Interviews can most certainly be daunting. It's hard to know exactly what they'll ask, but it's important to be prepared regarding the basics. There are certain questions that are commonly asked, and the major you chose tends to be a classic example.
Your educational background is highly significant in the workforce. Your major may relate to the career you're pursuing, or it may be fairly unrelated. The fact is, you picked your major for a reason. Your thought process behind your choice can be highly interesting to potential employers.
So, how do you answer, “Why did you pick your major?” For the following examples, we will pretend that we're in an interview for an entry level dietitian position. You may take these ideas, and then transfer them to your specific scenario.
1. Explain how your major ties into your prospective job position (even if they seem unrelated, make a connection)
You want to explain how your major will benefit your career choice.
Your answer: I originally chose my major in psychology, as I am fascinated with the human mind. I learnt a lot about our behaviours, and have a thorough understanding of brain chemistry. Although my background is in mental health, it is not independent of nutrition and diet. What we eat drastically affects our mood, energy levels, and overall health. I have taken numerous nutrition, chemistry, biology, and anatomy courses. My major exposed me to many related aspects of healthy diet choices. After I graduated, I took a college nutrition course. This allowed me to target areas that were not touched on in my University courses.
2. The interviewer will be interested to see how effectively you plan for your future, based on the major you chose
This will show that you think through your options before taking action. How did you decide on your career choice? How does this tie into your major?
Your answer: Before I choose my major, I researched my options. I looked into the obvious factors; salary, development, and demand. Dietitians are becoming increasingly popular, and highly needed. There's various ailments that are not going anywhere, anytime soon. These people will need help making changes to their diet and lifestyle. Job security is important to me, and I noticed that the demand is growing for dietitians.
My background in psychology and neuroscience exposed me to the basics of nutrition. I have a thorough understanding of the mind and body, which will allow me to excel as a dietitian.
3. Focus on your strengths
This is your chance to highlight your strengths, and how your major prepared you for your future plans.
Your answer: In terms of my psychology major, I have always related well to people. My friends have always confided in me, trusting the advice I provide to them. I have strong people skills, allowing me to connect with others. I have the knowledge in terms of a balanced diet, but my major has provided me with excellent communication skills. This will be a plus in terms of making patients feel comfortable.
4. Mention the future, and what you can add to the company
What have you learned from your major? How can you apply this your current situation, as well as the future?
Your answer: I have learned so much from my major, and am able to apply my knowledge to the real world. I took a specific interest in nutrition and mental health. I have worked with many professionals, including dietitians. I collaborated with a dietitian in order to provide information to pregnant women regarding food, and their mood. This allows me to work with patients who are suffering at a neurological level. For instance, it is important to work with autistic children. There are so many mental health disorders that can be improved through a nutrient-rich diet. I would love to provide my passion and unique knowledge with you.
5. Be enthusiastic
You do not want your interviewer to think you chose your major because your first two options weren't available. Be positive, showing your enthusiasm. Let them know you're excited to be where you are.
Your answer: I was thrilled to find an occupation that I would excel in. My major provided me with a career path that will help others. My interests and strengths match this position perfectly, and I am highly optimistic about the future.
As long as you're confident in your answers, you will breeze through this common question. It's all about preparation, hit all the crucial points. If you have an upcoming interview, focus on the above tips. This will allow you to effectively plan your answer. Use your major to your advantage. Let your past decisions and accomplishments shine through. Once you nail your interview, you'll be on your way to a successful career path.
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