Interviewing an individual with limited professional experience is much different than speaking with an accomplished person.
A recent graduate may have had internships, but it’s unlikely they have held a job closely related to the position they are interviewing for.
6 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Recent College Grads
Read below to find tips on what questions to ask to get a better understanding regarding if a recent college graduate could be a potential fit within your organization.
1) Were you involved in any extracurricular activities while at school?
This will give you an idea of if the candidate enjoys going above and beyond. Taking on additional clubs and activities on top of coursework can be challenging.
2) Did you work part-time during school or over the summer?
This can also help you draw conclusions about the drive and work ethic of the candidate. College students that hustled working part-time on top of class, potentially on top of clubs or sports as well, will probably hustle at your company too.
3) How does this position fit into your overall career goals?
You want to gauge how interested a college grad is in your opportunity, not just any opportunity. I find a challenge when hiring recent college grads is that they are taking a shotgun approach to interviewing. They may not have a vested interest in one opportunity, but are rather looking for “any job.”
4) How did you manage your time while balancing class, homework, and other activities?
Almost any job requires time management skills. It’s always interesting to hear how a candidate responds to this question. Everyone manages time differently, but this can help you get a sense of his or her organizational skills.
5) What are you ideally looking for in your next job opportunity?
I absolutely love this question, and I ask this to all of my candidates, not just recent college grads. Sometimes I receive the most obscure answers that are completely unrelated to the position they are interviewing for. If you are looking for an entry-level sales person and they tell you their ideal job is working with children – they are not your person. I completely respect the honesty, but their career goals have to relate to the job at hand for me to consider passing them through the process.
I think you can be flexible with how you rate a candidate’s GPA based on what type of job they are interviewing for. However, with limited experience, this is one solid indicator of their background and potential.
What are your favorite questions to ask potential candidates who have recently graduated?