Custom Search

Unexpected Great Interview Questions

Example: Why did you choose your college major?

When employers ask great interview questions about your formal education or your passion for learning...rejoice!

Even if you're a recent graduate with no real world experience you can prepare an impressive response to insure you stand out from other candidates.

FACT: Graduating from college will always be one of your greatest accomplishments.

It demonstrates to hiring authorities both large and small that you set a difficult goal for yourself and worked hard to achieve it.

But...exactly why did you choose your college major?

Here are the real questions going through the mind of an employer

  • Were you inspired by a mentor, great leader, or book you read?
  • Have you always known what you want to do?
  • Do you have a genuine passion for a particular field or career?
  • Did your parents push you into your field of study?
  • Did you take the path of least resistance to get your sheep skin?

Pearl of Wisdom: Frame your answers to great interview questions by sharing an experience you had that helped point you in the right direction. Everyone young and old loves a good story.

What if you graduated with a goofy degree?

Don't let great interview questions like this leave you speechless if you have an unusual degree unrelated to your job target. Many young people don't have a clue about choosing a college major.

It's common for students to change their college majors once or twice before they earn their degree. It even takes some students 5 years to graduate because they've changed majors a few times.

There is nothing wrong with this, but...

Perhaps your college major was in Psychology, Political Science, or English Literature...and now you're applying for a marketing analyst position. Now what?

Regardless of your degree choice--don't forget--getting your bachelor's degree will always be one of your greatest accomplishments. Over half of all people who enroll in college don't graduate.

Your degree proves that you set a long term goal, and made the effort and sacrifice necessary to achieve it.

Past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior. So don't hang your head in shame because your college major was Archeology, and you are now applying for a job as a purchasing manager for a steel manufacturer.

SPECIAL TIP: If you helped pay for your college education, make sure you mention this in your job interview. In fact, you should even share this on your resume beside your education credentials. A strong work ethic always leaves employers impressed.

True Career Success Stories

Did you know that the CEO of one of the major TV networks has a Spanish degree?

I know this because he was the keynote speaker at my son's college graduation from Bucknell University. He mentioned in his keynote address that he didn't have a clue what he wanted to do when he graduated.

Looks like he's doing alright.

I also know an outstanding manufacturing manager with a multinational company who has a degree in Geography. He barely made it through college...but he stuck with it and did graduate.

Did you know that John McCain graduated last in his class at the US Naval Academy?

Regardless of your college major, it's more important for you to now focus on your strengths and accomplishments that make you the best candidate for the job you want.

There will always be more positives about your degree than negatives. Having said that, I also don't want to minimize the significance of a degree that exactly fits your career choice--especially if you graduated with honors, and from a prestigious university.

This can give you a tremendous advantage if you are competing with other candidates.

It can also enhance your upward mobility within large, complex, multinational corporations.

One last thing...

Hiring authorities are always impressed with candidates who demonstrate they are a student of their craft by continually learning. In other words, you may have a general degree, but you're now taking action to update your skills. Examples might include:

  • Keeping up with technology by taking online IT courses
  • Taking night classes at a community college to earn a double degree more in alignment with your field
  • Learning a foreign language
  • Participating in a professional association or group
  • Earning a professional certification

Do you know your job interview weaknesses? Find out by taking my Mock Job Interview Quiz.

Other great interview questions with best answers:

Back from Great Interview Questions to Behavioral Interview Questions

Back from Great Interview Questions to Job Interview home page