How to Choose An Entry-Level Candidate When You Can’t Evaluate Experience

How to Hire an Entry-Level Candidate


Making hiring decisions can be tricky enough when you’ve got a solid body of experience to reference. But it can be even more difficult to choose an entry-level candidate who has little to no job experience. Fortunately, asking a few key questions should ensure that you select the best possible candidate even when you can’t evaluate experience.

Ask Situational Questions

You can usually gauge an individual’s aptitude, problem-solving skills and overall qualifications by asking some situational questions. This will lend insight into their behavior and what you can expect if you decide to hire them. Here are some examples:

  • What would you do if a team member wasn’t carrying their weight?
  • What would you do if the team had fallen behind on meeting its quota?
  • How would you handle your manager giving you a tight deadline to complete a project?

Examine Soft Skills

You could make the argument that soft skills are just as important as hard skills in today’s workplace. Having solid soft skills shows that a person is emotionally intelligent, which is critical when working as part of a team. Because an entry-level candidate may be freshly out of high school or college, two good questions to ask are:

  • What would your favorite teacher say about you?
  • What would your least favorite teacher say about you?

Ideally, they won’t respond with a delusional answer about their favorite teacher (e.g. the candidate is the next Einstein) and won’t have an attitude of blame with their least favorite teacher.

Assess Listening Skills

You can often determine an entry-level candidates level of professionalism, organization and maturity by simply asking them to repeat what was discussed during the interview and to provide a summary of the job description, your company values, etc. A strong candidate is likely to take notes, look carefully over the job description and perform some background research about your company. Therefore, they’ll be able to recite back the main highlights of the interview and will have an understanding of what the job entails.

Give Them a Homework Assignment

An additional way to separate the top candidates from the rest of the pack is to give them a small project to work on. You can think of it as a homework assignment. If a candidate was applying for a job as a product assembler, you might have them read over the blueprints and recite back to you the step-by-step process. This type of activity is helpful because it will show you who is driven and who is lazy and will indicate a person’s overall level of enthusiasm and professionalism.

Don’t fret if you have to assess an entry-level candidate. Even if they have virtually no experience to go on, following this formula should help you find the best person for the job.

Need assistance finding qualified employees? Contact the professionals at SelecSource Staffing Services today.

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