Wait, wait, wait. Read the question again. It isn’t the normal, routine question that you might have faced in the interviews stating “Why should we hire you?”. As soon as you are gearing up to deliver your practised version of the answer, the realization will dawn upon you, that a trick question has been sent your way and the actual question stands as “Why shouldn’t we hire you?”.
This trick question is becoming pretty popular nowadays, and it is being used to throw the candidates off-guard. So, a well-prepared answer to this question is also one of the mandatory preparations that you have to do before facing an interview.
This question can be considered as an exaggeration to the question “What are your weakness?”. This question should be a well-prepared one. The main motive of answering this question is to highlight a strength wrapped up as a weakness. Although asked as a trick question, if answered nicely, then this question can allow you to shine.
Why Such Trick Question?
Every question in an interview is asked with a purpose. Reasons, why an interviewer asks this question, are:
- To see how swiftly you can think on your feet, when a question, quite different from the traditional ones are asked. The interviewer wants to check how nimbly you can find your way out of an unfavourable situation.
- Another reason is that the interviewer wants to get an idea about both the strengths and the weaknesses of the candidate so that they can better assess them.
Some Tips to Follow While Answering This Question
A perfect answer demands lots of research and hard work. To turn this question in your favour, continuous practice is a must. For practising, a great answer is required. So, to prepare a great answer, some of the tips are:
- Be honest: There is a reason honesty is called the best policy. No person is perfect. So, don’t fall into that age-old trap of “I don’t have a weakness.” This answer will put you in a negative light, so be honest and think of a reason that can be stated when such a question is asked.
- State a reason but with some corrective measures: An answer has to be given, so if you are stating a weakness as the reason, make sure to add some corrective measures that you are taking, improving that weakness as it will give a good impression. But be careful, do not mention a weakness, that can hurt your chances of getting the job, or that is related to the job profile.
- Identify your strengths: One of the best ways to answer such kind of questions is to mention some small weakness in a passing manner, followed by a vivid description of your strengths.
- Make your research game pretty strong: You can prepare your answer based on the kind of job profile the company is offering. If a certain characteristic is required for the job, you can answer the question by stating the opposite of that characteristic. For example, The job entails to be working in large groups, so you can answer by saying that “You should not hire me if you want someone who can work independently on your projects.”
Do Not Do These!
It is a trap question. So, falling in this pit-hole is quite easy. So, there are certain NOs which you should follow to avoid falling into the trap. These are:
- Do not be cocky: Do not be one of those who answer along the lines that “You do not have any reason not to hire me!”. This creates a bad impression and can drive your interview downhill from that point forward.
- Do not spread negativity: State your weakness, but not continue to dwell on them. Do not use this question as an opportunity to point out a weakness in other candidates.
- Do not give them a reason not to hire you: Do not state a reason, that can straight-away give the employer a reason to disqualify you. So, have good background research about the company and the job profile.
- Do not dodge the question: Answer it. Do not try to avoid it. This will do more harm than good.
Some of the sample answers for the above question are:
“Well if the job demands an individual that can head-on lead the department, then I may not be the correct person to do it. I am more of a team player. Heading a department will be something very new for me. But, the part that is my forte is bringing a plan to life, i.e., it’s execution. In meetings generally, a lot of ideas are thrown around, but none of those comes to its fruition. I shine at identifying potential ideas, following up these ideas, and executing the most suitable idea.”
“I am great at delivering my deliverables at exact deadlines. I never miss an important deadline. But one weakness that I seem to have is, I am not the kind of the employee that can come sharp at 9 AM to the office. I am a person who prefers working late and can put in extra hours, but being chirpy and full of energy early in the morning is very difficult for me. So, if this is a judging-criteria, then I think I am not a correct match.”
Sample 3 (When you shine at a certain skill that is required, use it as leverage):
“If you are looking for a person who is great at managing people, so I may not be the right choice, as my management skills are quite rusty. But, if you are looking for someone who has great expertise in handling the reports and the statistical data, so I am the person, who has good experience in MS-Excel and being a statistician, I know all these, like the back of my hand.”
“I have this habit of getting too engrossed in my work and doing it till it is executed perfectly. So, if you don’t want your customers to have an individual and immersive experience, then I may not be the perfect candidate, because I believe in serving each customer on a personal level.”
“If you want someone who thrives working independently, so I am not the right choice. I like working in teams because I feel that I am at my maximum efficiency when I work with a group of people. Working in groups brings out the best in me as different ideas bounce off each other, and together, we can reach a great decision.”
“You should not hire me if you are looking for someone great at small talk. Though I love socializing with people, I like to talk to them, to get to know them, not just the formal Hellos and Byes. I need to get to know people who are in my team and share a great camaraderie so that we as a team can give out 100 per cent.”
“You should not hire me if you want someone would stick to the official 9-5 job and would not be thrilled to put in extra effort just for the sake of the benefit of the company. I am the kind of the person, who believes in giving my 100% when it comes to projects so that I can deliver them to the finishing line as soon and as accurately as possible.”
So, these are some of the classical answers, where you can portray your strengths as the reason why you should not be hired. Taking a clue from these, you can create your own modified version of the answer, depending upon your strengths, the company and the job profile. This question gives you a chance to convert your interview to a huge success, so do not waste it and use it your advantage.