In asking this question, the hiring manager hopes to glean what sorts of interests are unique to you, what your personal goals may be, and how your values affect your work. Your transcript will be diverse, with core, elective, and field-specific classes to demonstrate your educational level. As you describe the value of those courses to the interviewer, he or she will learn what opportunities have meant the most to you.
From your response, your interviewer will develop a sense of your personal affinities and proclivities. Every class that makes your discussion list provides a lens into your goals.
Points to Emphasize
Your response to this question dealing specifically with coursework and your ability to apply it to your job gives you an opportunity to emphasize your personal skills, objectives, and potential.
- Discuss both courses within your major and minor and those associated with core standards.
- Explain what sort of work was involved with each class.
- Describe challenging projects and assignments that helped you to develop confidence in your skills and work.
- Highlight certain skills developed in these classes to help you be a better employee.
Evaluating your college courses and the work you accomplished in them may be a reflective experience. Share that experience actively and precisely.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Any question that requires deep thought and revelations presents some danger of becoming anecdotal or boring. Avoid pitfalls such as this and others.
- Do not focus on courses in which you performed poorly or lacked focus.
- Do not complain about teachers or classmates.
- Do not give the impression that you felt entitled to a better grade or skated through a course with little work.
- Do not forget that you will be answering to authority figures, much like teachers, in your job.
Make the most of your interviewer's attention by demonstrating what you brought to the courses discussed as well as what you took from them.
Your most effective response to a question of this sort may sound something like this:
Most of my classes at college were extremely beneficial to me, especially in the work they helped me to accomplish and the knowledge they shared. The most significant of those courses helped me to develop critical thinking skills that will guide my ability to provide the best work you can imagine. I will bring the strong work ethic these courses helped to instill in me to my position at this company.
Although describing the value of specific classes may seem overly difficult or rather pat, your clear and thorough response will help your interviewer to better imagine you in the position which you seek.