20 No-Work-Experience Interview Questions & Answers
I want to make this very clear. Now, it doesn’t matter if you have been to an interview before or not, what I want to do here is prepare you for your first or next interview properly.
Although I haven’t graduated yet, I have been to a few intern interviews and some of them were very unorthodox.
I also know a bunch of friends who graduated and went for their first job interview. While some came back with tales of funny interview questions, some of them were disappointed that they were caught off guard with the kind of questions presented to them.
So, I decided to gather some of the most tricky ‘no work experience’ interview questions and answers.
I urge you to read to the end so you don’t wind up like my friend Gideon who skipped an important opportunity when he scrolled straight to the end of an email and deleted it. We found out later that it was a job offer from a media company doing a campus student hiring tour. Believe me when I say Gideon now reads everything including ads, word for word.
We can’t keep talking about Gideon and his impatience all day, can we? Let’s get on with it then. Like I stated earlier, this isn’t for the new or old interview candidates, it’s for everybody. So here are 50 ‘no work experience’ interview questions and answers.
Note: The first interview question is usually simple to help you relax. For most people with no work experience, it is simple but if you can’t describe yourself in a sentence, I will employ you to spend some time trying to figure out those unique things about yourself first.
One good way to do this is to think of yourself like you are watching yourself on a TV, or you can simply ask your friends to describe you in one sentence. Combine all these different sentences and you have an answer for your first interview question.
So, what is this question?
1. Tell me about yourself and why you are suited to this role?
I cannot overemphasize the importance of eloquence and confidence in an interview room.
Although cultures differ, confidence is usually expected everywhere. In the United States, for example, employers love a vibrant interviewee. However, in the United Kingdom, employers think of people who are too vibrant as unnecessarily too emotional and all up in their face.
These are two different work cultures in two different continents. However, for most of the world, the former culture is more accepted. Therefore, I will employ you to be a little bit more enthusiastic and be vibrant.
I am an enthusiastic professional and hardworking person with natural leadership skill and teamwork experience. Without doubts, I can manage under a significant amount of pressure, and I am very corrigible. I listen to what people want, rather than acting on what I think they want.
The last sentence is very important because it really portrays you as a person who is great with customers. And you see those guys on suits on the other side of the table, they represent a company that is very concerned about public image than anything else. 😀
Don’t go drawing your words like you stayed up all night changing baby diapers. Act like you can actually wake up every morning to go to the office and make some profits.
2. Why should we hire you?
This one is straight forward and almost like the first question but this time, tell them why they need you in their company.
Now, don’t be afraid to sell yourself aggressively. Don’t try to be humble or anything, put it to them that they need you.
I am the perfect person for the role because I have a great passion for this job. I have both the skills, expertise that suits the job well.
Even though most people don’t particularly love their jobs, those guys want to believe you do. This next answer is something that worked for my close buddy Maxwell:
Even though I don’t have a wealth of experience in this field, your company would be lucky to experience and tap out of my creativity first hand. Think of me like a brand new phone. I come with everything and I haven’t been used before. So, I am charged, fast and ready to learn new things.
Maxwell got the job and has been growing steadily in that company for half a decade now.
3. Tell me about a time you worked with a team
Trust me when I say that a little red file will go through over 30 hands before making its way to the boss in the corporate world.
Everybody wants to know that you are a team player; someone they can trust to work seamlessly with a team.
I have worked with teams in the past – different sizes and colours of people from all walks of life. You want to let them know that you’re tolerant as well as productive working with people you aren’t familiar with.
The corporate world is not a summer camp. You will meet people that will piss you off. You won’t be able to stand some of them throughout the day. However, you have to work with them and be productive in doing so. Tell them what you will achieve with this team. Be specific and dwell on the diversity of the team.
Recollect how you managed a conflict of interest in the team and how your opinions helped matters.
Those guys on the other side of the table don’t want to hire someone who will not contribute anything during staff meetings. Show them that you know how to air your own opinions on issues.
I understand that you don’t have all the experience. However, you can give instances of college faculty teams. Basically, anywhere you worked as a team player and, if possible, let it be business-related.
They love the sound of good profits.
4. Give me an instance when you gave a great customer service
Honestly, if you’ve ever experienced bad customer service, you will know why they would ask this question. The truth is that a customer who got bad customer service is simply not coming back, except you’re the only one in that business, of course.
Furthermore, about 70% of countries in the world practice capitalism, so competition is everywhere. It doesn’t matter how wonderful your product is, if the customers don’t feel comfortable, they won’t come back.
I am someone who understands the importance of customer service. I have experienced bad service as a customer, and I have an idea of what customers who don’t like a particular service do. They go and don’t come back.
You’ve now established yourself as a customer person. Play right into their question. It’s time to really convince them that you can be the perfect customer person, and you really understand the age-long saying that the customer is always right.
Although I know customers can be difficult sometimes, I am a polite person by nature and I am always very happy to assist people whenever I can.
You can give them an instance where you gave excellent customer service & that the customer returned after that service. That is a big bonus.
5. What are your strengths?
This is almost like the first question only that this time you have to go all out on your personal qualities.
