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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

Today’s Question: How do you assess recent grads who don’t have much, if any, work experience?

The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization composed of ambitious startup founders and business owners.


James1. Their Internship Experience and Side Projects

Recent grads should have 1-2 relevant internship and volunteer experiences. We especially love those who have done side projects. We love folks who have a passion for their field outside of school. Those who have started side businesses definitely stick out from the crowd.

James Hu, Jobscan

jessica2. Their Attitude and Outlook

At Aligned Signs, we look for key attitudes, dispositions, and outlooks that would make inexperienced workers a great fit within the company. We appreciate original thinkers who take initiative and have conviction in their thoughts and ideas. Sometimes, a lack of experience may be an asset; a recent grad can bring a fresh perspective.

Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

joshua3. Their Critical-Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

This is a problem we at Odigia try to solve for our customers. A degree just doesn’t carry the weight it used to, and hiring is not as easy as looking at a GPA. We’ve found that soft skills better indicate an individual’s ability to work with our team and create value. Our process is designed to uncover an individual’s critical-thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills.

Joshua Moe, Odigia

steve4. Their Personal Measures

I look at how they carry themselves. In my field, experience is important, but even a ton of experience can’t make up for a lack of confidence and charisma – or worse, arrogance. If a new graduate knows how to work a room, has a good attitude, and understands that they still have a lot to learn, that goes a long way toward turning them into a new employee.

Steven Buchwald, The E2 Visa Lawyer

ajmal5. Their Practical Experience

I am the owner of a tutoring company, and practical experience is important for all my administrators and tutors. I typically test recent grads on their practical skills by asking them to teach me on a practice question. I like to choose a random question that they have no expertise in to see how resourceful they are.

Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning




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