Common Interview Question: What Are the Three Things Most Important to You in a Job?

JANUARY 26, 2011 | BY MICAH

“It’s the key to life. Money, power, and respect. Whatchu’ need in life. Money, power, and respect. When you eatin’ right. Money, power, and respect. Help you sleep at night. You’ll see the light. It’s the key to life. Money, power, and respect. Whatchu’ need in life. Money, power, and respect. When you eatin’ right. Money, power, and respect. Money, power, and respect. Money, power, and respect.”

~Lil Kim

When an employer asks you what you look for in a job, they are not necessarily looking for a particular answer. They are simply looking to see what your priorities are and if you can put them into words. There are only three things to keep in mind:

  • Try to be Unique – If you can come up with an answer that is unexpected (and still a good answer, of course), you’ll earn brownie points.
  • Keep it Professional – Every answer should be about your ability to be a good employee.
  • Be Ready to Back it Up – You need to be ready to engage in a discussion about that point if necessary.

Bad Answer

“From any job, I would like easy work that I can complete without problems, a relaxed work environment and bosses that will not blame me for things that I did not do.”

Good Answer

“Growth potential is number one, for my own role in the company but for the company itself. I’d love to work for a company that is innovative and always looking for new opportunity to expand. Secondly, I’d like any job to have a healthy and adaptive culture. And third, trust. It is important to me that my coworkers can trust me just as I can trust my coworkers.”

The answers are fairly simple, but they deliver a positive message. You are committed to the company. You want to work in a positive environment. You want to be seen as trustworthy. All of these reflect positively on you and can be defended or expanded upon if required.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Come up with interesting answers and be unique if possible.
  • Be ready to defend any answer if necessary.

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