1. Why do recruiters ask "Why did you choose this career?"
  2. Best ways to answer "Why did you choose this career?" (with samples)
  3. What not to say while answering "Why did you choose this career?"

When interviewing for a job, you are bound to come across “Why did you choose this career?” amidst your frequently asked HR interview questions.

It may seem easy to answer this basic interview question, but if not tread with caution can make or break the deal.

If you are looking for the best ways to answer “Why did you choose this career?”, then you have arrived at the right blog!

Let’s begin!

Why do recruiters ask "Why did you choose this career?"

To begin with, recruiters always want to hire a candidate who will be sticking around for a longer time.

So, most of the HR interview questions asked to help them understand the interests of the candidates.

Similarly, recruiters ask basic interview questions like “Why did you choose this career?” to understand if a candidate is genuinely interested in their field.

If a person is not interested or passionate about their career choice, he/she will get easily bored and switch at the slightest of challenges they face.

Therefore, this basic interview question holds a great deal of importance, and striking the right chords can make or break the deal.

Best ways to answer "Why did you choose this career?" (with samples)

Now that it is clear as to why recruiters ask this HR interview question, here are a few best ways you can answer “Why did you choose this career?”

Someone from your family or acquaintance encouraged you

More often than not our career choices are inspired by family members or close family friends.

So, you can talk about how you were inspired and encouraged by that person to pursue this career path.

The primary key to answering an HR interview question like “Why did you choose this career?” is to sound enthusiastic and passionate.

A possible answer to this basic interview question can be:

“Since my childhood, I have been close to my maternal uncle who is a journalist.

His take on matters of politics and world affairs used to leave me in awe and we used to sit down for hours at an end and talk about the same.

It was from there that I developed a keen interest in a career in journalism and when the time came my uncle guided me to help me make a decision.

A summer internship at a journalist house sealed the deal and I knew this was the path I wanted to take.”

You developed an interest over time

We all are encouraged to pick up extracurricular activities as children to help in our overall development.

Some of us find our calling early while for others it takes time to develop an interest in a particular thing.

So, if you are someone who realized his passion for your field over time, confidence is the key to answering the HR interview question "Why did you choose this career?”

Here’s how you can answer this basic interview question.

“Although I have been involved in inter-school competitions for literature and writing, I developed a deeper interest for it much later in school life.

It was from that point onwards that I did not look back and knew I wanted to get into content.

With time I kept researching the current trends relevant in the field and started taking up online courses to stay abreast.

What interests me so much about content writing is every day we get to learn and write about something new and the fast-evolving space always encourages us to learn more about the field.”

The career path gives you satisfaction

There can be a constant tussle between the mind and heart, monetary benefits vs job satisfaction, etc.

But if looked into it, you will find that satisfaction is a must to keep going.

When answering “Why did you choose this career?” you can point out factors like growth prospects, job security, scope, etc to help make a valid explanation.

A possible answer to this HR interview question can be,

“I have always found a certain satisfaction in writing and knew I wanted to make a career in content.

What fascinates me is how fast the digital space is changing and the immense impact content has in growing a business.

I believe nowadays without proper digital marketing, growing a business can become a task.

The constant change and the opportunity to learn new aspects are really important for me and what better if I get to do it along with writing!”

You were inspired by a book or documentary

“A book is a man’s best friend.” This statement could not be any more true.

We have always gone to books and documentaries to look for inspiration at times of despair.

Life stories of our heroes have always inspired us to get up and get the job done with a fresh zeal.

But even then without passion and diligence nothing can inspire you.

So when you answer Hr interview questions like “Why did you choose this career?” make sure to point out how and why you were inspired by a certain book or a documentary.

You can answer this basic interview question in this manner.

“From a very early age, my parents had encouraged me to develop a habit of reading newspapers and follow news on television and photography.

With time I started reading books on various media journalism and came across this fantastic book called “How The Other Half Lives” by Jacob Riis. It was a book on photojournalism covering the struggling lives of the immigrants in America.

The book left me awestruck with the impact of images and it opened up new avenues of journalism to choose from.

My father has been an excellent photographer and I got his talent so soon in college I started taking part in photography and filmmaking contests.

By the end of my Graduation, I knew I wanted to pursue higher education in journalism especially photojournalism.

My father supported me immensely and here I am applying for a job in your esteemed organization for this post.”

Your teacher or mentor encouraged you

We all have at some point or another looked up to our teachers who leave a great impact on us.

Be it school or college, there will always be a teacher or professor who encourages you to develop more on a particular aspect to help you get better at it at every step.

This shows that your talent was worth noticing and therefore a great point to highlight when answering such basic interview questions.

Here’s how you can answer “Why did you choose this career?”

“English has always been my favorite subject. I used to love reading the entire textbook from cover to cover before even the session began.

Even the teachers noticed my interest and encouraged me to take part in inter-school competitions for writing.

I remember Prof A (name of the teacher) as she always used to help me sharpen my talent.

Her honest feedback although brutal, only helped me to keep on my toes to keep working harder every time.

I owe every piece that I have written ever to her, for without her encouragement I doubt I would have ever found my calling.”

Your reason for following the career path

We often choose our career from a personal aspect.

Some might choose a profession as inspiration from their parents or grandparents, as it helps them to remain close to their memories.

You can answer the HR interview question “Why did you choose this career?” like this.

“I have been close to my grandfather and the fondest memories I have of him are the stories of his site visits.

My grandfather was an instrumentation engineer for which he often had to go out on-site visits to the plantations.

He often used to share stories about the places he visited, the people he worked with, their culture, everything.

As we grew up a little he started sharing the serious details of the work he did.

He was my go-to person whenever I had to work on a science project and together we used to come up with great ideas.

Becoming an engineer helps me remain connected to my grandfather and our memories shared. Hence I chose this career path.”

What not to say while answering "Why did you choose this career?"

Well, it may seem that answering the HR interview question “Why did you choose this career?” is easy.

But here are a few things you should NEVER utter while answering this basic interview question.

Do not mention just the monetary aspect

Yes, money can be a factor worth admiring in a career path. But mentioning it to your recruiter is not the wisest decision.

Saying you’re in a career field just for the money will leave a poor impression and show your lack of interest.

Therefore, giving the recruiter the impression that you will show yourself out at the slightest sign of a challenge or a tempting offer of a bigger package.

Avoid sounding bored

Recruiters want to interview and choose a candidate who is passionate about what they do.

Without passion, there is a chance that you will get bored easily and will start looking for a switch.

Hence when you answer the HR interview question “Why did you choose this career?” make sure to sound enthusiastic and passionate about your career choice.

Do not sound clueless

Candidates who have a plan chalked out for their career are an absolute favorite for recruiters.

Instead, if you sound like you stumbled upon this career accidentally and have no idea about it whatsoever will leave a rather poor impression on the recruiter.

They will likely think that you are not interested in the position and have hardly any intention to learn about the post.

So, sound confident and always have a plan chalked out even if you are new to the field.

This will reassure the recruiter that you are serious about your career and have a keen interest in learning.

Avoid citing reasons like remote working or flexible work hours for choosing the career

Nowadays many organizations might have the option of allowing their employees to work from home or have flexible work hours.

As tempting as it might sound, citing these factors as a factor while answering “Why did you choose this career?” is a poor call.

This will lead the recruiter to think that you are lazy and that might just cost you the chance of bagging the job.

Keep these factors in mind and you will surely be able to answer the HR interview question like a pro.

Apart from preparing to answer basic interview questions, make sure to dress appropriately for the job.

All the best!

HR Interview Questions & Answers