Job Interview Question & Answer: If You Were Hiring Someone for This Position, What Would You Be Looking For?

Why Employers Ask It

Employers often test how well candidates fit roles by inquiring about personal qualities. Some interviewers directly ask about favorable qualities candidates hold, while others may pose indirect questions, like: “If you were hiring for this position, what qualities would you look for in a candidate?” Answers to the question reflect understanding of roles as well as personal opinions of the top qualities for the job. Employers want to hire candidates who embody skills and abilities matching the qualities necessary for desired roles.

Preparing For The Question

Though a less-common interview question, the inquiry remains relatively easy to answer. A candidate simply needs to go into the interview with a strong understanding of the responsibilities of the role. Reviewing the original job posting gives candidates essential insight into roles, and applicants should draw conclusions about what qualities prove necessary to perform jobs. For example, customer service representative jobs largely entail assisting customers and promoting products. Applicants may then surmise employers want to hire candidates with helpful attitudes and strong sales skills. Job postings often list qualities sought in candidates. Applicants should try to remember a few of the qualities and then demonstrate the abilities when responding.

Consider Showing Management Capabilities

The question may also test candidate abilities to think like a manager. Employers hiring for entry-level jobs often prefer workers eager to move up within companies and take managerial roles. Candidates who show management-style thinking during interviews may establish motivations as long-term and show how skills and abilities benefit prospective employers as leaders. To showcase managerial abilities, base answers around company success using concrete plans of action. The answer to interview questions centered on qualities candidates personally prefer in new hires should include how a person with the right qualities may make business run smoother and grow sales.

Example Of A Good Answer

Sticking with the customer service representative example, a good answer to the question includes: “I would look for a candidate that is always willing to help customers and does so in a pleasant manner. Ultimately, I’d want someone who would grow sales though strong customer service skills and salesmanship. Drive is also important, and I would look for an individual with the passion to break personal sales records.”

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