|Would You Hire Yourself?|
|Written by Abby Kohut|
You'll never know exactly why interviewers ask you the questions that they choose, but it's typically not for the reasons you think. Even interviewers who ask the exact same questions may do it for different reasons. Usually, the questions chosen help determine how you are going to react in certain situations.
The most difficult question that someone asked me was this: "You are a Recruiting Manager, which means that it's your job to evaluate candidates. In looking at your background, why would you NOT hire you?" Not only was it a difficult question, it was brilliant. The interviewer was probably asking me this question for three different reasons:
I told him that the reason I would consider not hiring me is because my resume appeared to be jumpy. While I did have a job that lasted five years, the past year was less than stellar, at least on paper. I had three different contract assignments all of which lasted a short time. To me as the Recruiting Manager, I saw that as a potential problem. Here were my questions about me as a candidate:
Somehow I reached way down into the depths of my experience, miraculously figured out how to answer it, and also managed to spin it positively.
I told him that although my resume appeared to be jumpy, I would ask myself about all of the recent experience to determine if it really was. I would recognize that all 3 assignments were temporary and completed before I left. I would ask myself for references to determine whether I was correct about my assumption. I would determine whether the projects that I completed added skills to my repertoire that would benefit the new company. And, last but not least, I would recognize that I had spent five years at a company before this year.
Apparently it worked. I was hired and grew through the ranks of the organization to become Senior Director of Recruiting, seven years later.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
There is no one reason why someone chooses to ask you a particular question, and there is no one perfect answer. Unfortunately, neither interviewing nor job searching is a science so there is no textbook that can teach you exactly what to do or say. Learning to think on your feet is a skill worth mastering and there are many people who can help you improve your techniques. In this case, practice definitely makes perfect.