Job Interview Question: What College Subjects Did You Like Best?

College student in class

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When you are applying for an entry-level position, a typical job interview question is "What college subjects did you like best, and why?”

An employer might ask this for a number of reasons. This question allows them to get a sense of what you are passionate about. It can also demonstrate what skills you have developed in school that might apply to the job at hand.

When answering this question, you want to be honest, but also keep the job in mind. When answered thoughtfully, your answer to this question can demonstrate how your interests, skills, and past achievements make you a strong fit for the position.

How to Answer Questions About College Subjects

Be Honest 

First and foremost, you don’t want to lie. Be honest about what you were interested in as a college student. Even if the subject you loved is not directly related to the job, you can still mention it.

Be Positive

While you should be honest, you also want to stay positive. Answers like “I wasn’t that interested in any subjects” will make you seem like someone without interests, and without drive. Use this question as a chance to show what you are passionate about and how it aligns with the job. Oftentimes, classes and positive experiences in your targeted field of study will be catalysts for the career path you are taking so this question provides a great opportunity for positive discussion.

Keep the Job Requirements in Mind

Think of ways you can connect your experiences in a school subject to the skills required for the job. Sometimes this will be very obvious. For example, if you are applying for a job as an accountant, and your favorite subject was math, you can explain how your interest and skills in math have prepared you for the job. Sometimes, the connections are subtler. For example, if you are applying for a job as a paralegal, and your favorite subject was English, you can emphasize how you developed strong written and oral communication skills in English.

Mention Related Achievements

When possible, mention any awards or achievements related to your favorite subjects. For example, if you won an award in the subject, or took advanced classes, mention these successes. It is a great chance to provide more examples of why you are an outstanding candidate.

Sample Answers

Here are sample interview answers that you can edit to fit your personal experiences and background:

  • My favorite classes in college were those in the hard sciences. In particular, I thrived in my chemistry and organic chemistry classes. I loved the process of discovery in the laboratory. In fact, I served as a lab assistant for a year, helping freshman who were struggling with their chemistry lab assignments. This interest in lab work and scientific exploration is a big reason why I am passionate about a career in pharmaceuticals.
  • I loved my music and art classes in school. I knew nothing about music or art when entering college, but when I took my first class, I fell in love. These courses acted as an escape from the strenuous world of academia. They also allowed me to express myself creatively, which I never knew I could do. I think my passion for these kinds of classes will serve me well in the field of marketing, which requires this kind of creative thinking.
  • My English courses are most interesting and beneficial to me. I love creative and nonfiction writing. Whether I am writing a creative narrative, biographical piece, or poetry, I love to write. The skills I have developed in my English classes have been extremely beneficial in my other coursework, and I have developed tremendously as a writer. I have even published poetry in my college’s literary magazine and served as an assistant editor of the magazine for the past two years.