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The Interview Question Nearly Every College Student Fails

Here is the one question that nearly every college student fails to answer properly (and will continue to send students to their interview ruin):

"Why did you choose to attend this college?"

You may have spent the last several years knocking the college—the professors, the administration, the dorms, the food in the dining halls, whatever—and now you are suddenly required to defend your decision to attend there. And if you have not thought of the answer before the interview, you definitely will not come up with a valid one on the spot.

So think about it in advance. What is the real reason you are attending your college? Is it because of the academic program? Is it because of extracurricular programs? Athletics? Close to home? Party school? Everyone else turned you down?

Once you acknowledge your true reason for attending, you will need to develop your response with some perspective—tie in what it is about your college that makes it worthwhile from the view of the employer. Your response should emphasize what it is about the school that makes it an attractive academic training ground for this employer. You need to talk about your college as the ideal learning and development facility for becoming a _____ with that company.

You might find it best to give a "process answer" such as:

"I originally decided to attend State U. because of its strong general academic reputation and its close proximity to my home, which gave me the opportunity to continue working at my part-time job. During the years I have spent here, I have come to more fully appreciate the depth and breadth of the _____ curriculum. The professors are truly world class and challenge me to take my industry understanding to the next level. My education has given me an excellent foundation for becoming an immediate contributor in the _____ field."

Lay on the superlatives, yet don't get mushy. You will eventually come to fully appreciate your time at college later in life, but for now, a few well-chosen words about why it is number one for you in your career preparation will suffice.

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