Hiring managers will commonly ask a candidate to discuss his or her educational background. It usually comes near the beginning of the interview and is generally a low-pressure probe into your qualifications.
Many candidates consider discussing their educational background to be one of the easiest parts of the interview. However, no one should underestimate the importance of scoring points during this topic. This is particularly important for applicants who have fewer than five years on actual job experience. Although experienced candidates may not be asked many details about their education, they should be prepared as many interviewers consider educational background to be important even after the candidate has had decades of on-the-job training.
Points to Emphasize
When you discuss your educational experience, be sure to tie general topics you mastered at the University with the specific requirements of the job you are seeking.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Just because this may be the easiest part of the interview, don’t underestimate the opportunity to sell yourself. More importantly, don’t let this part of the discussion be boring to the hiring manager.
- Don’t be modest.
Remember that hiring managers already have a general idea of your education from your resume. That is one of the reasons why they setup the interview in the first place. Consider this a chance to add a few zingers to spice up the message in your resume.
Here is an example of how to nail this part of the interview:
As a college student learning software, I read that cutting edge companies had begun to use object-oriented programming (OOP). I added an OOP class, and it really improved the reliability of my code. I saw that OOP was an optional requirement for this position, and I think it will give me the opportunity to offer something extra in this job.
Remember to capitalize on this and every opportunity to sell yourself during your interview.