A woman used job interview tips about how to discuss education.

How to Explain Your Education Level in an Interview

Interviewing for a new job can be stressful. Not only do you have to compete with other applicants, you also have to answer some uncomfortable questions. For many, one of these questions is about the amount of education they’ve received thus far.

Whether you never went to college, you didn’t graduate yet, or you have a degree that doesn’t directly relate to the position you’re applying for, there are ways you can discuss your education and experience while still remaining a qualified contender.

7 tips for discussing your education:

Be specific.

Since your education is most likely outlined in your resume, the person interviewing you needs more information about it. They want to hear things like how you graduated early, if you were in the top of your class, were able to balance work and school at the same time, managed to find a solution to a problem, etc. Most people have some level of education to discuss, so make yours stand out.

Call out specific courses that relate to the position.

Let’s say you’re applying for a marketing position but you have a degree in English. It may look like they don’t directly relate, but this is where you call out courses that do relate to the position you’re interviewing for. For example, perhaps you took an editing class. This is a benefit since you’ll be able to edit press releases, blogs, marketing campaigns, and other materials that need to be perfectly edited.

Mention any additional training.

Your education level isn’t simply about degrees and courses from an accredited college or university. This also includes any training, conferences you attended, or seminars, whether you took one online or in person. Take note of any kind of additional training, and mention the most relative ones in the interview.

Always be honest.

If you’ve been called in for an interview, you’ve most likely been researched. This potential employer probably looked at your LinkedIn, social media profiles, website, or blog. Because of this, never lie in an interview. They might already know the answer, but they will probably still ask you to confirm. And if you don’t have your degree, don’t be ashamed. Your life experience and other education could make up for it.

Talk about your future education goals.

If you’re interested in continuing your education or finishing a degree you once started, discuss these plans in your interview. Employers enjoy knowing that potential employees want to better themselves. Just ensure them that your work won’t be sacrificed because of it. A way you can do this is by telling them you’ll be taking online college courses.

Let the positives outweigh the negatives.

If you don’t have your degree, don’t emphasize it in a negative way. Mention that although you haven’t graduated yet, it’s because of how dedicated you’ve been to your career. If you will be earning a degree soon, talk about that. Discuss your experience, knowledge, passion, and education, and reflect why you’re still a great candidate even if you don’t have a completed degree.

Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

You’ve made it to the interview for a reason, so be confident in knowing that they saw something in you. Show pride in what you’ve completed in your career so far, and get excited for the possibility of a new career.

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