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Student Job Interview Strategies

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You have recently graduated and you are now looking for a job in an industry that you have invested hard earned tuition dollars on. Unfortunately, since you spent most of your time in school “preparing” for your chosen field. As such, you have little experience in your employment field of choice. Indeed, Junior candidates face an unfortunate paradox when entering the job market:

You need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience.

Like the paradoxical chicken and the egg, this job/experience conundrum is a source of much employment frustration for junior candidates and recent graduates. And after hundreds of job applications trying to get into your chosen career, looking for someone to take a chance on you, you land an interview. In the job interview, you are now asked a behavioral interview question – to give an example from work of a time when you resolved conflict with your boss, a project was criticized or demonstrated some work requirement. How can you respond effectively to job interview questions like these, when you don’t have any work experience to draw from?

In a previous role, I was the HR person who looked after the student cop-op employment and internship programs at a monster corporation. Having interviewed many students, I have compiled a few job interview tips for students and other junior candidates.