Job Interview Question

Why do you want to work for someone else after owning your own business / freelancing?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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LOTS of hiring managers will have a hard time believing that you can start taking orders after being your own boss.  It’s not a big leap for them to make…it would be difficult for many people.  Your best answer to this difficult job interview question will be honest but positive.

My best answer would sound like this: “I am really good at X, but I’m not good at Y, so I’m ready to move into being part of a company again.” X would be whatever technical skill or skill set I have that is going to be required in this job.  Y would be whatever business acumen necessary for growing your own business, but not needed in this new job.

As in, “I’m a really good graphic designer, but I’m really not good at getting customers.”  You can’t successfully run a business if you don’t have the marketing skill to get customers.  But in a larger company, someone else will do that for you.  All you have to do is design.

In general, it sounds like this:  “I’m better at doing the job than I am at marketing the job, and I wasn’t ready to expand and bring other people into my business who could do that for me.  What I really want to do is focus on the core skills that I’m really good at.  I want the chance to hone them even more and do the things I need to do for an employer in a concentrated fashion.  I know that will give me a real sense of achievement, and I know that I will still be financially rewarded for that as a part of this organization.”

Another great answer tells them that you’re a people person:  “I want to be where I can work with others.  I’m tired of working by myself all the time.  I want to be part of a group, or part of a team.”

Or you can keep it simple and say, “I just didn’t enjoy self-employment as much as I think you should when you’re self-employed.  I enjoy being part of a company and having colleagues to learn from, bounce ideas off of, and share the day with.”

All of these answers make it clear that it’s your choice to come in from the world of self-employment.  You’re not going to ever talk about how it was a colossal failure, or you can’t afford the insurance, or you’re about to go bankrupt.  You’re going to say, “I tried it and decided it was not for me….but this opportunity is.”


If you’d like to practice your interview answers with professional feedback, or you need help with specific answers, I’d love to work with you as your interview coach.

Find out more about my special offer for personal 1:1 coaching or my group coaching membership that meets online Thursday evenings at 7:00pm CST!


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