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5 Tips for Interviewing New Grads

By Betty Wang, JD on May 22, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Interviewing new grads is likely going to be a task on many a to-do list for small business owners, especially this time of the year.

Because with spring allergies comes not only pollen, but a confetti of tasseled graduation caps being tossed into the air. As fresh-faced young adults enter the working world, now is the time to prepare for interview season.

With that being said, here are five useful tips for interviewing new graduates:

  1. Take caution when using social media to hire. On one hand, it is helpful to be able to quickly filter and weed out candidates who post pictures where they're participating in questionable behavior. But there are also certain details that you may stumble across on one's online profile that you should not touch upon -- for example, their views on religion or politics.
  2. Make a checklist of behavioral qualifications that the candidate should possess. Use this checklist as a guide during all interviews to ensure that you don't run into any problems with appearing discriminatory or treating job candidates differently.
  3. Avoid asking certain forbidden questions. Just as social media can prompt these types of questions, so can the ease of everyday conversation, which an interview often turns into. Avoid asking questions pertaining to race, sexual orientation, or anything too personal in general.
  4. Don't make snap judgments over rookie mistakes. Remember that the process of an interview is stressful. While little things like having a limp handshake or avoiding eye contact may not be preferred, they are also not necessarily direct indicators of a bad candidate, either. Keep in mind, this may be the candidate's first "real" job interview!
  5. Ask specific behavioral questions that pertain to the position. Avoide cliched and general questions that most interviewees will have a prepared, equally as cliched answer for. For example, instead of saying, "Tell me about a time you had a conflict and how you resolved it," ask, "Tell me about a time you had a conflict with time management (or something specific) and how you resolved it." This will help to ensure that you hire a more ideal candidate and be more likely to avoid prospective issues that may hold an employer liable.

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