Here’s some ideas of how to answer job interview questions about your past education, whether it be school or industry related training. Your interviewer will want to know if you have the skills and ability to complete the work, so giving the best and most appropriate interview answers is crucial to landing the job.
Your education, to whatever level you have taken it – high school, degrees, or professional qualifications – is always something that employers are interested in and will ask about. Their depth of interest is determined by how recent and how relevant your education is to the position for which you are applying.
If you are fairly new to employment, just out of school or college, questions about your education are likely to form a substantial part of the interview. Potential employers will want to know something about your education – something more than the factual information you have provided on your resume or application form.
- Why did you choose the subject/course/university or college that you attended?
- What were you good at and what did you find more difficult?
- Above all, what did you gain from your studies that will be useful to your employer?
Here is an example of questions and some model answers to consider and adapt to your own situation. Many of these questions are equally relevant if you have just completed a professional training or practical/technical course of some kind. Again, the interviewer’s emphasis is likely to be on how you made your choice, how committed you are to it and whether it is something of specific use to their organization.
This question is followed by a model answer and a quick analysis of what makes that answer a success.
Job Interview Question:
If someone who had just finished school asked you whether they should go into employment or carry on with education, how would you advise them?
Job Interview Answer:
I would really like to find out more about their own ideas before giving advice, but if I were put on the spot I think I would advise them to carry on with education. Despite the difficulties of financing your studies and the competitive graduate job market (even with all the job search and job listing services), I feel I have learned so much, particularly about taking responsibility for myself and about working with very different groups of people.
These are real gains that I believe gave me a good start in my career. People often promise themselves that they will go back and complete their education later on, but I saw how hard this was for some of the students on my course.
Why this interview answer works:
You immediately let the interviewer know that you take other people’s opinions into account and don’t just dole out advice regardless of whether it is wanted.
The answer acknowledges possible negative issues but gets these out of the way before moving on to the positive.
The answer includes an upbeat comment about yourself, so although the question was a fairly general one, the interviewee brings it back to the highly personal.