When you walk into a room for a professional interview, you as the interviewer will steer the conversation and find out more about the prospective employee. However, the last portion of the interview is usually reserved for the interviewee’s questions. Especially if you are interviewing students for entry-level positions, you may be asked advice questions such as, “Do you have any special word of warning or encouragement as a result of your experience” The purpose is to learn more about the field and what might be expected from a competitive candidate. Consider this your chance to offer some helpful guidance to a young up-and-comer. What you say could motivate them to work hard for the company and be enthusiastic about the industry.
Points to Emphasize
As a hiring manager, you must look for the best and most driven prospective employees. Therefore, you do want to be honest without being discouraging.
- Focus on helping him or her develop marketable skills and abilities.
- Mention any relevant past projects or tasks.
- Concentrate on what would make the interviewee a more competitive candidate.
- Highlight the prospective employees existing knowledge and experience.
Give a confident response and showcase your own enthusiasm for the industry. Think about your own experiences and draw on them for your answer.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is not a wrong way to respond, but there are still some tones and details you should avoid. Keep these tips in mind when you build your reply.
- Avoid giving an overly general answer that can apply to anyone.
- Do not discourage the student or prospective employee from pursuing the industry or position.
- Avoid talking about experiences that are not your own.
- Do not evade the question or respond timidly.
Be as direct as you can and don’t worry about spending too much time on this question. Give the interviewee good advice and refocus on the position.
Here is an example of a good answer for the question regarding your special word of encouragement:
Well, journalism is a tough field, so I think the most important thing is to know what you want and where you want to go. You might have to be more flexible about how you get there, but if you know where you want to be, you’ll be successful. You will be able to build a good name with a strong reputation and withstand the criticism that comes with it.
Remember, you are looking for a great candidate, so it is best to be honest. You can gauge his or her commitment based on how he or she responds to your reply.