Five Interview Questions to Ask Recent Grads

Hand writing Interview with marker

Each year, hundreds of thousands of students graduate from college and take their next step, into the corporate world.  These new college grads bring fresh perspectives to the table, and they are eager to gain experience and willing to work for much less compensation than more tenured employees.  Naturally, having young, energetic workers fresh out of school is vital for the growth of an organization.

But how do you determine which college graduates are the right fit for your company, and how can you go about hiring them?

The GPA is not always the best way to determine how well a candidate would perform in a corporate environment. While it can show academic achievement, there are other skills necessary for a good employee, such as communication, work ethic, and the ability to take the initiative. Often, the interview is the best way to get the true measure of a candidate. Here are a few questions that can help you identify the candidates who stand out.

What is our business involved in?

Of course, this question might seem simple at first.   Generally, every interviewee takes some time to learn about a company and its businesses before applying for a job.

However, based on the clarity of their answers, or the ease with which they are able to explain your company’s business, you will be able to tell who has genuinely put in the effort to understand your organization.

How is your college degree going to help us?

If your applicant is smart enough, they should understand that this question is meant to figure out how their college experience can contribute to the continued success of your company.

By asking this question, you will be able to get a feel for your candidate’s personality, and how well they understand their own strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also learn about any extracurricular activities with which they were involved at college, and if they could benefit your company in some way.

Tell me about an instance when you disagreed with a member of your project group and how you resolved it.

By asking college grads this question, you can learn about how they deal with people, especially the other members of their team. There is definitely at least one instance where everyone has disagreed with someone else’s viewpoints, and the ability to communicate this successfully will help you gauge how the candidate may handle potential disagreements in the future.

So, find out what the situation was and how they helped resolve it. By doing this, you will be able to understand whether your candidate is a team player.  You can also take it a step further and inquire about the approach the candidate would take to resolve issues with their colleagues in the workplace.

Why do you want to work for us?

It’s imperative that you find out about a potential employee’s motives for wanting to work at your company. Only once you know their reasons can you gauge whether they would be the right fit for your company.

The answer will you give you some insight into the career path your candidate is planning to take, and how seriously they are considering this job.

What are your hobbies?

This question is meant to determine whether the individual you’re hiring is able to live a normal life outside of college and work.

For example, one 20-something year old said that he didn’t do anything outside of college because schoolwork took up too much time. But upon further examination, the company found that he had only 12 hours of credit work each semester.

Candidates like this are more likely to try and finish their day’s work as early as possible without bothering about the quality, and may even quit if the job becomes too challenging.

Be extra-critical when hiring college grads. Most of them have no real-world job experience to boast about, and they would be starting their careers with your organization. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine how they will fit into your company. Try the above interview questions to understand these young candidates a little better, and you will be able to identify the right people for your business.