No matter the position you are applying for, walking into any job interview can feel daunting. You might start wondering if you are dressed appropriately or if your resume is up to snuff. But the sweaty palms and jittery nerves truly begin as soon as the interviewer starts firing questions in your direction.
You might assume that questions regarding your educational background are the easiest to answer. Even in this category, however, things can quickly go south if you are not prepared. Most potential job candidates answer questions based on their education by discussing their major of choice and GPA.
But there is more you can do to help you land that perfect job. Here are a few helpful pointers on how to answer interview questions about your educational background.
Expect to hear “Discuss your educational background” right from the get go
Questions regarding your education during an interview are inevitable. Right off the bat the interviewer is likely to ask you to “discuss your educational background”. You should prepare for this ahead of time. Even if your educational experience is lacking, you can ace any interview question as long as you prepare.
Avoid spitting out the information that is already on your resume
This is a common mistake for many job candidates. When an interviewer asks you a question, he or she does not want your resume regurgitated word for word. Avoid discussing what is already on your resume. This goes for every interview question, not just ones regarding your education.
Of course you can talk about your major and GPA, but add something else of value. Discuss one of your biggest accomplishments in college, or talk about how you overcame a major challenge in grad school.
Cater your educational achievements to the job in question
Even if your degree is in Marine Biology and you are applying for a customer service position, there are ways to show your value based on your education. The education you earned does not entirely reflect on the degree you received in the end. You can discuss your extracurricular activities, your job during college, or a general education class that you surprisingly enjoyed.
High school, college, and graduate school all play a role in shaping us into the people we have become. These are the years of life lessons, making mistakes, and becoming our true selves. You can discuss personal experiences that happened during your university years (without getting too in depth) to show why you are fit for the job.
To help you prepare even further, here is a list of the most frequently asked “education” questions during an interview:
- How has your educational background prepared you for this job position?
- Why did you choose that major?
- What extracurricular activities were you involved in?
- Were you a member of Greek life?
- What learned skills from college will you apply to your future career?
- Why didn’t you complete a university degree?
- If you could change anything about your college experience, what would it be?