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Does Your Academic Record Accurately Reflect Your Capabilities?
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Appearing for an interview is not a pleasant experience or feeling for everyone, especially for people who feel that their academic record is not up to the mark. But there can be circumstances where you might feel that you are prepared for the interview, but your academic record makes you feel anxious and nervous about the interview.

Many factors mark a successful interview. However, successful interviews don’t always make you land a position. There are many factors, both internal and external, that lead to positive results. The most crucial point that the interviewer may observe is your talent and capability during the interview process. But, how do you know that you are talented and capable of the position?

Does Your Academic Records Reflect Your Capabilities Accurately?

There are many ways among which the straightforward evidence can be your academic record. In many companies, a lot of weightage is given to where you have studied, what you specialise in, how far you have gone in your education, and much more. But the real question is, does your academic record accurately reflect your capabilities?

So if you are prepared for an interview but feel that your academic record is not up to the mark, this article is for you.

Does Your Academic Record Accurately Reflect Your Capabilities?

Grades are the measure of your performance in your school and college life. You might have competed with many students and struggled hard to achieve good grades. Everyone says that good grades get you to a better position in future. But when it comes to the time of the interview, grades are considered only while deciding the cutoff. It is a common point of disappointment to many candidates. However, it is not right to perceive that grades have nothing to do with the interview process. We still live in a world where interviewers and recruiters give a lot of importance to your grades and your academic capabilities.

However, when talking about if your academic record reflects your capabilities or not, this can certainly not be true as what marks you are getting cannot decide how you will do in your professional life. Moreover, a lot of times, we go in the exact opposite direction of our education. We might have studied a different branch, but we might be doing something opposite when it comes to doing a job. For example – a person might have studied engineering and does a job as a news anchor. In this case, his education and his field of work are totally different, then how can the academic record decide his capability?

Moreover, it has been proven that if a student does not do well in school or college, it is not necessary that he would not do good in his professional life. There might be scenarios where the recruiter could ask for a particular percentile, but it is not true that your academic record would reflect your professional capabilities.

Keeping aside the common belief that your education does not decide who you are, getting good grades do put you in a better position than those who have not; this is the harsh reality of life. However, many companies and recruiters are still just not bothered about the grades or your academic achievements; they primarily focus on you, your personality, and your achievements on the professional front.

Is Grades A Measure Of Ability?

Grades are the measure of learning, not the ability. The grades never determine the power of a candidate. However, a candidate with good grades is expected to have an ability that may or may not be met by them later. Grades are measures of learning and not intelligence. Therefore if the candidate is intelligent and knowledgeable enough to apply the learned, they can be believed to have the ability.

During school times, children are graded on their learning. It means to grade them based on their understanding of a particular subject. However, your understanding of a subject should not affect your professional life unless you are doing something that would need the basic or advanced understanding of the subject. For example, if you were weak in mathematics in school and never scored good, and you are appearing for an interview for the role of a mathematics teacher, the chances are that you might get rejected based on your school grades. This is wholly and solely because your recruiters would assume that you do not have a good understanding of the subject.

On the contrary, if a student has not scored well in Maths, and wants to pursue a career in Journalism, then the mathematics marks would not play any role in his career.

Do Grades Determine The Future?

The answer is both Yes and No. Grades may not directly determine the future. However, it may indirectly act as one of those factors that determine the fate of a student. When you have started working for an organization and gained enough experience, your previous work and work experience are the primary factors that determine your capability.

It is wise at this stage to understand that the grades generally don’t accurately determine your capabilities. However, you can be smart enough to convince yourself of your grades. But in these cases, you need to keep your word to retain your position.

Therefore, if you ask— if grades determine the Job performance, the answer would be NO. The discipline you have in your work and the experience you gain would determine your Job performance.

How To Justify A Poor Academic Record?

The poor academic record has every chance to give the wrong impression to the interviewer. In these cases, it becomes your responsibility to make them understand or even convince you that you are capable despite the poor academic record.

How to convince with your abilities:

Say you are special

The basis of the convincing procedure is to make the interviewer believe that you are unique. Remember, ‘special’ has nothing to do with grades.

Brief the job description and try proving you are the best fit for it

For this, you must perform relevant research about the company and the requirements of the position. Prepare with your answer showing that you are tailor-made for the job.

Make a mix of both hard and soft skills

No matter what job you are applying for, it would help if you had a good combination of both hard and soft skills to fit into it. It is always a good idea to show that you have a great mix of hard and soft skills that are required for the job.

Never compare yourself with others

Always focus on the relevant qualities that you have that match with the position. You are responsible for convincing yourself that you are special. There is no need to compare you with anyone unless the conversation goes in that direction.

You have a love of learning

Grades are a good measure of learning. However, bad grades don’t imply that the candidate has not learned. This is the factor that can be highlighted. You can take the chance of stating that you love learning many other areas other than academics with necessary evidence if possible. You should prove you are not a fan of bookish grades.

Best organizations look for best performers
You can take up this as an opportunity to impress the interviewer. You may state that the best organizations look for the best performers. This way, the interviewer can understand you are smart enough and starts to believe your capabilities.

What Responses To Avoid to Justify Poor Academic Records?

While it is true that we live in an era where your academic capabilities take a backseat if it has nothing to do with a career you wish to pursue. If you are appearing for an interview of a financial analyst and you failed in History, then it would not make much of a difference in your professional life, and neither should your recruiter make it a big deal.

