Entry-Level Job Interview Advice

Entry-level job interviews are basic, practical interviews, so they ask basic, practical questions. You should not encounter trick questions or difficult professional concepts, just solid, factual information.

The Basics of the Entry-Level Job Interview

The employer is looking for clear indicators of your competence. You need to show fundamental job skills and motivation. To stand out as the best applicant, you have to show superior skills and make the best presentation.

Skills

These are the absolute essential skills you must demonstrate in an entry-level job interview:

  • Communications: How you express yourself is important. Make sure to set out your answers clearly, in a logical sequence.
  • Job skills: You must show that you meet all essential job criteria. Support that information with your qualifications and other examples.
  • Job values: These are the quality controls used to measure the relative merits of job applicants. You need to show you can do a job well. Use examples of your own skills to prove you can offer a higher quality of work.

Motivation

The employer needs to know your motivations to assess your commitment to the job. A motivated person will typically have a structured approach to this issue, with the qualifications to prove his or her interest in the position.

Presentation

Critically important, "presentation" is about how you present yourself and your answers. Intelligent, articulate answers are strongly competitive. Remember that the employers recommend you for a job on the basis of what you say and how well you communicate. Prove you have the skills and knowledge to do the job.

Practice Interview Questions

This is a typical interview structure for the entry-level job:

  • "Tell us a bit about yourself." Keep your answer simple and functional: what you do, what you're studying, where you live. Give basic information which forms a straightforward profile.
  • "Why do you want this job?" This is the motivational question. Set out your answer as a career positional situation, and explain what you hope to achieve. Show a clear goal. The answer should show the entry-level job as a necessary step in a career track.
  • "Give us an example of your communications skills." Depending on the nature or industry of the entry-level job, this question requires a clear indicator of your use of communications, like writing a college newsletter or working in customer service, sales or other situations requiring good communications.
  • "How do you work in a team?" This important question requires that you show how you contribute and work within a group cooperatively. Give examples (like helping others in a group, contributing ideas, and so on).
  • "Give us an example of problem solving." This is about your approach to a problem and your objectivity. Set out the situation, the problem, the objective and your solution in a straight, "story line" narrative.
  • "Where do you expect to be in 5 years?" Another motivational question requires a goal-related answer. Tell the interviewers what you hope to achieve in that time frame.
  • "What would you like to ask us?" Think about this question beforehand, do your research and ask pertinent questions. A response to this question proves you've been learning about the employer.  

Things to Avoid During Your Entry-Level Job Interview

Observe some basic "don'ts" for you entry-level job interview:

  • Don't hold back. Be articulate, show your knowledge and emphasize your strongest talents.
  • Don't worry about the interview environment. Job interviews are part of people's lives. This is the first of many interviews you'll do in your working life. If you're not comfortable in an interview situation, you can get training to overcome that concern.