Why Did You Choose Your Major?


Job Interview Question & Answer: What Made You Choose Your College Major?

Why Employers Ask About Your Major

If you apply for a position that requires a college degree, questions about your education will likely come up. Hiring managers ask, “Why did you choose your major?” to foster meaningful conversation about an applicant’s academic background. This question helps employers understand whether candidates have certain skills, abilities, and knowledge that the job requires.

How You Should Answer

Employers want to know more than just what college major you chose. Tell them about what or who inspired you to follow that path. Show potential employers how thoughtful you were in making your decision about your education. Make a clear connection between the major you chose and your long-term career goals.

What Not to Say

Your major may not relate directly to the job where you applied. If this is the case, avoid providing reasons that don’t connect to the position. Think outside of the box and try to connect elements of your education to the company. Don’t be dishonest about your studies either, because managers can always tell.

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

When discussing your major in a job interview, focus on the skills and experience you gained from your education. You can also mention any minors or additional training or certifications you have. When considering why you chose your major, here are some ideas to help you develop a response:

  • Think back to previous projects or assignments and what skills or experience you developed from those.
  • Look back at your university’s webpage for inspiration and read about your major or field of study.
  • Consider extracurricular classes you took and how those helped you receive a well-rounded education.
  • Think of personal motivators such as friends, family, coworkers, teammates, teachers, or loved ones who inspired you.

Sample Responses to “What Made You Choose Your Major?”

Reviewing examples of how to answer this interview question can help you create and practice your response. Here are a few sample replies for different job interview scenarios:

Sample Answer 1 – Branch manager at a bank

“For me, a lot of things didn’t click in high school. I didn’t enjoy English or science, and I couldn’t draw in art class or play a musical instrument. Numbers, however, I understood. Math always made sense to me. So, I decided to study accounting when I went to college. I discovered that math had so much more meaning than numbers.”

Sample Answer 2 – Front desk agent at a hotel

“To me, a hotel is like a home away from home. I love traveling and think that people should do it often. In my experience, where I choose to stay when I travel can make or break a trip. I majored in hospitality because I wanted to help make a difference in the journeys of other travelers by ensuring they always have a comfortable stay.”

Make a Connection

When preparing your response to this question, always highlight your skills and abilities. Show the employer how your education helped prepare you for this line of work and that you have a clear understanding of the field. With your applicable skills and genuine knowledge, employers will see you as a good fit for the job.

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