Interview Question: Why Shouldn't I Hire You?

Tactics and Best Practices

woman in job interview
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This type of curve ball question has two purposes. Recruiters want to gain a balanced view of candidates during an interview, so it is not uncommon for them to ask some questions in an attempt to uncover some of your limitations as we all have them. Secondly, hiring managers want to see how you handle yourself with your back against the wall and an obstacle that forces you to think on your feet.

This question, known to be used at Twitter — is a more antagonistic version of the usual inquiry, “What’s your biggest weakness?” The primary strategy is to use this is as chance to highlight a strength.

Answered correctly, it's actually a chance for you to shine!

Best Answers

This is a tricky question that can force you to think on your feet if you aren't prepared. The best answers answers the question with a quality that can be seen as a strength within the right corporate culture or work role whereas in an another corporate setting or job, this same quality might not be embraced.

For example, if you prefer jobs and companies that reward independent thinking, you might respond, "You shouldn't hire me if you are looking someone who thrives in an environment where management strictly prescribes how each task should be performed. I work better when given some general guidelines with a desired outcome and then am allowed some leeway regarding how I would carry out that task."

Another example might be to emphasize a personality trait that might be viewed favorably in some jobs, but not in others.

For example, you might say, "You shouldn't hire me if an extrovert wouldn't fit in well at your company or in this job. I thrive on interaction with colleagues and customers. I can stay on task, but building positive relationships with people is my clear priority."

Be Prepared for Follow-Up Questions

Of course, you need to match the qualities you share with the job and company.

 Be prepared for follow up questions such as "Give me an example of how your extroversion has helped you in your last job."

You may also get a follow up with a more direct inquiry about your weaknesses.  In that case, be ready to share a weakness that is not central to the job or one that you have been addressing with some success.

Questions About Weaknesses

Nobody's perfect and everyone has a weakness, so stating that you don't isn't a believable answer. Rather, the best approach is to demonstrate that you know your strengths, you’re aware of your weaknesses, and you've learned how to work around your flaws so they don't interfere with your success. Choose a weakness to discuss that's a “soft skill” like time management or organization rather than something like a lack of education that might be essential to job performance.

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