Does your Resume pass the 10-second test?

Classic Interview Questions and Answers

In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?

Alternative and related questions:

Why did you choose to study x at university and how do you feel it is relevant to this job?
What did you learn at university that will help you to undertake this job?

The meaning behind the question:

Completing a degree course is a significant undertaking. In asking this question the interviewer is trying to appreciate what your degree course involved and how the skills and experience gained during your time at university will be of use in the job for which you are now applying.

Your answer:

The way you answer this question will depend on your circumstances – and there are two main possibilities.

If your degree is directly relevant to the work you are now doing – for example if you’re a doctor – then this question is reasonably straightforward to answer. You just need to pick a few key aspects of your degree course which you have found to be particularly useful to you in your working life. Describe these briefly and demonstrate the bearing they have on your suitability for the role for which you are applying.

If, however, your degree was in Criminology and you are now working as a Finance Assistant then talking about the module on ‘Criminal Justice in Modern Britain’ is obviously going to be completely irrelevant! Instead, in such cases, you should be concentrating on:

  • What transferable skills and abilities you developed during your degree course
  • How these skills and abilities relate to your current line of work
  • How the experience of completing a degree course has helped you develop as an individual

Many employers are sceptical as to the real-world value of some degree courses. There is a common perception that graduates lack initiative – and the ability to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical purposes. Make sure you dispel any doubts the interviewer may have in this respect.


While my degree in Geography is of course not directly relevant to my current role as a Market Researcher, it was nevertheless a very worthwhile experience in many different ways. I developed a broad set of transferable skills, including how to compile, interpret and analyze data – skills I now apply on a daily basis. I also undertook a number of team projects, working together to achieve a goal, including writing up the results of our findings – and how best to structure and communicate our arguments. Undertaking a degree course was of course a major personal challenge and I definitely matured significantly during my time at university – learning how to plan and organize my own workload so as to meet all my deadlines.  I feel it has definitely helped to prepare me for my current career.

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The Interview Question and Answer Book

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More classic interview questions and answers


How would you describe yourself? / How would your boss/colleagues/team/family/friends describe you?

In what ways are you a team player?

Do you work well on your own initiative?

What techniques do you use to get things done?

What motivates you?

Are you proactive?

Are you creative?

Are you a risk-taker?

How do you handle pressure and stress?

Can you tell me about a time when you have failed to achieve a goal?

What's the worst mistake you've made at work and how did you deal with it?

How would you handle the following situation?

Can you tell me about a major project you have successfully completed?

Can you tell me about a major problem at work that you've had to deal with?

We have a problem with x. How would you resolve that?

What do you do when you disagree with your line manager?

How would you describe yourself as a manager?

Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?

What is your customer service philosophy?

How did you get your last job?

What does your current job involve on a day-to-day basis?

What contribution do you make to the department in which you work?

What changes have you made to your current job role since you started?

What have you learned in your last job?

Can you tell me about your last appraisal?

How would you describe your current boss?

Why did you leave that job?

Which of your jobs was the best?

Why is there a gap in your resume/CV?

What do you know about us as an organization?

What do you know about our products/services?

What do you think are our organization's greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

What do you know about the vacancy for which you are applying?

How do your skills and experience match the job description/person specification?

What appeals to you most about this vacancy?

Why have you chosen this line of work?

Are there any other organizations to which you are applying?

How does this job compare to others for which you are applying?

Can you describe your ideal employer to me?

What sort of person would you most like to work for?

In what ways is your degree relevant to the work you are now doing?

What have you learned and how have you developed over the last year/five years?

What sports are you/have you been involved in?

Do you know what the current headline news is?

How quickly can you adapt to a new work environment?

Would it be a problem if we asked you to work overtime/evenings/weekends?

What is your current salary package?

What salary package are you expecting for this role?

When would you be available to start?

Do you mind if we contact your current employer for a reference?