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How To Prepare For An Entry-Level Interview
Going on your first entry-level interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you don’t know what to expect.
Entry-Level Interview Expectations
Prior to the interview, research the company. Even though this is an entry-level interview, you may still be asked about why you applied and what appeals to you at the organization. You certainly don’t want to be caught without an answer to such a seemingly easy question. Visit the organization’s website and also do your own search to see what other news items and reviews might be available for you to read.
Interviewers expect the same level of professionalism for entry-level interviews as they do for executive interviews, so be sure to dress the part. When in doubt about a company’s dress code, traditional business suits for men and women are almost always acceptable. It’s also normal to ask your recruiter about expected dress for the interview.
You will most likely be asked to tell the interviewer about yourself in one way or another. Be prepared with an elevator speech. An elevator speech is a brief summary of who you are. For an entry-level interview, you should mention why you’re interested in a particular career field and how your previous experience or education has prepared you.
Internship And Volunteer Experience Counts!
Since entry-level candidates don’t have as much work experience as more senior professionals, the interviewer may want to hear about the classes you took in college, class projects, internship experience, and relevant volunteer work.
Entry-Level Interview Questions
The interviewer may also use behavioral based questions to find out more about some of your softer skills, like communication and teamwork. In preparation for the entry-level interview, think back to some of your more challenging class projects and what you did and didn’t enjoy about them.
Also think about how your involvement in volunteer and student organizations could pertain to the workplace. Many times students sell themselves short when considering their actual experience, but most employers will count volunteer and internship work as being relevant in developing skills for the workplace.
Most interviewers allow a few minutes at the end of the interview for the candidate to ask questions. It’s best to have a few questions prepared ahead of time in case nerves get the best of you.
You may want to ask the interviewer why she enjoys working at the organization. You could also ask things about the actual position that may not have been answered during the interview. At this stage in the game, it’s probably not appropriate to ask too much about salary and benefits.
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