10 Commonly Asked Interview Questions for Graduates
We have put together 10 questions which graduates are most frequently asked by hiring managers.
Why do you want this job?
Demonstrate that you have researched the employer and tie your knowledge of them into the skills and interests that led you to apply.
Describe a situation in which you led a team
This is a competency based question, many graduate positions involve people management where you will be expected to plan, organise and guide the work of others as well as motivating them to complete tasks. Demonstrate how you have planned, organised and guided the work of others.
Describe a situation where you worked in a team
Another competency based question; most jobs will involve a degree of teamwork. Outline the situation, your particular role and the task of the group overall. Describe any problems which arose and how they were tackled.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Avoid vague answers such as “I would hope to grow with responsibilities I am offered and to develop my skills as far as I am able, or “I would expect to be in a management role by then”. Try and be specific but flexible.
Have you got any questions?
Ask about the work itself, training and career development. Not about holidays, pensions and season ticket loans.
What are your weaknesses?
The clichéd answer is to state a strength which is disguised as a weakness. A better answer is to choose a weakness that you have worked on to improve and describe what actions you have taken to amend it.
Who else have you applied to/got interviews with?
Demonstrate the consistency of your career in the job for which you are being interviewed. Saying the job in question is your first choice, or you won’t be applying anywhere else until you find out the results of this interview will earn you extra points.
Why did you choose your university and what factors influenced your choice?
Demonstrating decision making, planning and logical reasoning is the goal here. Lead the question round to your choice of course rather than the institution you happened to go to.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Avoid university attainments as this won’t distinguish you from other graduates. Provide an example that evidences skills relevant to the job such as communication, initiative, teamwork, organisation or teamwork.
What are your strengths?
Provide three or four of your key strengths and provide examples of where you have used them. Consider the requirement of the job and compare these with your own attributes – your personality, skills, abilities and experience.