How to Answer Interview Question: Why Did You Choose To Study This Course?
Interviewers ask questions in order to learn more about you, other than what you have filled in your application or resume. An interviewer can ask this particular question to learn more about a candidate’s personality, interests, and goals. It helps them learn about a candidate’s passion for a particular field or Career. This helps the interviewer to determine if you chose your career path for genuine reasons, such as passion, or if you were coerced or influenced by family to choose that career path. This will help them determine if you are a good fit for their company. This is because it is believed that a candidate that is passionate about his career will go out of his way to achieve his goals.
But on the other hand, a candidate who has not thought his career choice through will realize along the way that he is unfit for the role and quit. Companies usually avoid this, cause the cost associated with recruitment processes can be really high. No company recruits a candidate who will resign in the nearest future. The interviewer wants to know if you landed on the interview seat by chance or with a well-designed plan. He wants to know how much effort the candidate has put into achieving his career goals. This is a chance for the candidate to showcase natural talents and skills they have honed in the past, that can help them succeed in the role. The candidate should try to link his answers to the job role. If the candidate’s course of study is not related to the job role, then the candidate should focus more on how the skills or experience he has honed in the past relate to the job role. This question can also come up during university interviews to determine a candidate’s eligibility for a particular course. This can be used as a determinant for a scholarship or general admission eligibility.
Tips for Answering The Question: Why Did You Choose To Study This Course?
Think of your interest
Consider how your interest and several other activities you enjoy influenced your career choice. Hobbies are an important form of creative expression. When making a course choice it is essential to think of your interest, personality, and value. Considering the amount of time you spend in school, it is important you enjoy what you do after you leave school. Not only will you enjoy what you do, but you will be very good at it. Think of your hobbies and directly relate them to the profitability of the company.
- At an early age, I realized I loved drawing and painting. I was engaged in different youth art exhibitions and I always scaled through in all of them. So I decided to choose the art field to hone more of this skill from professionals that know better than I do. This decision not only developed my skill but helped me expand my network, as I was better informed and learned of art exhibitions I would never have heard of on my own. I had several mentors, who taught me more than I could have ever learned at home. With this knowledge, skills, and experience, I believe I will be a great fit for this position and add positively to the growth of this organization.
- Having lived in a small town close to the sea, I learned how to swim as a child. It became a hobby for me, as I always go out to swim on the beach. This led to my choice of marine biology. The love for the sea and its creatures. I wanted to learn more about life in the sea and what is beneath the sea. The knowledge I gained as an undergraduate has prepared me to take up a role as a marine biologist.
Relate your field of study to the job role
This is the point where the candidate links his field of study to the job role. The candidate is to do prior research on all he has learned up to this point, through formal and informal education. Make a list of the skills and experiences you have gained during your primary, secondary and tertiary education. If this is hard to recall, just make a list of all the assignments and projects you carried out in school, list all you learned from it, and try to relate it to the interest of the company or the job role. Even if your degree is not directly related to the job role, find a common ground between the two and emphasize it. While doing this, it is necessary to be truthful. An interviewer can easily catch up on lies, especially when a candidate can not defend his claim in the follow-up questions.
Choosing a career path is an important life decision, that often leads to an individual’s choice of field of study. Any candidate preparing for an interview should make a list of his career goals. The candidate should be able to explain how his short-term, mid-term and long-term goals influenced his choice of field of study. Also, the candidate is to link his career goals to the job role he is being interviewed for. Discuss the milestones you set as targets in your quest to achieve your career goals. It is important to note that choosing that particular field of study is already a milestone you have crossed to achieve your career goals.
I am a product of a poor upbringing, my parents left at an early stage and I was abused as a child. At an early stage, I made a resolution to help reduce or put a stop to child abuse all over the world. This motivated me to choose a career path in health and social care. This is the reason I applied for this role as a social worker to fulfill my goal.
Highlight your strengths
Include information about your strength and natural talent in the answer. Highlight how this led to your choice of field of study. Also, highlight how these strengths can be a plus to the company. For instance, if you are detailed oriented, you can point out that it influenced your choice of field of study. You can state how that particular strength made it easy for you to excel in the accounting courses. Also, state how these strengths can be of importance to the job role you are being interviewed for.
In as much as you are advised to be truthful, your answers should be positive. Do not give reasons that will appear to undermine you or set you up as a failure or unfit for the job role.
Things to avoid while answering this question
- Limited options: You do not want to appear as a candidate who chose his current career course because he was rejected by other departments or he failed in his previous course and was dropped. You are the one telling the story, structure it in a way that will lead you to success, while maintaining the truth.
- Financial benefits: Even though the financial benefit is a key factor when determining your field of study, you should not be seen as being money conscious. An employer wants a candidate who is passionate about what he is doing, not one who is only concerned about salary.
- Compulsion: Avoid mentioning how you were compelled by your parents or mentors to choose the course of study. This will only make the interviewer see you as an indecisive person, who can not take an important decision about life on his own.
- Peer pressure: A lot of students chose their current field because their friends were choosing it. It means the student never carried out research about the subject and just jumped into it. The interviewer might not want a candidate, who just follows the crowd.
- Talking about reasons that do not link to the job: Every single word that leaves your mouth, should somehow speak volumes of importance to the job role. The point of asking you the question is to determine if you are fit for the role. To determine if you are going to get a great amount of satisfaction in the role. This can be increased by passion. A candidate that is passionate about his field of study, will tend to derive a lot of job satisfaction while doing it.