When you walk into a professional interview, you as the hiring manager must lead the conversation and gain a better understanding of your prospective employee. Usually, the end of the interview is a space for the interviewee to ask his or her own questions. For instance, he or she may ask, “What special advice do you have for a student seeking to qualify for this position” The interviewee asks this question to better understand what you need from an employee and how he or she can prepare to be competitive in the work force. When faced with this question, it is best to answer honestly while encouraging the student to seek the position.
Points to Emphasize
As a hiring manager, you want to find fantastic employees and pushing students in a productive direction could help your enterprise in the long run.
- Mention specifics about what you look for in a quality candidate.
- Concentrate on the skills the student might need in the future.
- Highlight relevant experience or likely professional trajectories.
- Focus on what will make them a competitive industry professional.
When you respond, be confident and positive. You want to encourage the student to get involved with the field and potentially work for your company.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is no wrong answer to this question. However, you should avoid certain tones and details when you respond to the student. Keep these tips in mind as you form a reply:
- Avoid sounding discouraging or negative about the student’s interests or prospects.
- Do not make other industries sound more appealing than your own.
- Avoid general answers that could apply to anyone.
- Do not overlook the student’s existing experience or knowledge.
Try to be direct instead of evasive, but don’t take too much time answering the question. You should still remain focused on the fact that you’re looking for a quality employee.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question regarding your advice for a student:
Well, with your internship in pharmaceuticals and your pending chemistry degree, I feel that you are fairly well prepared to be competitive in the industry. I would recommend you become familiar with business or law as well. Because of our profit-based business model and our connection to the medical industry, either subject would help you better understand the broader scope of the pharmaceutical industry.
Remember, a student asked for advice on his or her career, so steer them in a good direction. Your industry will benefit from properly prepared individuals and the interviewee’s enthusiasm should be encouraged.