Do you know what the most common graduate interview questions are? It’s impossible to predict all of the questions that you’re going to be asked. However, there are 7 key interview questions that you should prepare for.
Now take some time to consider these 7 key interview questions and how you could answer them.
The Most Common Graduate Interview Questions
Tell me about yourself
This is the classic opening question when it comes to graduate interviews. It’s a good way to break the ice, get a conversation going and should also allow you to conquer your nerves and relax.
It’s important to make a great first impression and feeling prepared for this question will help you to answer confidently.
If you have recently graduated then you may want to start by talking about:
- your degree
- relevant work experience
- what you are looking for in your first graduate job
If you’ve already had a role after graduation you could start by talking about:
- the job position
- the skills you have developed
- what you have achieved
- what you’re looking for now
You should also bear in mind the company and role you are interviewing for when answering this question (and every other question during the interview).
How can you tell them about yourself while also showing that you are a great fit for the role? How can you drop in relevant skills and experience that they are looking for?
TOP TIP: You don’t need to talk about things in a lot of detail at this stage. You have a whole interview ahead of you and the interviewer will ask you more about key areas later on.
What are your strengths?
Prepare three strengths and examples of how you have used them.
Remember, your strengths should match the position you are interviewing for.
If you’re struggling for ideas, take a look back at the job description for inspiration.
What are your weaknesses?
Many graduates and even seasoned professionals struggle with this question because naturally you want to present yourself in a positive light.
A cliché answer that interviewers don’t want to hear is, “I’m a perfectionist”.
When answering this question, you should come up with genuine weaknesses (we all have them), but then tell your interviewer about steps you have taken or are taking to improve yourself.
For example, you may not have a lot of business knowledge and want to work in a commercial role. To help improve this weakness you may read some top business books or spend some time self-teaching online.
Why should we hire you?
Again, familiarising yourself with the job description should help you to prepare an excellent answer for this question.
If you know what the company is looking for, show them that you are it!
Do make sure you include examples to back up that you have the skills, qualities and experience that they want.
Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time?
Some graduates have a firm career path in mind and some haven’t even thought beyond securing a graduate job. Take some time to think about where you see yourself career-wise within the next 5 years.
How do you see your career progressing?
It’s important to be honest and realistic when answering this question.
Some ambitious graduates jump in with an answer like “I want to be a CEO”, but this only suggests that you’re not very business-savvy.
Why do you want to work here?
This is definitely one of the most common graduate interview questions. If you’re asked this question, it is the perfect opportunity to show off all that research you carried out on the company.
Tell your interviewer about why the role and the company culture appeals to you more than any other.
What are your salary expectations?
Carry out some research into salaries and what you can expect with your skills and experience prior to your interview.
Also bear in the mind the salary bracket advertised for the role.
Saying you want £28,000 when the advertised salary is £18,000 – £20,000 isn’t going to look good.
Bringing it all together
It is highly like you will be asked some of the most common graduate interview questions listed above, and it’s worth preparing for them as many interviewers do ask at least a few.
If you’re well-prepared then you will be able to answer with confidence, make a great impression and hopefully secure that job offer!