Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / JUL. 09, 2013
version 2, draft 2

How to Interview Graduates Successfully

It is important to remember to alter the interviewing style and procedure when hiring graduates. The primary reason for this is that individuals who have freshly graduated from university tend to lack in experience, therefore the focal point of the interview is their education, qualifications and skills. The lack of exposure to a professional workplace tends to make graduates unaware of the dynamics of working in an office, therefore it is advised to ask questions related to group and team work.

Beginning the Interview

It is also important to note that many graduates are attending their first job interview therefore they might be unprepared or nervous about the experience. It is advised to make them feel comfortable and ease their nerves by talking about the interview procedure before you begin. Many recruiters often begin the job interview by explaining how they would like graduates to answer the questions.

For example, you can tell the interviewee: “I will ask you questions related to your experience and education background, please answer using examples from university work and projects you have done. It is best to give us a summary of what you did and what you achieved.”

By talking at the start of the interview, recruiters are able to set the tone and the format of the interview – thus ensuring that the graduate is aware of the process and is not apprehensive during the interview.

What you are looking for…

Recruiters often have a set of standard questions to ask the interviewee. The purpose of these questions is to search for important skills the candidate has and how they manage different situations. The following are 5 basic skills you should search for during the course of the interview:

  • Communication Skills – candidate should be able to express themselves clearly and understand instructions you give them
  • Team work – they should provide examples of successfully working in a team. Plus point if they demonstrate leadership skills
  • Time Management – many graduates are not able to manage their time effectively therefore you should ask time keeping skills related to deadlines and goals
  • Organizational Skills – a candidate that demonstrates disorganization and confusion will bring the same attitude to work, therefore try and search for signs of an organized candidate
  • Problem Solving – individuals who show that they are able to propose solutions and solve problems are able to be successful in the workplace

Recruiters should ask questions specifically targeted to towards these skills to properly assess candidates.

Assessing their Character

Questions intended for skills assessment should be asked at the start of the interview as they enable the candidate to express themselves without forgetting their main points. The last part of the interview should be focused on assessing the character of the individual and what their motivations are.

The majority of recruiters tend to ask questions related to the long-term goals of an individual, asking questions such as:

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”

“Do you think you will go back to education?”

“What are your long term goals?”

These questions provide an insight into the candidates career advancement goal and how they wish to progress within their field. It will also help recruiters determine whether or not the candidate is ambitious, motivated and a team player.

Closing the Interview

At the end of the interview, it is advised to be positive and give a clear outline of what the candidate should expect. It is advised to provide the candidate with a time frame during which you will contact them and ensure that they are not left confused after the interview.

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