Prepare for the why you chose this career job interview question

“So tell me why you chose this career.”

The interviewer might just be putting you at ease, or they could genuinely be mystified. If you are changing career, expect the question and be ready for it.

Why on earth did Julia Roberts marry Lyle Lovett? There’s probably a wonderful reason, but that won’t stop you from wondering every time you think about it.

Why on earth did they hire you? And why did you ever pick this field? The interviewer is meeting you in person for the first time and they really want to know that other people in the company won’t have the same mystified look. Part of your agenda in the job interview is to help them stop worrying.

“Why You Chose This Career” is more than a conversation starter

Ideally, your answer reassures the interviewer, leads to a very lovely bit of conversation

Why You Chose this career

Why Did You Choose This career?

between you and sets you at ease. But if you don’t handle it very well, neither of you is at ease.

If the question seems to catch you off guard, that’s not a good sign. After all, they expect an applicant in the middle of a career change to welcome the question. If you are enthusiastic about your answer, maybe it was your own decision.

Simply, if you can’t give a 45 to 60 second answer that makes some sense and demonstrates some enthusiasm for why you chose this career, you have raised the Lyle Lovett worry.

When you aren’t ready for the question, you might just blurt out the truth!

5 answers that are very possibly true but don’t help your case.

  1. My mother wouldn’t pay for it if I didn’t become a journalist.
  2. My sister-in-law told me there were lots of jobs.
  3. When I applied at college the only program with space left was fashion design.
  4. It pays more than anything I have ever done.
  5. My favorite aunt/uncle/father was an accountant they always drove nice cars.

Better answers help the interviewer visualize you as a great fit. When you have accomplished that, the tone of any job interview changes for the better.

Better Answers Help the Interviewer:

  1. To see that you know yourself and the real-world job requirements.
  2. To visualize you as already having been in the job for years.
  3. See how thoroughly you have researched the field.

Make sure you can back up what you’ve said on the resume or in the job interview. And vagueness will guarantee follow-up questions. If you say “It’s a better fit for my skills”, they will ask “exactly what skills might that be?”

What if your Mommy really did make you choose Accounting?

Then take some time to work out a good reason for being excited about the work – because doing so will help you to maintain a positive attitude when you discover that entry level duties aren’t exactly what you dreamed about. Finding out what someone else likes about being an accountant can help you visualize those exciting days ahead!

In summary, start today to get ready for the next interview. Even if you don’t expect to need to be interviewed, take a few hours now and then to review the kinds of questions interviewers ask and sort out the answers you would provide.

Take a look at a more recent post on transitioning to a second career. You’ll find that there are significant risks to a hasty decision without adequate research.

This is just one of many job interview questions that could upset your chances of landing your dream job.

I’ve listed 50 typical questions that your can expect on this Slideshare Presentation

I’ve just started adding posts that address each of those 50 questions. beginning with what is often the first question you are asked, Tell Me About Yourself. To make sure you don’t miss any, why not subscribe today?

3 thoughts on “Prepare for the why you chose this career job interview question

  1. Isaac

    I think avoiding more than one question when told to ask has worked best for me, you never know which question would offend the employer so its better to keep them few

  2. Pingback: Article aggregate 9-17-13 | David Hunt, PE

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