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What Interests You About This Job? |

What Interests You About This Job? |


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter tells you exactly how to answer this question, especially if you are not sure you are actually interested in the position.


Today, we are going to talk with you about 1 of those tough interview questions that trip up so many people and you need to be prepared with an answer to this question because to many interviewers use it as part of “the interviewer playbook,” particularly in HR. The question goes like this (it's always said with a degree of solemnity . . . Piousness . . . However you want to describe it. Very serious!).

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

If you asked this question the beginning, 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 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 really 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 as spent the last hour and a half talking with you about the job and about your background, your answer to this question has to be a little bit different matter (as a matter fact, it has to be a lot different). Assuming that you are interested, what you do is 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 you 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 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.”

So, that becomes a good way of “tying the bow” on what could be a pretty straightforward answer. Again, it 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, 1 of the attractions of the role 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 for that matters to you 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. Now, 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, “you know, at 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 really appreciate you taking time to make sure that I understood thoroughly what you're looking for.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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