Asking this question demonstrates your interviewer’s desire to know more about your personal work ethic and understanding of the rewards of output related to input. The value you assign to both your grades and your field’s appreciation of such demonstrates personal standards that will not go unnoticed by the hiring manager.
Your interviewer understands that every employee should value personal achievements related to his or her work, and that grades/GPA are the first tastes of these available in any field. How you answer this question will be crucial to how your interviewer perceives your value as an employee.
Points to Emphasize
Careful response to this question gives you the opportunity to highlight the skills and qualities that best set you apart as an employee.
- Discuss classes and professors that required the hardest work to secure achievements.
- Talk about those skills that best supported your hard work.
- Share examples of the grades and achievements that made you the most proud and sure of your desire to work in this field.
- Share which classes and grades have impacted your skills and abilities to make you the best candidate for the job.
Your honest and accurate answer emphasizing those classes in which you performed as well as possible will help your interviewer to discern maturity and professionalism within you.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Interview questions and their responses help hiring managers to discern a cohesive view of your value as an employee. To avoid pitfalls that may harm that perspective:
- Do not give the impression that you see yourself as being beyond approach.
- Do not belittle the value of good grades and a high GPA.
- Do not apologize for or make light of poor grades or a low GPA.
- Do not fail to point out how grades, high or low, may have helped you to work harder later.
Hiring managers hope to find employees who are willing to work harder at every opportunity. Discussing your personal educational experiences in a manner that helps him or her to understand how experience has helped you to mature.
The ideal answer to a question about how you regard the rewards of hard work and application may sound like this:
Regardless of whether or not high grades and an excellent GPA are valuable within the field, my grades helped me to understand how my commitment to improvement affects success and where greater need for improvement prevailed. My personal goal is to work harder and achieve more in my field every day of the week.
While this question may seem like a potential trap to emphasize past failures, the truth is that every grade, good or bad, may be applied toward an employee’s future experiences to help him or her become the best in their field.