During an interview, the hiring manager might ask you about the academic courses that you liked the most and which classes you enjoyed the least.
When you obtain a degree, you are required to take a variety of courses.
Some of these involve subjects that you may not have an interest in.
The interview question will probably look something like this:
- What college classes did you like the most?
- Which college courses did you like the least?
- What were your favorite academic courses?
- Were there any courses you took in college that you absolutely hated?
Before mentioning that class you thought was absolutely useless, stop and think.
No matter what your stance might have been before the class, you likely found that at least something about the subject was informational and interesting.
On the other hand, you can probably think of a course or two that you found downright useless!
Maybe the professor was far from adept at teaching the subject.
Or perhaps the material was so dry and boring that you nodded off in every class.
You don't need to provide all those details.
Simply follow the tips below to ensure you avoid negative answers.
Answers to avoid
1. Making it too general
"I loved every class throughout college," is not the way you want to answer this interview question.
Not only is it too general, but it's unrealistic.
Only the rarest and most studious among us loved every class ... and even then, there must be courses they signed up for just because they had to.
So, give an honest and thoughtful response rather than relying on a generality.
2. Relating the wrong course
The last thing you want to do is talk about how you thought a course was boring and dry when it's a subject directly related to the position.
Let's say you're going to be working with marketing material for a company.
Don't talk about how you slept through your marketing classes!
It would be unwise to state those were the classes you didn't enjoy.
Three tips on answering
Here are a few ways you can approach this interview question that should help you put a smile on the recruiter's face.
1. Give a subjective answer
We would never advise you to blatantly lie in an interview.
There is a difference between lying and strategically aligning your answers with the requirements of the position.
No harm is done if you recollect enjoying the classes that require relatable skills.
Ideally, you have a degree that relates to your desired industry, which means you took courses that you can easily associate with the job description.
If not, you may have to do a little stretching.
But you can be creative without being dishonest.
Fortunately, this question does not have one right answer.
- You can give a variety of answers.
- As long as they remain relatable, you'll ace the question.
Make sure you study the job requirements before your interview.
This will provide you the resources you need to create your ideal answer while discussing the classes you enjoyed the most throughout college.
(See our article on the interview question Why Did You Choose Your Major?)
2. Stay positive
Although this interview question asks about courses you liked the least, you can still answer positively.
- When talking about the classes you didn't like, mention courses that do not relate to the position.
- When talking about the classes you enjoyed, mention courses and lessons that are relatable to the job description.
Whether you enjoyed the class or not, convey that you gave it your best.
You want the hiring manager to know that you are passionate about the employment opportunity and won’t quit out of boredom.
As you explain why you did not like a particular class, focus on the subject.
Not having an interest in a particular subject is perfectly normal.
Do not blame a professor for a certain grade or claim they were boring; this will most likely portray you as a negative person.
Explain how the challenges in certain classes helped you.
Talk about the ways they made you better personally and professionally.
3. Make a personal connection
You can follow up by asking the interviewer what courses they enjoyed.
That way you can expand on different courses and experiences you both have.
Anything you can do to leave a positive impression on the hiring manager will help separate you from other candidates.
- Connect your coursework to the skills required.
- Emphasize your qualifications.
- Do this with as many questions as possible throughout your interview.
Keep it positive and get the job!
We know this is easier said than done, so we'll provide a sample answer below.
That way, you can know exactly what we're talking about.
As a business student, I really enjoyed the many management courses I was able to take. I met a lot of great people and learned many skills that I use in my profession.
I specifically found a passion for operations management and have never looked back. Because of this, I feel I would be a great fit for your management team and this company as a whole.
As far as classes I didn’t like, one jumps out immediately. I had a film class that was a night course and three hours long. We watched black-and-white movies during each class. At first, I felt it was a waste of time. I then gave in and paid attention and realized they were all pretty great movies!
By the end of the course, I realized it was one of my favorite classes of the semester. Although film-making has changed exponentially since those days, the course provided a fascinating glimpse into an earlier era.
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