Job Interview Questions and Answers for College Students and Recent College Graduates (continued)
Question 88: Do you intend to further your education?
Almost every job requires learning and improving, therefore, you don't want to give an impression that you don't like learning or improving by saying, "No, I'm through with school. I never want to sit in a classroom again!" Instead, it would be better if you claim you will be earning a degree, graduate degree, taking continuing education classes, etc., even if you aren't that committed to further education.
Good answer 1: "Yes, I have less than a year of school left to complete and I intend to enroll in a few classes each semester until I earn my degree."
Good answer 2: "Yes, I am always taking classes at the local college to keep current on the latest in computer programming. I'm also required to take a few classes each year to maintain by CPA certification."
Good answer 3: "Yes, I intend to eventually go back to school part-time at night and earn my master's degree in accounting. However, I want to take a year off and get settled in a new job and home before starting."
Question 89: Why were your grades not very good in school?
There are several legitimate and believable answers to this question. One might be that you had to work full-time in order to support yourself. Another might be that you just aren't very good at taking tests. In any event, if your grades were not that good, you're going to have to say something to overcome it. Don't blame it on others, such as your professors, who "were out to get you." Take responsibility for it: "I know my grades weren't that good in school, but I've never been very good at taking tests. I don't think my grades are an accurate reflection of my ability. I feel that I know this field as well as any new graduate. I just don't do well on tests."
If you only had bad grades in an unrelated field, then it shouldn't prevent you from getting the job offer: "I made A's in engineering, but C's and D's in English literature classes I was required to take to earn my degree. I've just never enjoyed reading literature and poetry, so I wasn't particularly good at researching and writing the numerous papers that were required in these classes, so my grades were mediocre as a result."
Question 90: Why didn't you participate in internship programs while in school?
Like many people, you probably had to work while attending school. If this is so, just answer with "I had to work full-time during school and wasn't able to participate in internship programs." Not all schools have enough internships available and perhaps one wasn't available. If so, a legitimate answer would be, "There weren't many internships available at Acme College as few employers in the area were willing to participate in them."
If you made good grades and took a full class load, but didn't participate in internships, you might answer: "I thought it was best to take a full class load, concentrate exclusively on my studies and earn a high GPA rather than work part-time and let my studies suffer." In any event, don't leave the interviewer with the impression that you weren't motivated or were more interested in lounging by the pool than working when you weren't in school.
Question 91: Why are you applying for a job unrelated to your internship experiences?
A good answer to this question is to state that your internship opportunities were not related to the career path you wanted to concentrate on and you took the internships just to get some experience in the field or that you learned from your internship experience that you liked a particular area of your chosen field.
Good answer 1: "There were a limited number of internships and I did not have the luxury of picking and choosing from many internships that matched my areas of interest. I thought it was better for me to get some experience in the field, even if it was in an area of accounting that didn't particularly interest me."
Good answer 2: " I thought I wanted to concentrate my career in tax accounting, but after working for several large CPA firms, I decided that I enjoy auditing much more than I do tax accounting and decided to pursue this particular area of accounting instead."
Question 92: Why are you applying for a job not related to your degree?
This is a tricky question because you can't simply answer, "I decided after graduating that I don't like my degree choice and will work in another field instead." If you can't find a job in your chosen field and are interviewing for other jobs, then just say so: "As I'm sure you know, thousands of computer-related jobs have been outsourced to other countries and many of us have been left unemployed and unable to find work in the field. Therefore, I'm concentrating on finding a position that utilizes my accounting skills."
Of course, if you are a liberal arts graduate, chances are high you won't find a job that requires a degree in history, political science, English, etc., and so you have a good excuse: "I majored in history because I love the subject; however, there are few jobs that require a history degree. Like most liberal arts majors, I would probably have to earn a master's or doctorate in history and get a teaching certificate in order to fully utilize my degree. I don't know if I will ever go back to school and earn an advanced degree, but in the meantime, I need to work and support myself and have chosen this field as one in which I would enjoy working."
Question 93: What extracurricular activities did you participate in?
You want to come across as a well-rounded student, but not a party animal. Don't answer this question by saying you participated in numerous fraternity events. Instead, focus on extracurricular activities that had something to do with your major: "I participating in the Student Accounting Association. We met weekly, studied together, discussed accounting problems, held fund raising events and socialized. I was also a member of the University Student Computer Association. This year we won a region-wide contest in computer programming beating out 53 other university computer associations by creating a program that . . . . "