Tough Interview Questions: What Interests You About This Job?

What interests you about this job

This question is always they asked with a degree of solemnity . . . Piousness . . . However, you want to describe it.  Very serious!

“So, what interests you about this position you?” 

If you’re asked this question and the beginning of the interview process, if you are asked this question by HR, you have to respond by saying, “frankly, superficially, it is an interesting role…” you can talk about what the job seems like it might be from the advertising or the job description (and that assumes that you are prepared to talk about what you saw in the position description). 

But you have to continue by saying, “But the fact is, I don’t know enough about the job.  I don’t know enough about the manager I would be working for.  As a matter of fact, I don’t anything about the manager I would be working for or the team I would be involved with, what the budget is for the role, what the expectations are.  So, it’s hard for me to commit to being interested in the role. But superficially it seems like an interesting job.”

Now, if you are with the hiring manager and he or she has spent the last hour and a half talking with you about the job and your background, your answer to this question has to be different.

Assuming that you are interested, you go through what you learned about the position from this individual and you might say, (I’m just going to use a generality here), “Great question.  I appreciate your asking this.  What I see about this job is . . . “ Then, you rattle all 3 or 4 different things about the role and then conclude by saying, “frankly, 1 of the things that makes the job interesting is you.  You seem to be a good person to work for you, very direct and straightforward.  You made sure I understood everything about this role.  A lot of managers don’t take that kind of care.  So, I get the idea that what people who work for you, what they think, and what their needs are, matter to you.  So, that kind of thoroughness and preparation attracts me.”

That becomes a good way of “tying the bow” on what could be a pretty straightforward answer and has to be delivered with the degree of theatricality. 

So, again, just to repeat it, you rattle off 3 or 4 different things about the job and then you flatter the hiring manager by saying, “frankly, one of the attractions of the role for me is you.  You have taken a lot of time to make sure that I understood what my role and responsibilities would be and what your expectations are.  The way I interpret that is your thoroughness allows me and others who work for you to be prepared so I’m not going to get thrown into the frying pan (very often).

So, that’s 2 ways to answer that question, depending upon your audience. If you’re not interested or you are unsure if you’re interested, here’s the follow-up to use. 

You can rattle off 2 or 3 different things, talk about the hiring manager as being a very interesting component and it, then, continue by saying, “And the same time, I still have a couple of questions I would like to cover,” and then you go into your questions and then say, “thank you.  I appreciate your taking the time to make sure that I understood thoroughly what you’re looking for.”

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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