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Expectations When Interviewing Inexperienced Candidates

When interviewing inexperienced or entry-level candidates it is important to bear in mind that the nature of the interview may differ slightly from when interviewing a more experienced candidate. In this respect you may need to adopt a slightly different strategy to ensure that the interview brings out the best in the candidate.

Less preparation

Candidates with limited experience will not be as familiar with the interview environment and may therefore come less prepared. This may be apparent when asking any questions regarding the company and how it operates, for example, or when asking more stereotypical interview questions such as ‘What are your biggest weaknesses?’.

Brief answers

Expect shorter answers to many of the questions and even an inability to elaborate on many answers. In this case you may have to ask the candidate for clarification on some of his or her answers.

Limited experience

When questioning inexperienced candidates their degree of work experience will be minimal in line with more experienced candidates. You should therefore expect candidates to draw on their academic experiences more so than their employment experiences.

When asking questions that require the candidate to provide an example of a situation they may have been placed in, expect answers relating to their academic years, any voluntary work that they have done, or the limited work experience they have behind them.

Personality extremes


Inexperienced candidates will have less knowledge of how to handle themselves in the interview setting and therefore their personality is either more or less likely to shine through. During any interview setting, experienced candidates know that they have to maintain a professional stance at all times, however inexperienced candidates may come across as either very shy or very confident, depending on their personalities. 

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