To some, this sort of question may seem impertinent, but what it stands to reveal about you may be quite valuable to the hiring manager. As you acknowledge your college’s reputation, or lack thereof, and explain your personal perspective on the education you have received there, you stand to reveal both loyalty and pragmatism within yourself.
Your interviewer seeks employees who comprehend their personal value as individuals and members of a team. Understanding your perspective as an alumni of a specific college and what that means in the workplace helps you and them to assess your ability to portray whatever institution with which you most closely interact in the best light possible.
Points to Emphasize
Your careful response to this question represents the opportunity to share unique aspects of your education and discuss how those opportunities made you a better employee.
- Talk about those things that influenced your decision to attend your particular college.
- Emphasize the teachers and classes that have had the most profound impact on you.
- Create a picture for your interviewer that portrays your educational experience in the best light possible.
- Explain how your experiences and the qualities you honed there make you the best candidate for the job.
Keeping your response positive will help your interviewer to understand the value of your educational background.
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 denigrate the college that has awarded your diploma.
- Do not appear to be ashamed of your education.
- Do not discuss negative perspectives on your educational institution more fully than you discuss positive perspectives.
- Do not fail to emphasize your positive experiences at college.
Hiring managers understand that every candidate’s experience will be different and that an employee’s perspective on their company may be foreshadowed by perspective on their educating institution. Keeping your response as positive as possible will help the interviewer to understand that your professionalism is both innate and well-informed.
The ideal answer to a question about how your college is perceived by those in your potential field may sound like this:
Everyone knows that reputations may proceed them. My abilities in the field are affected more greatly by my education at school and in life than they are by the ways in which others see my college. My experience there was invaluable in diverse ways that have helped me to increase my previous skills and discover new ones.
Many may fear that this question sets a trap. Indeed, it does represent a slippery slope, but careful and considerate response will help the interviewer to better perceive your depth of maturity and your ability to respond well under pressure.