1. Why do recruiters ask " Why should we not hire you?"
  2. Tips for answering "Why should we not hire you?"
    1. Research, research, and more research!
    2. Pick a specific weakness
    3. Be honest yet professional
    4. Highlight your strengths
  3. Sample answers to "Why should we not hire you?"

Behavioral interview questions such as “Why should we not hire you?” can throw even the best candidates off the chair by their abrupt nature.

A job recruitment process has many levels that you need to successfully surpass in order to bag the job. While some HR interview questions help recruiters to understand your skills through traditional frequently asked interview questions, there are some unconventional interview questions such as behavioural interview questions and situational interview questions that test your presence of mind.

Although the recruitment process differs across companies, some organizations have specific rounds for the same to ensure that they hire the best candidate for their team. So, don’t skip out on preparing for such unconventional interview rounds.

In this piece, we will help you answer the behavioural interview question “Why should we not hire you?”

Why do recruiters ask " Why should we not hire you?"

There are many reasons for recruiters to ask behavioural interview questions like "Why should we not hire you?" Of the many, one such reason is to find out about your weaknesses.

As weird as it may seem to you, this HR interview question allows the recruiter to understand how you will react in an unexpected situation. Recruiters prefer candidates who have clarity on their own strengths and weaknesses, as such employees are much more proactive in upskilling to give their best performance.

This is crucial for the recruiter to understand whether or not you will be compatible with the company as an employee.

Tips for answering "Why should we not hire you?"

Now that you have an understanding of why recruiters ask this behavioural interview question, here are a few tips to follow in order to frame the best answer for “ Why should we not hire you?”

Research, research, and more research!

A common mistake repeated by many job seekers is to not research well before applying for a job.

Let’s give a clear sense of what we mean by research. When you are asked to research before a job application, we are asking you to conduct thorough research on not just the company, but also on the possible rounds of interviews, the interviewer, the company’s projects, the prospective team, etc.

This will provide you with insights into the company to help you make better decisions and give you talking points for the job interview.

Remember, if you bag the job, you will be spending a great part of your day in the organization. So, it is crucial that you find yourself in alignment with the company’s work environment.

Pick a specific weakness

When answering behavioral interview questions like “Why should we not hire you?” focus on one specific weakness that is not too off-putting and you can talk about it in a constructive manner.

Avoid answering the behavioral interview question like, “I am too hard-working” or “You shouldn't hire me because I care too much”. These answers give the impression that you are trying to avoid answering the question.

Also, try to choose a weakness that coincides with the work, but is not of extreme crucial to it. Sounds confusing? Here’s an example for you to can answer this HR interview question.

“ I personally thrive in an offline environment as it allows me to brainstorm with the team better. This is one of my weaknesses as an extrovert. To be honest, I believe there’s always a chance of miscommunication, and the ideas are not properly brainstormed, leading to half-hearted ideation and even more half-hearted productivity.”

Be honest yet professional

Honesty is the best policy but it is also crucial that you answer the HR interview question in a professional manner.

Take a minute and gather your thoughts before you go on to answer this behavioral interview question.

Behavioral questions like “Why should we not hire you?” can easily cause even the best-prepared candidate to slip up, hence, ensure that you remain mindful while answering this question.

Highlight your strengths

When answering "Why should we not hire you?" you can try to provide your strengths along with your weaknesses.

As important as it is to be genuine, you can tweak your answer to highlight why you should be hired for the position.

For example, if you are talking about your weakness, you can also explain how the incident has provided new learning as well.

Sample answers to "Why should we not hire you?"

To make things easier for you to understand, here are some sample answers to “Why should we not hire you?”

Sample answer #1:

“ If you are looking for a candidate who’ll be obedient to every order without any questions asked, then I am probably not the right choice.

I ask a lot of questions to have a clear understanding of what I am being asked to do and what results are expected.

It is one of the reasons I have received the ‘Employee of the month’ award in my last organization.”

Sample answer #2:

“ I tend to overthink a lot of my creative decisions and tend to require a second opinion before I submit the idea. I majorly overthink the fact that the audience will misunderstand the idea.

I have even held back from more experimental concepts fearing it would not sit well. Luckily I have had amazing teams in my last 2 organizations, whose encouragement, critique, and guidance have helped my overthinking and I am much more confident in my approach and ideation than I was 2 years back."

Sample answer #3:

" I have never missed any deadline to date, but one thing I have had a problem with is arriving at work at 9 in the morning. I work best from late morning onwards and the best ideas come to me during that time. I have done my bit of trials and errors and hence I try to opt for flexible timings such as the one you are offering.”

Hopefully, these tips and sample answers to "Why should we not hire you?" will help you tailor your answers to perfection.

Apart from practicing for behavioral interview questions and the frequently asked interview questions, make sure to pay attention to the ideal interview dresscodes and prepare your documents well in advance.

All the Best!

HR Interview Questions & Answers