Tuesday, 21 October 2014

What additional knowledge other than academic knowledge have you learned?

This is one of the most anticipate question in the list of questions asked in interviews. This question has following:

Possible Intention:

  • To know if you are aware and care about other aspects like soft skills required for a job.
  • To know if you take initiative and learn something additional other than what is mandatory or easily available.


  • People always like somebody who takes initiative and has a positive outlook and is keen to learn.
  • While responding, substantiate what you learn with examples.
  • This is an opportunity for you to push forward any of your achievements in extracurricular activities, sports. social work etc. Demonstrate your strength.
  • Small and simple things like time planning during exam preparation, discipline for project, punctuality etc are good enough.

Example Answer:

Other than academics I acquired and implemented many skills like time management, planning activities for project, and working as team member. I was reserved initially; however i have become more outspoken now and do not hesitate to make new friends. While presenting a technical paper, learned how to put a new concept or knowledge concisely. I have also participated in sports competitions for which regular preparation, practice and discipline is important.

Anti Pattern:

  • Never say that you did not learn anything extra excepts academics. This can not be true; you may not be aware of it.
  • Do not use big words like management, interpersonal skills, etc. That may sound like a rehearsed answer and not spontaneous or true.
  • A list of things you learned without any evidence or example would fail to create the desire impact.

Interviewer's Interpretation:

  • You are open to learning only from academics but from the environment.
  • You are good observer.

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