Interview Guides

Graduate Interview Guide

This interview guide for Graduate roles will help you to quickly identify which candidates should be on your shortlist. By asking these Graduate interview questions and assessing the answers against the indicators provided which will help you determine better which are the high performing candidates.

To be effective, however, these Graduate interview questions need to be utilised early in the recruitment process to ensure only high performing candidates make it onto your shortlist and attend the final face to face interviews.

One way of utilising them is to assess candidates earlier in the process by Video Interview. It allows you to make sure all candidates are asked the same key interview questions. Video Interviews allow you to identify high performing candidates earlier in the recruitment process. This means you can be confident that all the candidates you meet face to face have the skills required to be successful in the role.

This guide was prepared by our Head of Assessment Design, Claire Crisp (BSc, MSc, C.Psychol).


  • Undertake placements around the business
  • Manage multiple tasks and projects
  • Build relationships with colleagues and stakeholders
  • Learn and develop own skills in specialist area
  • Study for a professional qualification

Key Competencies Required


  • Learning Orientation
  • Resilience


  • Collaboration
  • Delivering Results
  • Building Relationships

Interview Questions

Below are two Graduate interview questions which will help you identify and eliminate those candidates who do not possess the learning orientation and resilience required to be successful in a Graduate role. To support these Graduate interview questions, we’ve prepared a rating system to help you evaluate a candidates’ answer.

  1. To assess Learning Orientation- “Tell me about a time when you asked for some feedback on your work which resulted in being given some criticism. How did you feel about this and what did you do?”
  2. To assess Resilience- “Please tell me about a situation where you have experienced a setback or difficulty with something you were trying to achieve. How did you feel about this and what did you do in response?”

How to assess: Learning Orientation

A suitable candidate will act on their own initiative and proactively pursue learning opportunities. They will learn from mistakes and seek out and respond to feedback.

Positive Behaviours54321Negative Behaviours
Responds positively to criticism Responds negatively or defensively to criticism
Views feedback and criticism as an opportunity to learn and developBrushes off criticism, does not see the learning opportunity
Ask questions to ensure they fully understand where they need to improveTakes feedback at face value; misses the opportunity to ask clarification questions
Perseveres in the face of criticismGives up when faced with criticism
Takes steps to immediately address the feedbackWaits before addressing feedback; fails to respond to feedback with action

How to assess: Resilience

A suitable candidate will be driven to accept and meet challenges and persist when faced with difficulty. They will maintain consistently high levels of effort and deliver when under pressure.

Positive Behaviours54321Negative Behaviours
Keeps going when faced with a difficulty or setbackGives up easily; sees setbacks as barriers
Maintains a positive outlook in pressurised or difficult situationsBecomes negative when faced with difficulties or when under pressure
Keeps difficulties in perspective Allows difficulties to take over / dominate thoughts
Sees tasks through to completion despite setbacks or difficultiesGives up on tasks when faced with difficulties / setbacks




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