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Difficult Interview Question: Why Shouldn’t We Hire You?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday we discussed one of the worst interview questions – “What is Your Fatal Flaw?” That’s just a bad interview question. Today’s interview question is not quite as bad, but still can land even great candidates in a lot of trouble. “Why shouldn’t we hire you” is a good question for asking applicants to think on their feet, but there are way too many ways you can answer this question poorly.

Bad Answer #1

“I am perfect.”

No, you are not. You are flawed. Everyone is flawed. Don’t be conceited.

Bad Answer #2

“Well, you might not want to hire me because I don’t have experience with Program XYZ, and it’s important to the role…”

You don’t actually want to give them a reason to not to hire you. That’s just silly.

How to Answer

Once again, there really isn’t a “Great” answer. There is are two acceptable ways to answer, where one is more risky but could bring greater rewards, and the other is similar to the “greatest weakness” answer where the weakness isn’t really that much of a weakness to begin with. Let’s look at them here.

Good Answer #1 – Risky

“There are always aspects of company culture that you do not learn until you have had time to adjust to the new setting. So if your company doesn’t like tasks being completed before deadline, or if your company doesn’t enjoy building revenue through outstanding usage of its resources, then you probably shouldn’t hire me.”

This answer takes some guts, but it’s pretty good. You are essentially turning the answer into a joke, like “If your company wants to hire someone awful, then you definitely shouldn’t hire me.” If the interviewer has no sense of humor and you haven’t been doing well in your interview, this answer may not fly, though.

Good Answer #2 – Less Risky

“It’s very important to me that I complete tasks before deadline without errors. What this means, however, is that sometimes I need to call meetings to ensure that it is on the right path in order to do the work efficiently and error free. If your company frowns on impromptu meetings or the culture is such that it does not appreciate open communication, I may not be the person for you.”

This answer is actually pretty good. It focuses on a “flaw” (perfectionism, sort of) and expands to make it actually sound like it might be a flaw, but it isn’t really, and you are left with a successful and real answer to the question using a weakness that isn’t really a weakness.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Consider giving a risky answer by implying the company may want to hire bad employees on purpose.
  • Otherwise go with a twist on the biggest weakness answers, using a weakness that isn’t really a weakness.
  • Don’t give them a real reason not to hire you.
  • Don’t claim that there is no reason.

Related posts:

  1. Difficult Interview Question – Why Hire From Outside the Company Rather Than Promote from Within?
  2. Difficult Interview Question: What is Your Fatal Flaw?
  3. Difficult Interview Question: If We Don’t Offer You the Job, Why Do You Think That Would Be?
  4. Tough Interview Question – Why Should We Hire You?
  5. Question and Answer – Why Companies May Not Hire Smokers

Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. David says:

    I had this question asked of me and I had never heard it before. I stated that it was a good question, I repeated the question, (buying time) and then stated that the only reason would be that there could be an internal candidate that was more qualified. After I accepted the position, the hiring director stated that this was the most unique answer and he hired me because I was able to think quickly on my feet and he liked the fact that I would first look internally and build the team from within.

  2. Micah says:

    Excellent. Thanks for sharing. Another interview question “Why Hire From Outside the Company Rather Than Promote from Within?” has a similar answer as yours. But I like your answer too, since basically it assumes you’re still the best person for the job without outright claiming it.

  3. BUKELWA SAUL says:

    I am a Customer Service Agent working for airline working at airport, Friday 26 aug I am going for internal interview in a town office, office hours 0800-1700 Mon-Fri.

    My question is
    Give us a scenario you helped a difficult passenger
    Give us a scenario you were at fault you gave wrong information to the passenger or you did something wrong what did you do and how did you get out of that problem
    why must we hire you

    pls help

  4. Micah says:

    What you’re talking about are behavioral interview questions. I can’t tell you exactly how to answer them because they need to be based on your experiences, and I don’t know what your experiences are. But start by reading the link above, then take a look at these to get an idea:


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