When a hiring manager asks a question like this, he or she seeks proof that your college experiences and classes have had a positive impact on you. The ways in which you handled yourself at the university level may act as a lens on your ability to handle yourself in a professional field as well.
Your interviewer wants to know if the situations and courses you took in college have helped you to think critically, apply effective problem-solving techniques and conduct the work associated with your position efficiently and well.
Points to Emphasize
Answering this question provides you with the perfect opportunity to discuss the most relevant classes you have taken in the field and to highlight experiences that demonstrate your greatest abilities and characteristics.
- Discuss those classes that most closely relate to the work you expect to perform within the company.
- Talk about those extracurricular and social experiences that helped to hone your ability to perform work-related duties well.
- Highlight your various skills and characteristics, portraying them in the light that best reflects your professional abilities.
- Explain the traits that make you the best candidate for the position.
Your answer should be positive and enthusiastic. As you respond, demonstrate both confidence in your abilities and deep interest in learning from your work.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Every response you give can go wrong if you do not pay careful attention to detail. To ensure that you answer the question in the best way possible, avoid these response pitfalls
- Do not make light of the skills that you have and continue to improve.
- Do not embellish your skills, experiences, or education in such a way that your integrity and credibility are threatened.
- Do not appear nervous or unsure of your abilities.
- Do not misuse the opportunity to highlight your best abilities by focusing on negative experiences. If an unpleasant experience helped you to be better in your job, focus on the benefits of that experience.
Hiring managers will be most impressed by candidates who deliver clear, concise, and logical answers. Concentrate on answering as honestly and effectively as possible.
The ideal answer to a question about how your experiences and classes have prepared you for this job might sound something like this:
My experiences and classes in college were diverse, but from each I have assimilated a better understanding of the field and the skills I need to perform to the best of my abilities in the field. I am most proud of my ability to recognize problems and address them accurately. Along with understanding of field-related problems, I am proud of my propensity for recognizing and emphasizing successes and work-related accomplishments.
While this question may seem difficult, your honest response will help the interviewer to develop a more accurate and reasonable assessment of who you are as a person and a professional.