However, here are some of the responses that you should simply avoid –

  • Unclear answers and confusion

Having crystal clear answers is the basis of a good interview. Clear answers make the conversation healthy, thus always avoiding unclear and confusing answers.

This way, the interviewer knows that you are genuine and straightforward and may prefer this.

  • Negative review on the past position and recruiters

Never speak negatively about the past organizations and jobs despite them being negative. This creates a wrong impression on you, not your past organization.

If you speak negatively about the past organization, the interviewer will expect you to say the same way about them in the future, thus having ill effects on you.

  • Asking no questions at the end

Almost every interview ends with a question to the candidate, giving them a chance to ask queries. It would help if you took this opportunity to create the best impression. Never say—you have no questions at all. You might ask for feedback or any other question about the company. This way, the interview creates a good impression on you.

  • Discussing money and time off

Never discuss money related matters or time off till an offer is placed. This is never a healthy part on the side of a candidate. This makes the interviewer feel that you are money minded and don’t focus on the work and responsibilities.

  • I don’t know

When you don’t know the answer to any question, you are free to say—I don’t know. But, it is not healthy. In many cases, the interviewer asks you questions knowing that you don’t know the answer. The interviewer tries to see your critical thinking abilities. It would help if you took this opportunity to make a good impression.

  • It’s in my Resume

Sometimes, the interviewer may ask a question that has an answer in the resume. Despite this, you should never say—“It’s in my Resume”. The interviewer knows that it is on your resume; however, you are asked the same because they probably know the more profound idea of the same.

Take up the chance and elucidate the answer in a better and fluid way.

  • Over prepared answers

Preparation for the interviewer is healthy; over-preparation isn’t. The interviewer can clearly make out if you are over-prepared for the question. Genuine answers should be the need, not the revised ones.

What Circumstances, If Any, Have Interfered With Your Academic Performance?

When you have low grades for the interview, you need to be convinced about it. As a part of this, it is essential to narrate the circumstances that interfered if you require. Sometimes, the interviewer asks the question directly. In this case, you need to frame such an answer in such a way that regardless of your grades, you are an intelligent, diligent, and well-rounded worker; thus, you can add value to the company.

A few tips for answering this question:

  • Never claim that you have good grades if you don’t have. When you are genuine, you can impress the interviewer.
  • Being genuine is not enough; you should use this opportunity to share your strengths. You can do this by highlighting performances in internships, projects and other events showcasing your capabilities.
  • Never complain or even blame others; take responsibility and be genuine.

How To Answer – Tell Us About Your Track Record Of Excellence, Both Academic And Non-Academic

The track record is where you need to describe your whole career in a few lines—in an impressive way. Thus, answering this can be sometimes typical. Everyone has different careers, different academic and non-academic journeys. Therefore, highlighting the required parts of all of these makes up the best answer.

Here are some tips:

  • Start with “I went to”, “I started out with”, or “I’ve been in” to state any position or education.
  • If you decide on a career, then start with “I decided to”, “I changed career”, or “I wanted to”.
  • It is always healthy to light your achievements. You can start them with: “The highlight is..”, “I was involved in”, or “I accepted… and never looked back.”

Examples of Describing Track Record of your Work Journey

I went to Majhigouri Institute of technology for my B-tech in electrical and electronics engineering. After finishing my B.tech, I decided to pursue MBA and therefore I started out with an MBS in finance from Sikkim Manipal University. I have been at XYZ company for 3 years as a financial analyst. The highlight of my journey is that I have been in charge of the cultural department. I accepted the abroad offer and never looked back.

Why this works:

This example is a straightforward answer that gives a brief description of the career, highlighting the positives. These don’t take much time to narrate and thus gives a positive aura.

I had a long journey. After I finished my graduation from IIT, I decided to move on to pursue MBA from IIM. In the final semester of my MBA, I got placed in XYZ company as an analyst. I have been in the position for 4 years. These 4 years turned out to be a great experience. I was the best performer for a couple of years. I also have worked as an occasional lead for my team in absence of the boss. After 4 years in the company, I felt I needed a better platform to explore my skills. I started my duties as a financial analyst at XYZ Company. I have been one of the best performers in my department. After a couple of years, I felt I needed additional qualifications to advance in my career, therefore I decided to pursue Chartered Financial analyst. I had to take a break for a couple of years, however, I knew I have yet to have good days in the near future. Today, I’m before you as a chartered financial analyst with relevant experience.

Why this works:

This example elucidates the career path in a clear way highlighting all the required events. This is lengthy yet effective when the interviewer wants to know a clear idea of your career.

Conclusion on Whether Your Academics Reflect Your Capabilities?

Grades play an essential role in everyone’s career. They are measures of learning but not intelligence. Thus if someone asks— Does your academic record accurately reflect your capabilities?, the answer is NO. The academic record may not always accurately determine your capabilities. There are many other factors like your extracurricular activities and experience that matters to the interviewers.

I hope the tips, and what and what not stated above turn helpful to you. It would help if you were smart enough to deal with interviewers despite this knowledge.

Don’t worry if you have bad grades, be smart enough to be confident with your positives and capabilities.

All the best for your interview!

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years.
Thus, I started TheInterview.top to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.

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About the Author

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years. Thus, I started TheInterview.top to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.