How to Explain a Bad GPA in an Interview

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    • 1). Explain any extenuating circumstances that prevented you from concentrating fully on your school work. Examples of such circumstances include being forced to pick up a job in order to pay for your tuition bills, becoming emotionally distraught over the death of a friend or family member and having a child.

    • 2). Inform the interviewer your own faults that brought about your low GPA, but in a way that makes it appear that you were trying too hard. Do not touch on faults that make you seem immature and childish. For example, you could explain that you took too many credit hours, preventing you from dedicating the needed amount of time to each course. However, it's best to avoid explaining that your low GPA is the result of too much partying, even if it's true.

    • 3). Highlight other areas of school that you excelled at. For example, if you lead an honors fraternity and increased membership by 50 percent during your tenure, you can use that information to deflect a bit of attention away from your GPA. Focus on your strong points.

    • 4). Talk about courses that you received good grades in and then explain why you didn't do as well in others. For example, if you're interviewing for a job in accounting, and you received As and Bs in your accounting classes, you could explain that you were interested in the class, understood the material and your instructor conveyed the material in a way that was easy to understand. If you also chose to study physics for one semester and received a D, you could tell the interviewer that you didn't grasp the material as easily and that you were forced to devote more time to classes that directly related to your career choice.

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