Interview Questions For Graduates With No Work Experience

Interview Questions For Graduates with No Work Experience

Hiring recent graduates is refreshing. They bring enthusiasm, tech skills, fresh perspectives, and a willingness to learn. However, their lack of formal work experience can make assessing their suitability for the job challenging. 

Here's a toolkit of interview questions for graduates without work experience to help you evaluate this fresh talent beyond their CVs.


1. Unveil graduate skills through projects


Highlight problem-solving and project-management skills:

“Share an experience where you tackled a complex project or assignment. What were the difficulties, and how did you find solutions?”


Test teamwork and communication skills:

"Did you collaborate with others on this project? Describe your role and how you ensured efficient teamwork." 


Read our article on how to nurture soft skills in graduate employees.


2. Assess learning agility


Evaluate initiative and adaptability:

"Tell me about a software programme you taught yourself. What was it, and how did you go about learning this programme?" 


Measure learning capacity and resilience:

"Throughout your academic career, did you encounter a subject you initially struggled with? How did you overcome that hurdle?" 


3. Gauge work ethic and passion


Uncover genuine interest and motivation:

"What initially drew you to this field, and why are you interested in our company specifically?" 


Highlight work ethic and dedication:

"Describe a situation where you exceeded expectations in an academic or volunteer setting." 


4. Understand future goals


Indicates long-term commitment and growth potential:

"Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 5 years? How does this position align with your career goals?" 


Helps determine the best approach for onboarding and training:

"What are your preferred learning styles in a professional setting?" 


5. Evaluate cultural fit within a team dynamic


Reveals communication style and ability to navigate team dynamics:

"Tell me about a time you disagreed with a group decision. How did you voice your opinion while remaining respectful?"


Reveals if they are aligned with your values and teamwork skills:

"Our company culture emphasises [mention a core value]. Describe a situation where you demonstrated this value in a group setting." 


Reveals more about them as a person outside of work: 

“What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?” 


Bonus tips when interviewing a graduate with no experience


  • Evaluate critical thinking and decision-making skills under pressure by presenting the graduate with a hypothetical work scenario related to the position. Ask them to walk you through their thought process and proposed solution.
  • Focus on transferable skills like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, which can be developed through academic projects and extracurricular activities. 
  • Look for a hunger to learn and a willingness to take on challenges.
  • Paying attention to soft cues like body language, eye contact, and overall enthusiasm can offer non-verbal cues about their potential fit.
  • Encourage questions from the graduate candidates; their questions can reveal their priorities and the type of team they thrive in.


Using these interview questions when interviewing a graduate with no experience, you can move beyond the limitations of a CV and discover the hidden potential within recent graduates. You might just find your company's future leader! 

Read our article on how to support graduate employees so they succeed in the first ninety days at your company.

If you need advice on setting up an interview with a graduate or are looking to hire talented graduates, speak to us. RecruitAGraduate is your go-to expert in graduate hiring.

Contact us for more information or advice, or load a job.

Share this article