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Practice Interview Questions for First-Time Job Seekers

Kathryn Knight Randolph

October 23, 2019

Practice Interview Questions for First-Time Job Seekers
Start preparing your interview answers now.
Why are manhole covers round? How many times a day do a clock’s hands overlap? If a person dials a sequence of numbers on the telephone, what possible words/strings can be formed from the letters associated with those numbers? According to Business Insider, these are just a few of the questions once asked to job seekers attempting to land a job to Google. Fortunately, these aren’t questions one should expect at a standard job interview – so no need to prepare. However, regardless of if you’re applying for Google or not, it does pay to rehearse answers to common interview questions. Take a look at these first-time job interview questions – and answers.
Why are you looking for a job? A job isn’t just about a paycheck to me. I am really looking for experience. After high school, I plan to attend college and pursue a degree in marketing. This job would allow for me to gain some professional experience before college and will serve as a stepping stone for my future career. Feel free to tailor this answer as it pertains to plans you may have. And don’t worry if your post-high school plans are still up in the air. Highlight your need for work experience; that’s the most important point to get across.
Why do you want to work for our company? Firstly, your company has a great reputation. I found the acquisition you made last year to be both beneficial for your company and our local community. Your company seems to be growing and evolving, and that’s something I’d love to be a part of. Again, your answer doesn’t have to look like that. What this answer illustrates is that you’ve done your research on the company. Read their vision or mission statement, check out whether or not they’ve been in the news recently and get an idea of all of the roles and how the company is organized.
How has school prepared you for a job? I’ve learned a great deal from both the academic and extracurricular components of school. Between my rigorous AP coursework, being made team captain of the varsity basketball team and serving on Student Council, I’ve had to learn how to manage my time effectively. I’ve also grown a great deal in working with others and taking direction from my teachers, coaches and mentors. Most first-time job seekers feel that they have no experience; however, school provides a great deal of experience for students. It gives students a work ethic, creates a need for balance and enables them to find their strengths and passions.
Did you know that now you can find part-time jobs on Fastweb?
What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered in school? How did you handle it? In the past, I struggled with balancing my school work, homework and extracurricular activities. However, over the past few years, I have learned how to better manage my time and workload. I organize my calendar weekly and budget time for each activity. I also work closely with my teachers and coaches to ensure that my performance is satisfactory. My sophomore year, I had to cut back on my activities to guarantee that I was giving my best in and outside of the classroom. As you can see, this doesn’t have to be some giant, life-altering problem – although if you’ve gone through something like that and grown in the process, this is a great question to address that. What this answer should show is that you’ve grown from a circumstance or issue in your past. How do you handle criticism and/or instructions from a superior? With my history of athletic teams, I’ve learned from a young age that those in a position of authority or superiority over me instruct me in order to help me grow. I can handle criticism and direction and am used to following through. I’m also used to asking questions when I don’t quite understand what is being asked of me, and I’ve been taught not to assume anything. Whether you’re used to it or not, someone will be in authority over you at your first part-time job. You have to be able to handle instruction, direction and criticism, and it’s important to learn that sooner rather than later. The above example shouldn’t just be an answer that you give – but an answer that you believe. What do you see yourself doing after this job? Right now, I’m interested in a variety of fields of study and careers so I can’t exactly pinpoint what I will be doing after college. However, I am eager to learn more about product development and working on a team. I know that with this job, I’ll be able to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to start what will eventually be my career after graduation. Again, you don’t have to have to a finite five-year plan with this answer. The goal here is to gain work experience, and that’s what you should highlight. It’s also important to show that you have researched the company as well as the role to which you’re applying and tied it to a possible career for you in the future.

More Job Interview Tips

As you prepare for your first part-time job interview, here are a few other things to keep in mind. Bring a copy of your resume to the interview in the event that it wasn't printed out or someone interviewing you didn't receive it. Show the interviewer that you're interested and prepared by researching the company and drawing up a list of your own questions. Keep your eyes open during your time at the company to get a better idea of company culture and whether or not this place seems like a good fit for you. Maintain eye contact and put forth positive body language. And if you don't land this particular part-time job, keep your head up. It oftentimes takes more than one job interview to find the right opportunity. With enough interview practice and job search patience, one of the best part-time jobs will land right in your lap.

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