Tough Interview Question - Who were your favorite professors? Why?

Who were your favorite professors? Why?

Similar interview questions:
What were your favorite classes in college?
What was the most important thing you learned in college?
Were there people who influenced your understanding of the _____ field?
Who were important people in influencing your life to date?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The question centers on your interests, so the interviewer is trying to find out if your interests align with the needs of the role.

The best approach to answering this question:
Focus on a professor whom you admired in the specific field for which you are interviewing. This is not a time to go back to some of the general ed classes, stick with the classes in your major and, ideally, a professor who challenged you and brought you to the next level.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"One professor in particular was the one I had in my senior capstone course. She was the one who helped me to fully understand real world situations. It was during this course that I learned how to apply the general theory of our field into practical work situations…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"I’ve had several outstanding professors, yet one of my favorites is one with whom I am now enrolled in my second class. He’s a tough professor and challenges the students. Not everyone likes him due to his tough grading. But I can say that I’ve learned the most from him because of how he ties the classroom material into real life work examples…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Probably freshman year when I took Geology 101. I didn’t realize when I enrolled in the class, I actually wanted to take Biology or Chemistry or Physics, but they were already full because I just procrastinated on signing up for my classes. So when I got to the class, I was really happy to find out that the nickname was Rocks for Jocks, since lots of the athletes signed up for the class, it was so easy. Probably the easiest class I have had in college, still remember the professor to this day…"


Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!


Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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