When someone interviews for a specific job, they want specific information about that job. When candidates ask the question “What are the typical entry-level job titles and functions,” they want to know what makes it an entry-level position as opposed to other positions. They also want to know what their job duties will be so they fully understand the job and the requirements. Often, having other similar positions to compare to gives them a more distinct understanding of the position for which they are interviewing.
Answering this question can be tricky, especially if some entry-level positions carry more responsibility. Focus on positions that are similar to the one the candidate is applying for.
Define what “entry-level” means at your organization.
Highlight two or three titles from other departments that are comparable to the one being interviewed for.
Explain the basic job requirements for entry-level positions in the company.
Emphasize the importance of entry-level employees
Potential employees, even on the bottom rung of the career ladder, want to know that they will be considered valuable assets once they are hired. You should emphasize the positive aspects of entry level positions without embellishing, of course.
Entry level positions are important, but they can be hard to fill, so you need to be careful how you respond to the question “What are the typical entry-level job titles and functions.” Here are some ways to avoid alienating applicants.
Do not define “entry-level” positions as being low skill or low education jobs.
Do not highlight job titles that require more skill or education than the one the applicant has applied for.
Avoid simplifying job duties regardless of the skill or education required.
Never tell an applicant that the job they are applying for could be done by anyone.
If your responses imply that entry-level jobs are unimportant, the candidate will believe that entry-level employees are, too. Present the position in the most positive light without being dishonest.
A good response to the question “What are the typical entry-level job titles and functions” might be something along these lines:
“Most of our entry-level positions require a certain amount of skill or education which, by the way, you have or we wouldn’t be here. In our organization, entry-level positions like assistants, receptionists, secretaries, and mail room personnel, among others, provide the support that keeps the company running smoothly. Not everyone works well in a support role, so we’re always looking for people with the planning, organizational and people skills to work in the background and on the front lines.”
A positive attitude and forthcoming response from you reflects positively on the company and earns the respect of the job candidate.