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How to Answer the Question “Why Shouldn’t I Hire You?”

These days, job-seekers fortunate enough to snag an interview for a promising open position have to be ready for just about anything. Recruiters and hiring staff feel comfortable asking a wide range of questions, and they expect to get back positive and articulate answers. One question, though, comes up again and again, and it’s always perplexing for the person being interviewed: 

“Why shouldn’t I hire you?” 

Of course, this is just a variation on the age-old interview request, “Tell me what your weaknesses are.” This open-ended question is meant to prompt a creative, spontaneous response from the applicant (or, alternately, meant to confuse or “trap” the job-seeker). In either case, it’s best to come prepared with an appropriate response.

One option is to not answer the question at all. Rather than “take the bait” and start listing negative aspects of yourself, you can use the opportunity to gently redirect the conversation to discuss all the wonderful reasons why you should be offered the position.

If that doesn’t feel like it’s your style, here are other possible responses:

“I can’t think of any reason not to hire me.”  Some hiring experts think this is the best response to a deliberately provocative (and essentially worthless) question. But when you’re in the thick of an interview, it’s probably not your best approach. Saying you can’t think of a reason will most likely get you eliminated from consideration. You have to be able to show a keen awareness of your personal strengths and weaknesses.

“The reason is, I’ll be so good at my job that everyone else will pale by comparison.” This reply, or something similar like, “If you hire me, there’ll be nothing for you to do,” is admittedly gutsy and shows you have a sense of humor. It also displays a creative side to your personality. But if the interviewer lacks a sense of humor, your reply can fall flat.

“Here’s a reason and this is what I’ve done to fix it.” Acknowledge a particular deficiency to the interviewer and then explain how you took action to remedy the issue. This answer illustrates your ability to identify a problem and fix it.

As you prepare for a job interview, ask yourself this trick question and come up with an honest and informative answer. Then you’ll be able to show off your confidence and ability to think on your feet.

High Profile offers a wide range of positions for talented job-seekers like you. Find out more today!