Job Interview Question

What excites you and scares you about this position?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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This is a tough question.  I think it sounds like another version of “what are your greatest advantages and disadvantages?” or another way to ask about your strengths and weaknesses.  They’re looking to see if you’ll tell them about any issues or problems you might have, while they’re assessing your enthusiasm and approach to the job.

As with most job interview questions, you need to keep it as positive as you can.  I don’t normally have a fear when I go into a job and I don’t think that you should voice one, either.

Why not?  Well, think about this interaction you’re having with this hiring manager.  This process you’re going through to sell yourself for the job is a sales process.  You’re the product and he (or she) is the buyer.  Why would they want to choose a product that wasn’t certain it could do the job?  Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes:  would you buy something at a store that “hoped” it could do what you needed it to do, as long as nothing went wrong?  Of course not.  You’d buy the product that said, “I can do X…no question.  I’ve done it before and I can do it for you.”

For those reasons, the best answer is something like, “Nothing scares me about this job, and everything about it is exciting because I know that I can impact A, B, and C.  I know this because I’ve done it before.”  (“A, B, and C” are those outcomes the company wants to affect with the tasks of this role.)

If you haven’t actually done this job before, you can say, “I’ve done something very similar before.”  And make sure you know why and how your skills that you learned in other places transfer to this one.

Another great answer sounds like this:  “I can’t say that I’m scared at all about this job.  I’m excited about the opportunity to exceed your expectations, and I’m excited about what the future holds for me once I do that.”

If you’re really pressed for an answer to the scared portion of this question, say “The only things that scare me are things that might come up that could cause me to delay my success or make success more difficult to attain.  I don’t see that happening, but if it did, I would find a solution.”  That’s a positive, confident, can-do attitude.

Stay positive, confident, and focused on what you can do for them.  That’s what will sell you for the job.

By the way…This question is a great time to introduce your 30-60-90-day plan.  Talking about what you’re excited about in this job is an ideal segue to what you’ve put together to be successful in your first 3 months on the job.  And it’s an amazing bridge for any experience gaps you might have, too.  Find out more =>  30 60 90 day plan.


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