Describe Your Most Personally Rewarding College Experience

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When you are applying for an entry-level position, a typical job interview question is "Describe your most rewarding college experience." It's hard to answer that question on the spot, so preparing an articulate and honest answer in advance is important and could set you ahead of the other applicants.

A great place to start preparing your answer is to find a sample interview answer you can edit to fit your personal experiences and background. Here are a few common college experiences you could use.

Volunteering as a Writing Tutor

During my senior year, I volunteered to be a tutor at my college's writing center. We offered free help to all students in every facet of writing. It was such a rewarding experience to see students who came to us stressed, anxious, or out of ideas leaving the center feeling relieved and, even better, more confident in themselves as writers.

Pre-Orientation "Outward Bound" Program

My most personally rewarding college experience occurred even before I arrived on campus as a freshman. Two weeks prior to orientation day, the college offered an "outward bound" program that first-year students could participate in. During those two weeks, I overcame fears, made lifelong friends, and gained the self-confidence I needed to start my college journey.

Being Academically Challenged Every Day 

Getting my diploma was my most rewarding college experience. I chose my college because it was a school that was going to give me a great education. I was challenged every day by my courses, and I worked very hard to earn my degree. I have never felt as proud as I did at my college graduation.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone and Exploring the World

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the fall semester of my junior year studying abroad in Paris. As someone who has always wanted to see more of the world but who also struggled with foreign languages, not only surviving but thriving in another country and language for four months showed me that I am capable of more than I had ever dreamed and that I can rise to challenges. As a result of that experience, I now make a point of stretching beyond my comfort zone on a regular basis, which has led to many more incredible experiences.

Joining a Sports Team

As someone who was not very athletic in high school, I didn't expect to be part of a sports team in college. However, my freshman year roommate encouraged me to join him at trials for the badminton team, and to my surprise, I made it. Being a part of a sports team for the first time not only taught me to value my physical health and well-being, prioritizing sleep and my diet for the first time in my life, but also reinforced everything I knew about teamwork and the importance of each person in the group.


Learn the Corporate Values of the Firm 

Find out the corporate values of the firm where you are interviewing, and use your answer to demonstrate that you embody those exact values. 

Keep in mind that while this is a hard question to answer on the spot, it is not the only one your interviewer will ask and that it's wise to prepare answers for all the most commonly asked interview questions. ​Being prepared for your interview will show the company that you are willing to do the work necessary to succeed and will help you land a great first job after college.