When you step into a room for professional interview, you might be asked, “What’s the most important thing you learned in school” Initially, you might be daunted by how open-ended the question it, but it is actually a golden opportunity for you to show just how qualified you are for the job. You want to choose a lesson or course that is particularly relevant to your position. If you haven’t had the chance to talk about teamwork or your work ethic yet, this is the perfect chance to bring it up naturally. At this point in the interview, you can choose to steer the conversation in any direction you’d like.
Points to Emphasize
View this question as an opportunity to talk about your relevant knowledge, skills and past experiences. Open-ended questions give you the most space to sell yourself as a quality employee and this inquiry is no different.
- Focus on how what you learned applies to your profession.
- Emphasize real world skills.
- Relate your coursework to past events that are relevant to your career.
- Highlight any concepts or professional guidelines learned in an educational institution.
Be confident and positive with your reply. Hiring managers want to secure individuals who can stay calm and find the good in every situation.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
With such a broad question, it may feel easy to give an inappropriate response, but follow theses tips to stay on track during your interview:
- Avoid speaking at length about the social aspects of a school environment.
- Do not talk about legal issues or overly reckless situations.
- Do not focus on private achievements over career accomplishments.
- Do not highlight negative events or outcomes.
Most individuals will agree that high school and college offer academic instruction as frequently as social lessons. However within the setting of a professional interview, the hiring manager will be more concerned with your applicable skill set.
Here is an example of a good answer to the question concerning your most important school lesson:
During my years in college, I think the most valuable lesson I learned came from my Social Justice in Minority Communities class. It was equal parts internship and traditional classroom instruction. I worked extensively with local organizations and within the community and I learned a lot about how to relate to anyone and any story. I had to balance the social demands of the class with the real world realties of effective time management and producing quality academic work.
Remember with your response, you want to take the opportunity to show your best and most relevant traits and skills.