Tough Interview Questions: What Will Our ROI Be If We Hire You?

What will our ROI be if we hire you?

Someone wrote to me asking me to answer a question that’s geared toward senior professionals.  It’s a stupid question; you and I both know that.  I want to take it straight on so I can go into a little bit of depth with it.

The question is, “What will be our ROI.  If we hire you?”

We both know it’s stupid because it’s impossible to calculate.  After all, you don’t have the budget that you walking into, you don’t have details of the challenges that you be facing, you don’t know the quality of the people you’ll be inheriting, how do you answer the question?

The answer is… You go through this with them.

“Great question and I think it is impossible to quantify now.  Part of it is that I don’t know who I am inheriting in this group.  I don’t know exactly what it is I’m walking into.  I don’t know if my user population is going to be challenging or supportive.”  You go through 5 or 6 things that as an outsider is impossible to quantify and to use that language specifically.

“I think it is impossible to quantify as an outsider.”

Now, here is where the shift occurs.

This shift is now saying, “But I can tell you what I have done and other organizations.  At my last firm, I walked into several different situations and was able to achieve (a 350%, a 450%… Whatever percentage it is) return on investment over my salary/over my budget.”  That sort of thing where you can specifically claim credit for it.

You can also say, “I want to be clear, no one operates as an island in these situations.  I put together a great team and that is part of the measure of ROI– getting people on board who buy into the mission here, who are inspired who have a desire to do great stuff.”

What you doing is starting by saying, “I can’t quantify it with you.  Here is why.”  Then, from there, you talk about how in the past.  This is how it turned out when people have hired you.”  Then, if you want, you can smile and say, “And in all candor, I have to say, I am here to be honest with you.  Like the mutual fund industry says, ‘Past performance is no guarantee of future returns,’ there are so many variables here that I can’t speak to is an outsider and give you such a measure.”


Ⓒ 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.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at Want to do it live? offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Watch my videos on YouTube at, the Job SearchTV app for FireTV, Roku or a firestick or for AppleTV and 90 smart tv platforms.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume? Order a critique from me

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: