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 one is perfect. 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 will not fly and to be honest humour is very rarely a good idea in a job interview.
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. Remember this one is a BIG risk.
- 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.