Job Interview Question and Answer: “When Did You Decide to Pursue This Career?”
Why Employers Ask This Question
Employers ask, “At what point in life did you choose this profession?” to determine your level of interest in the job. Companies usually want to hire long-term workers. Describing why you decided to pursue a career path can show interviewers that you are passionate about the position and are likely to stick around.
Shaping Your Response to “At What Point in Life Did You Choose This Profession?”
When an interviewer asks, “When did you choose this line of work?” respond with a short anecdote about the experiences that led you to pursue that career. Your brief story should cover any experiences that helped you gain the necessary skills and demonstrate your enthusiasm for working in this position.
Answers to Avoid
There are certain topics you should steer clear from when a hiring manager asks, “Why did you choose this career?”:
- Leave out any mention of money when discussing your motivations. Focusing on the pay scale can make you seem more likely to quit the job if a higher-paying opportunity comes along.
- Avoid responses that suggest you stumbled on the job posting or someone else suggested it to you. Answers like these show a lack of passion and interest in the job and make it sound like you chose it out of convenience.
- When talking about what drew you to the role, try not to refer to any company-offered benefits like remote work opportunities, flexible scheduling, and favorable hours. It may lead the hiring manager to believe that you are more interested in the perks of the position than the work itself.
Here are a few examples of acceptable responses to the question, “At what point in your life did you choose this profession?” Use these samples to help you prepare an answer for your interview. Be sure to stick to personal details and experiences from your own life to craft an honest response.Sample Answer 1- Home health aide
“When I was young, my elderly grandmother came to live with my family. We all took turns spending time with her and helping her with her daily activities. Since then, I’ve always felt drawn to similar jobs that allow me to offer comfort and companionship while helping others. I’ve worked in a few hospitals and nursing homes over the years, and it always gives me a deep sense of satisfaction.”Sample Answer 2- Restaurant cook
“I always enjoyed cooking with my mom when I was a kid, but I decided to pursue a career as a cook during my first year of high school. I took a culinary arts class as an elective, and I enjoyed the creative aspects of working with food. My instructors liked the unique spin I put on my dishes, so I started looking for jobs that would help me improve my skills even more.”Sample Answer 3- Trainer at a pet store
“I’ve known I wanted to work with animals since I was six. My parents brought home a puppy for my brother and me, and I loved playing with her and teaching her new tricks. As I grew up, I would spend time pet-sitting for people in my neighborhood and volunteering at my local animal shelter. As a result, I’ve developed a lot of skills that help me connect and work with animals.”
Things to Remember When Asked, “At What Point Did You Choose This Profession?”
If an interviewer asks, “When did you decide to pursue this career?” make sure that your story shows your passion and enthusiasm for the field. Also, highlight any relevant experience you have with similar positions to let them know that you have the right skills for the job.