Tough Interview Question - Why did you choose to attend your college?

Why did you choose to attend your college?

Similar interview questions:
Why (__college name___)?
Why did you choose your college over other colleges?
What was it about your university that caused you to select it over others?
If you had to do it over, would you select (__college name__) again?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
Before you interview, you are already being evaluated based on the college you are attending. Some students make their college selection in a very systematic way, while others select the college they attend rather haphazardly. The interviewer is seeking to find out your reasoning for attending your college and might also use it as a setup question to drill into further questioning about whether you made the right choice, now that you are several years removed from that initial decision.

The best approach to answering this question:
Walk the interviewer through your decision making process and do your best to highlight the key reasons that made your college or university the best selection for you, not only personally, but also to prepare you to become the best _____ for the position you are interviewing. You want to be able to answer in such a way to show that you made the right decision.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"I started reviewing colleges and universities during my sophomore and junior year of high school, including several campus visits. I ended up applying to five different colleges and _____ was my top choice due to the _____ program, which is ranked as one of the best in the country…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"My selection criteria was very specific and I did my research in advance of applying to different schools. I was looking for a smaller school with a higher professor to student ratio. And I was looking for a school that is world class in the _____ field. I found both in _____ and it was my first choice among the schools to which I applied…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, I applied to several universities, but I got turned down at all of the others, so _____ was the only one that accepted me. So that made the decision an easy one for me."

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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