Why Employers Ask About Your College Major
Framing the Question
When job seekers interview for positions requiring college degrees, questions about education inevitably tend to arise. Specifically, interviewers regularly use the question, “Why did you choose your major?” to foster meaningful conversations about the academic backgrounds of applicants. In addition to bringing the topic of education to the forefront of discussion, the common interview question indirectly reveals whether potential employees possess certain skills and abilities demanded by most jobs. Candidates need to understand the underlying purposes for asking the question in order to respond with the strongest answer possible.
What Interviewers Want to See
Interviewers who ask why an applicant chose a particular major not only want to know the reason for selecting the specific field of study but also the steps taken to arrive at the decision. In addition to academic background, the question deals with the planning skills and goal-setting abilities of job seekers. Employers want to see evidence of thoughtful planning in terms of making important decisions, such as choosing a college major. Interviewees therefore need to describe the decision-making process in a way that shows careful consideration of all available options. The most effective responses usually establish a clear connection between the chosen major and the long-term career goals of candidates.
Improving the Response
To increase the quality of the answer even more, job seekers need to explain how the selected major relates to personal career goals and the needs of employers. In other words, clearly describe the specific ways in which the chosen field of study provided the skills and knowledge necessary for excelling at the job. Above all, keep the answer focused and positive. Even if the selected major represents a second or third choice rather than the preferred option, the response should still convey a positive tone demonstrating an acquired taste for the field of study and enthusiasm for the job opportunity.