The most important interview question…

Much has been written and taught about the subject of effective interviewing. And since interviewing comes down to one human being conversing with and evaluating another, it can become a complex subject. In this post, I want to focus on what I believe is probably the most important question an interviewer will ask you. Time and again, I have experienced how employers make hiring decisions, in large part, based on how a candidate answers this one question. Assuming you have the baseline experience needed, this question is some version of: “Why are you interested in exploring this opportunity with us?”

Many candidates, especially recruited candidates, underestimate the true importance of an authentic and well-articulated answer to this question. Be clear that you are magnetized by the positives offered by this employer and this position. You do not want to be seen as merely a “window-shopper” – nor do you want to be viewed as being driven primarily by the negatives associated with your current situation. What do you want to “move towards” in your career and how does this position align with this goal? Note also that you do not have to be unhappy in your current position to recognize and explore what could be the right next step for you. To most employers, the answer to this question is one of the most important pieces of information they seek.

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