Why Shouldn’t I Hire You? Putting Candidates On the Spot

“Why should I hire you?” is a common interview question that’s designed to put candidates on the spot and encourage them to think on their feet. But flipping this question around to ask candidates “Why shouldn’t I hire you?” is a great way to find out what a candidate is really made of, how quickly…

“Why should I hire you?” is a common interview question that’s designed to put candidates on the spot and encourage them to think on their feet. But flipping this question around to ask candidates “Why shouldn’t I hire you?” is a great way to find out what a candidate is really made of, how quickly they can think on their feet, and how honest they are.

Here’s a bit of information about the psychology of this question and some interviewing tips to help you make use of it and find the best candidate for your next retail role.

Obtaining “real” answers

Rather than asking a candidate to just sell themselves, when you ask why you shouldn’t hire someone, you’re effectively asking them to do the opposite. These kinds of interviewing techniques may seem counter-intuitive, but they are an excellent way to gauge a candidate’s integrity, self-awareness and verbal reasoning skills.

This question is often considered the next evolution of the “What’s your biggest weakness” question, and while most candidates will be expecting some variation on this theme, approaching it in a slightly different way can help you avoid the rehearsed answers you’re likely to get when you ask directly about weaknesses.

What makes a great answer to this question?

There are a few things you’ll want to look for in the answer to this question and they mostly revolve around integrity and transparency. Look for a candidate who is open about their faults and who picks something honest that could be a problem in some organisational cultures but doesn’t apply to yours.

Candidates will often try to spin this answer into a positive but that’s not what you’re looking for here. This question is designed to test a candidate’s self-awareness and honesty, not their ability to dodge and evade.

It’s also important to pay attention to the candidate’s body language when they are answering this question. Of course, you can tell a lot by a candidate’s body language throughout an interview, but it’s particularly important when they are under pressure. Crossing their arms could indicate defensiveness or arrogance and avoiding eye contact could mean the candidate is lying.

Ascertaining a candidate’s fit

Whatever area of retail you’re in, it’s important to find a candidate who can think on their feet and deal with stressful situations calmly. This question is the perfect way to test their ability to do just that. It also helps you learn a bit more about their weaknesses so you can determine whether they’ll be a good fit for your retail organisation.

Frontline Retail can also help you to find the right candidates for your organisation. Please contact us to discuss your recruitment needs.