Don’t be afraid to tell them those positive things about you – your generosity, charisma, enthusiasm and maybe your hardworking nature as a result of coming from a humble background.
6. How do you respond to pressure?
So, they want to know how you respond to stress. People have different ways of responding to pressure, and in case you don’t know – there is usually going to be a lot of pressure in the office.
Deadlines, presentations, and tasks – these are some of the things that can make you or break you. Hence, they want to make sure you would react to that.
I am great at handling stress under any condition. My first instinct is to embrace the challenge and look for suitable solutions.
I am definitely capable of handling pressure at work as I have grown up experiencing pressure at different levels.
7. Do you consider yourself a team player?
There is only so much one person can do. The people hiring you would want to know if you are a team player.
Yes, you might be great working alone, but no one builds a company alone, you need people.
I would like to consider myself a people person. I can easily relate and communicate with people. Therefore, I would say I am a great team player and a contributor to any team task or operation.
8. Do you consider yourself a political person?
Now, not many interviewers will ask you this. However, if it is a company that would like to remain neutral politically, expressing strong political views might not help you.
Be honest but try to play down the politics. They don’t want you tweeting strong political views when you are associated with their brand.
Yes, I do consider myself political, but I am rational about it. I observe and make internal decisions when it comes to choosing sides politically. I make sure not to shove my political views down people’s throats, and you scarcely ever find me talking about political affairs.
9. How would you react to sexual harassment in your workspace?
Again, not many companies will ask you this one. However, with growing cases of people reporting office sexual harassments on social media, your interviewers may want to know that you won’t go screaming rape on social media without resorting to them first.
God forbid such a thing happens. Although I do not tolerate such harassments, I find it wise to report to the office personnel department immediately and trust them to do their job before considering legal actions against the person harassing me
10. What skills are you bringing to the table?
This is a much more common question during interviews of interviewees with no work experience.
I am a fast learner with brilliant untapped ideas. I will be bringing creativity to the table and other ideas that will move this company forward.
11. Will you consider yourself a corrigible person?
There are people who simply are incorrigible. Nobody likes a person who cannot be corrected; humility in the workplace is valued in the corporate world
Yes, I am indeed corrigible, I find corrections to be a moment of learning rather than an indictment.
12. Will you consider yourself religious?
In many countries of the world, you will find people of different faiths working in the same workspace but many company managements don’t want you imposing your religion or beliefs on others.
There is freedom of religion, but no company wants a radical. If you do believe in any religion or list as an atheist, feel free to let them know and watch them sigh in relief.
Yes, I am a Christian/Muslim. I am very passionate about my faith, but I am also aware that not everyone wants my religion forced down their throat especially in our workspace, so you won’t find me talking about it during working hours.
13. What are your long term career goals?
Do you know why many partnerships, music bands and even marriages face certain problems, it’s because priorities and goals do not align. You need to show them that you are a good planner and can handle long term commitments.
Given that I am awarded the opportunity to work here, I see myself rising to a bigger office through hard work, commitment and good service to the company. I am in my prime and still very productive, so I should stick around for a while.
14. Do you have a family?
This is a personal question, but you can be sure some interviewers would throw this question at you. You see, it is a lot easier to get more work hours and productivity out of a bachelor/spinster than it is to get even an extra 10 minutes off a married staff member. If you aren’t married, simply reply with a No, but if you are, pay attention.
Yes, I am married, however, my marital life stays at home and when I am in the office, I intend to give 101% and help this company make profits.
15. What kind of salary works for you?
This is a trap; I repeat, this is a trap! Don’t fall for it and begin to tell them how $100,000 is not enough, and how you would like them to pay you $200,000. Many people have failed interviews by ranting on how they don’t need this amount and how they want that amount.
As a professional body, I trust this establishment to make a fine decision on the salary rate fit for this position.
16. Where do you live?
Do you know how my friend Charles lost a job with an audit firm?
Well, they asked him where he lived and he told them that he lived no less than 12 miles away, and how he had to take a bus, a taxi and still walk 2 miles to the office just make it on time.
The company didn’t want to deal with a latecomer so they decided to end the interview.
I live not too far away from here, and clocking in early wouldn’t be a problem for me.
17. Are you a social person?
Again, it is personal but they do ask this question. Some companies have picnics and even sponsor staff trips. Be careful how you put up the vibe of an introvert. Some establishments like smiles especially when it comes to customer service
Yes, I would like to think I am a very social person. I like meeting new people, engaging in valuable conversations and making new friends.
18. Any health issues we should know about?
This is where many people make a huge mistake. No matter what health condition you suffer, and how much you think it will affect your chances of getting that job, just tell the truth.
19. Do you have family members in this industry?
If you are applying for a job at coca-cola, it wouldn’t do you much good if you tell them your brother works at Pepsi. So be very mindful of what you say here. It might seem petty to you, but rivalries can be very fierce.
20. Where else would you go after this?
This is another trap, but if you are confident about your abilities and you are sure you can do what you say you do on that resume, you can rattle them a little. You can tell them you were thinking about checking this company (that just happens to be their rival). If you are a good pick, they won’t let you leave without assuring you to wait for their call rather than checking with their rivals.
If you enjoyed these interview tips, kindly share with others. 😉