Job Interview Answer: Why Did You Choose Your Major?

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During an interview for an entry-level job or an internship-type position, you might be asked to explain why you chose your college major.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. However, you should be sure to give a well-rounded answer. Use this opportunity to mention some skills that relate to your chosen major, but would also be relevant in the workplace.

Read below for more tips on answering this interview question, as well as sample answers.

Tips for Answering “Why Did You Choose Your Major?”

Before an interview, it is a good idea to prepare an answer to this common question. Write down a list of skills and experiences you gained through your major. Then, look back at the job listing. Circle any of your skills and experiences that relate to the requirements of the job.

If you're having trouble thinking of skills and experiences you gained through your major, think back to assignments and projects from previous classes. Consider the skills you developed working on those projects. Also look back at course syllabi, which often include a list of "course goals" that might include particular skills. Finally, look at your college's website for your major. Often, the website will include a page on why that major is useful for students.

When answering this question in an interview, focus on the skills and experiences you gained from the major that are most related to the job.

Even if your major is not directly related to the job, you can likely find connections between the two. For example, if you majored in English but are applying for a job as a paralegal, you might emphasize how you value the critical thinking skills you developed in the major, and emphasize that these will be useful when conducting research at a law office.

If your major doesn't connect to the job you're applying for at all, this is also a chance to explain other ways you have developed skills that will fulfill the role you're applying for. For example, perhaps you were a theater major who is applying for a job in computer programming. You might explain that you took a number of online and extracurricular classes on programming to develop the skills needed for the job.

For help finding a relationship between a job and your major, here is a list of college skills you can use to connect your education with the skills required for the job.

However, keep in mind that while it is important to connect your major to the job, you also want to be honest. An employer will be able to tell easily if you are being insincere. Therefore, give an honest answer, but always tie that answer back to the job you’re applying for.

Sample Answers to "Why Did You Choose Your Major?"

Below are sample interview answers that you can edit to fit your personal experiences and background.

  • I chose to be a nutritionist because I have always felt poor eating habits came from poor knowledge. I wanted to help people get healthy by teaching them about food, not telling them what they can and cannot eat. As an exercise science/nutrition major, I became an expert on getting and staying healthy and I cannot wait to work with clients. I'm looking forward to putting my excellent interpersonal skills and communication abilities to work in addition to all that I've learned from my courses.
  • I decided to get my degree in elementary education because teaching was something that has always come naturally to me. I have always enjoyed spending time with children and when I am in the classroom I do not feel like I am working because I love being there! I feel my effective listening and patience really help me connect with kids.
  • Being a writer is something I always dreamed of doing. However, I did not know exactly what type of writing I wanted to do and how I was going to make it my career. When I was deciding on where to focus my studies in college, I choose to follow the professional writing degree program. I knew from the very first intro class that it was the major for me. I have graduated with such a vast range of experience and knowledge. I feel just as comfortable writing for a newspaper as I do writing a speech for a politician, and I have had experience in both, thanks to my major.

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