How to Explain a Low GPA in a Job Interview

How to Explain a Low GPA in a Job Interview

Maybe your GPA isn’t the highlight of your college experience. But, as a leading staffing agency, Peoplelink can tell you it is possible to get around a low GPA in a job interview if you focus more on your strengths and positive experiences, such as: internships, sports, and clubs. Here are some tips to help you:

Start by positioning your GPA the right way.

On your resume, rather than listing your overall GPA, list your GPA in your major instead – if it’s considerably higher. For instance: “3.5 GPA in accounting coursework.” Or, if you had a low GPA the last year of college, but higher ones in the earlier years, than put the average over your four years in school. All that said, if a job posting doesn’t require you to list your GPA, than skip it if it’s low.

Do your homework.

Before the interview, do plenty of research on the job and the company so you can impress the interviewer with your knowledge and also ask meaningful questions. That way, if the interviewer does ask about your less-than-stellar GPA, hopefully your preparation and understanding of the company’s needs will stand out far more than academic performance (or lack of it).

Prepare your answer ahead of time.

You’ll want to have an answer prepared ahead of time as to why your GPA is so low. Did you have an illness or death in the family? Or perhaps you got too ambitious with your course load, or thought taking on that job to pay for school wouldn’t impact your grades?

Whatever the case is for you, be ready to answer the question, take responsibility for it, and then spin it into a positive. For instance, if you had to work full-time to pay for school, describe all the workplace skills you learned, the work ethic you developed, and how balancing such a full load better prepared you for the real world.

Focus on the positive.

Rather than putting too much emphasis on your low GPA, focus instead on all your academic and service-related achievements. That means talking about your internships, letters of recommendations, and extra-curricular activities. Also, before the interview, think about your top three accomplishments that are most relevant to the job and what you want to say about each to the interviewer.

If you just graduated and need more help finding your first job, give Peoplelink a call. As a leading staffing agency, we work with top employers all over the country – and we can give you access to rewarding job opportunities that are a fit for your goals and interests. Contact us today to learn more.