Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses how to answer this question easily and effectively.
Here is another 1 of those tough interview, asked of graduates more than experienced people. Sometimes it may be asked to junior people because the employer is trying to differentiate between one person and another, they’ve run out of questions, stuff along those lines. However, it tends to be asked of recent graduates.
“In what ways has your college experience prepared you for your career?”
It’s a good question that requires that you think past the surface, but you have to also give them the surface answer.
“The obvious answer to me is that it gave me an understanding of the fundamentals that are important in my career. A knowledge of the subject, and knowledge of the history of this.” Something along these lines where you appear to be contemplative by pausing and thinking, inflecting in certain ways. So, again, to repeat that part of the answer, “It kind of gave me an understanding of the fundamentals. I don’t want to say give me complete knowledge because it obviously hasn’t. I have a lot to learn. Yet. However, it gave me an understanding of the fundamentals that we need for this career.”
You continue on by saying, “While I was in school, I carried a pretty heavy workload and learn the importance of prioritizing things. I worked in teams with people so I learned how to work with others and I had an opportunity to practice leadership skills– how do you motivate people who say they want to do it but just aren’t doing it. At the same time, at my university (if this isn’t the case for you, don’t say it). They require that I carry 2 extra courses along the way. In my major. As a result, I am used to carrying a pretty heavy load.“
So, start with the fundamentals (prioritizing things, being a team player and/or leadership) and how to carry a pretty heavy workload and prioritize my way through it.
That’s how you would answer that question. I would encourage you to frame it in your way with your language, but those of the fundamentals I would work with.
Do you think employers are trying to help you?
You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.
You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”