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Top 5 Graduate Interview Questions

By Scarlett @BubbleJobs

Whatever level you’re at in your career you’ll probably get asked some of the more generic interview questions like; “Tell me about yourself”, “What are your biggest strengths?” or “Why do you want to work here?”

If you’re a graduate, you’ll probably come across some of these questions but there’s also a chance you could get asked some more specific questions which relate directly to your time at university or lack of direct experience. While these questions can be daunting, it’s important to be prepared so  you need to make sure that you’ve done your homework before the interview.

To help you out, we’ve come up with some of the most common graduate interview questions that you might come across in your job search and our top tips on how to approach answering these questions.

What Did You Do In Your Free Time At Uni?

Let’s face it; most students usually have quite a bit of spare time to themselves (after they’ve done all their essays and revision of course!). A potential employer would ask this question to work out what type of person you are– they want a candidate that’s proactive and doesn’t spend all their free time drinking and sleeping – which unfortunately is a general stereotype of students.

So if you get asked this question talk about societies you’ve joined, the part-time jobs you’ve had or the charities that you’ve volunteered for. Things like this show the employer that you’re going to be a hard working team member. Remember, there are a lot of graduates coming out of uni with similar degrees, so you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Why Are Man Hole Covers Round?

Ok so you might be a little bit confused now – but a lot of graduate employers might ask you a bit of a brain teaser to see how your brain works and how you deal with pressure. There are all kind of questions like this, so it’s quite difficult to plan ahead but before you go into an interview maybe have a look through some of these cryptic questions and establish the logic behind them. By the way if you don’t know the answer to that question it’s because a square cover could fall through a man hole diagonally whereas a round one can’t fall through a circular opening (I knew that would be bugging you).

Did You Work Well Within A Team At Uni?

A lot of courses at uni require you to work within a team – and a lot of time you don’t have a choice who you get to work with. This can cause a bit of tension, especially if there are people in the group that don’t pull their weight.

Your potential employer wants to see that you can overcome this sort of situation and work well with a range of different people, because in real life there are going to be people that you find difficult to work with. So you want to show that you can make things work and reach your end goal without any trouble along the way.

Tell Me About A Time When You Failed At Something?

Let’s face it; we all make mistakes in life, we’re human after all – this means that at some point or another you’ll have failed at something. This isn’t something to be ashamed of – a lot of employers ask this question to find out whether you can learn from failure and they also want to see that you can acknowledge that you’ve failed.

First of all you need to choose a good situation, make sure you don’t talk about something that will put off a potential employer – but also don’t try and pretend that you’re some kind of perfectionist that never gets anything wrong. After you’ve talked about your experience don’t forget to discuss what you learnt from it all and how you have avoided making the same mistake again.

 Have You Got Any Questions For Us?

The answer to this one is “YES” – they’re asking this to see whether you’re engaged with the company and eager to know more. If you haven’t got any questions at the ready then you could risk losing out on a job opportunity.

But what questions should you be asking? Well you need to show that you’ve put some thought into them, and that you’re genuinely interested in working for the company. Some good questions to ask could be; “How would my role help improve the overall department?”, “Are there opportunities to progress?” and “What sort of challenges would I come across in the first three months?” All these questions show that you’re thinking about the bigger picture which is a really good sign for prospective employers.

So there we go; some of the top graduate interview questions that you should try and prepare for. If you want some more interview advice, check out our ‘Interview Advice’ section which is filled with helpful job tips.

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