Why Did You Choose This Career?

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: January 06, 2023
Why Did You Choose This Career

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When an interviewer pulls out the “Why did you choose this career?” question, there are a million different answers you could provide. Similar interview questions include “What made you decide on this profession?” or “What inspired you to go into this line of work?” Each of these phrasings asks you to discuss your background and motivation for selecting the career path you have. You might incorporate your proclivities, education, personal experiences or a combination of all into your answer.

To best answer this question you should decide how much information you want to share with your interviewer. You could give examples from your childhood that reveal an early interest in the field, or you could simply state that you discovered the interest in your studies. Ultimately you should communicate that your motivation has compelled you to acutely develop the skills necessary for the field. It should also show that you are passionate about the field and touch on what skills and abilities you can bring to it.

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How to Answer the “Why Did You Choose This Career?” Question

1. Reveal Your Passion

Interview questions such as “Why should we hire you for this position? and “Why did you choose this career?” give you the opportunity to show an interviewer just how excited you are about the prospect of the job. Enthusiasm is contagious and this is the right place to show it. Delve into all the aspects of the career that truly excite you and explain why they are meaningful to you.

You should balance your passion with details about how you developed experience and skills in the field too, to show that you’ve taken action to apply your enthusiasm in a constructive way. You might, for example, share that your passion for teaching is inspired by helping kids learn, and you have acted on this by continuing your development as an educator.

Reveal Passion

2. Demonstrate the Role of Your Skills in Your Choice

You were likely drawn to your career by a combination of passion and skills. Many doctors showed an early inclination towards science, for example, so remember to keep your abilities as the focus of the conversation. You can accomplish this by citing your skills as your motivation for pursuing the field you are in.

Discuss how your abilities pointed you in this direction and provided a path to the position you are applying for. You can expound upon this point by detailing how your prior experience in the field has further developed your skills and prepared you for the job. This answers the question while reminding the recruiter of the importance of your abilities.

Demonstrate Skills

3. Incorporate Relevant Anecdotes

Anecdotes are a great tool to use in interviews. You can incorporate them into your answers and infuse the conversation with some humor while answering the question vividly. “Why did you choose this career?” is one of many interview questions that can be answered well through the telling of a personal story. You can talk with a recruiter about the events that led to your pursuit of this field through a story from childhood or more recent years. For instance, if, like many people, you discovered your passion for a career in college, you might recount the exact moment when you realized this and its importance in your life today.

Incorporate Anecdotes

Sample “Why Did You Choose This Career?” Interview Answers

1. I noticed that the job posting lists programming capabilities and the ability to write code as two essential job functions. I was drawn to this career because I shows a proclivity for those skills from a young age. I enjoyed math and science, so when I began using a computer I naturally became interested in learning how it worked. I developed basic computer skills and I yearned to learn more, so I focused on code programming in college. As I further developed my abilities, I decided to pursue a career in the field. I’m now looking for a job where I can apply the programming skills I already have and develop new ones- too. I chose this career because I love working with computers, so I want to continue improving my abilities in doing so.

2. I studied a variety of subjects in college when I first began, and I was not sure what I wanted to do until I took a course in writing. The class introduced me to concepts such as creative nonfiction and technical writing. I enjoyed these and immediately recognized both my passion and proclivity for communicating through the written word. I decided to continue this course of study and develop my skills to the greatest extent I could, and after graduation, I naturally chose to continue this path. I decided to pursue a career in this field because I enjoy writing and utilizing my communication skills. I hope to obtain a job where I can continue doing so and continue stretching my writing skills to new heights, too.

Similar Career Questions

1. Why did you choose to be an engineer? According to the BLS, engineering is projected to create an additional 140,00 jobs with a median annual of $91,000. With such strong career projects, engineering is an exciting sector to join. Additional reasons to become an engineer include:

  • Creation and innovation
  • Widely applicable skills
  • Exciting career opportunities
  • Variety of engineering specialties (e.g. aerospace, technology, biomedical, energy)

2. Why is nursing a great career to get into? The nursing track is estimated to grow 15% from now until 2026. With such promising growth in the industry, there are several reasons to join this medical career.

  • Current nurse shortage
  • Strong personal satisfaction
  • Flexible schedule
  • High salaries
  • Career growth
  • Ability to work in any city
  • Variety of nursing specialties (e.g. cardiovascular, e.r., clinical)

3. What are your salary expectations? Negotiating salary can be tricky, especially when you don’t know what the average base salary is. Since salary ranges from area to area and from specialty, you need to research the average pay scale to determine your salary. You can use the following tools:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics:Find industry information on average pay, education requirements, and state of the sector.
  • Glassdoor: Learn what professionals in your area earn on average.
  • BLS Wage Data: Overview of BLS wage data by area and occupation

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