prioritize tasks? What does he or she do during a typical day, and how does the candidate decide which tasks are most important? These questions assess an entry-level candidate’s organizational skills.
- Problem solving. Ask the candidate to name a problem he or she recently faced at work or school and explain how he or she handled the situation. Who was responsible? What skills did the candidate need or employ to overcome the problem?
- Communication. Some communication skills can be assessed during the interview as a whole. Can the candidates communicate with you in a respectful, fluent, and focused way? Questions about technical communication skills may also be appropriate, based on the job requirements.
In addition to these job-skills-related questions, questions that focus on a candidate’s personal motivations, ethics, and knowledge can provide a more well-rounded view of the individual. Consider questions that focus on areas like:
- Motivation. What drives a candidate? Motivation questions can also offer insight into what type of job the candidate expects and whether his or her expectations match the actual job posting. Candidates who are a poor fit are likely to leave at the first opportunity, costing your company additional time and money in finding a replacement.
- Knowledge and personal ethics. Questions that assess the candidate’s knowledge of the company or the industry and questions that focus on personal ethics can both round out your view of the candidate.