Tell Me About Your Educational Background
Awesome! Another “Walk in the Park” question… This should never be your mindset when interviewing with a new company. It's great to be confident, but be prepared to sell yourself when the hiring manager says, Tell me about your educational background!
This question provides a great opportunity to relate your coursework with the required tasks of the position. To land a job offer, you are expected to make every response relevant.
This is obviously easier said than done, but follow the below guidelines to navigate this question.
It’s on my resume
The interviewer has looked over your resume and likely glanced at your education section. Yet, most will state their degree and the school they attended. This is not how you separate yourself from other average candidates. Go into detail! Discuss coursework that has built your skill set in order to be successful in the open position.
Having a few specific responses ready will help, as certain subjects will relate more to a given company. This is obviously for those who have more than one pending interview. Remember, your resume got you in the door, now it is up to you to close the deal!
For another article related to education, see Why Did You Choose Your Major?
Underwater basket weaving
Hopefully, your major aligns with your chosen industry. If this holds true, try and avoid standard classes you were forced to take. “But those classes are important?!!!” … Of course, they are, but your hiring manager is most likely aware of those. Try to discuss elective courses that you choseto take.
We are not saying discuss the softball class you participated in with your buddies. Choose the electives that were included in your major course work. If your degree does not relate to your career path, don’t panic! You will just need to be more creative with your response.
As long as you choose relevant skills you gained throughout your education, the above still relates to you!
During my time at (School Name), I took many courses that have given me the skill set to be successful in this position. Being a Finance major, I found a passion for financial accounting. Although my coursework was mainly based on financial analysis, I chose accounting as one of my upper division electives. This course pushed me out of my comfort zone as most of my classmates were majoring in accounting. Since entering the finance industry, I feel I have used a majority of what I learned in that class. Since I have noticed that your finance department works directly with the staff accountants, I feel this would benefit your company greatly.