Are you a recent graduate looking for a job today?
You have probably not worked for long and therefore have limited work experience needed in the field. So what can you expect during your interview?
According to Ms. Esther Kamau, a professional interview coach at Corporate Staffing Services, interview questions employers ask entry level candidates will typically be focused on why you are interested in the job and why they should hire you.
That said, here are commonly asked entry level interview questions with sample answers.
1. Tell me about yourself
This question is usually used to break the ice and see how personable you can be. Be careful not to be too personal when tackling this question. Employers simply want to understand your professional background.
To effectively answer this, think about your professional self. Don’t talk about family issues, marital status or religion.
You can safely give a brief overview covering where you grew up, where you went to school, why you chose your field, any relevant internship experience you have, and why you’re applying for that particular job.
“My name is Mercy Njeri. I am a Certified Public Accountant and a Bachelor of Commerce graduate with two years’ experience working as an Accountant in a manufacturing company where I was charged with all financial records of the company.’’
2. What are your weaknesses?
Employers normally ask this question to find out the qualities you have that will help you succeed in the job if you are hired. Are you going to be problematic or a team player in the organization if considered?
So how do you go about this question?
Remember to be honest when answering this question. Don’t be tempted to lie or exaggerate yourself. Employers already know that you are not perfect. They also have their own challenges.
Sell yourself well and don’t deny your real weaknesses. However, the weakness you discuss should not put you in a bad light.
You can appropriately recognize the weakness and just be honest about improving yourself. Talk about also how you have worked to improve in your previous job.
“My greatest weakness is an inability to share responsibilities. I want to be in control because I don’t trust others with projects I know I can do better. However, I have discussed this with my supervisor on ways to improve. I’ve engaged myself in several team building activities and a volunteer group and I love the progress. I’ve learned to trust others.”
3. What are your strengths?
This question sounds easy to a lot of candidates but it is quite The employer wants to know if your strengths match with the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for
So how do you perfectly answer this question?
You can explain the skills, achievements, and experience that you have which directly corresponds to the job you are interviewing for.
However, as much as you want to be the best candidate, you should never discuss unrealistic strengths.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a communication job, here’s the best answer:
“I have excellent writing skills. Having worked as a content editor for two years, I have a strong attention to detail when it comes to writing. I have also written for a variety of websites and leading publications, so I know how to shape my writing style to fit the target audience. As a digital marketer, I will be able to effectively incorporate SEO, write and edit articles and update web content with accuracy and ease.”
4. What do you know about our company?
Employers will ask you this question to find out if you are really interested in the company. They want to hire someone who is interested in the job and has a passion for it and the employer.
They also want to know if you have good research skills.
How to answer
Preparation is important when answering this question. Do your research about the company earlier and know them in and out. You can use their websites and social media platforms to know about their services and products.
“I love your products and services (mention specific products and services). Your company won African Travel Awards 2017. The company mission you represent is closely aligned with my interests.”
Interviews are hard especially when you feel that your experience is no match for what the rest in the industry have. However, it is not hard. You can still pass that interview by ensuring that you prepare for the common interview questions you may encounter.