remote job consultationWe are offering free consultations on how to lead & manage remote teams during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn More

Why Should You Hire Her? Answers to Look for When Conducting a Job Interview

Job interviews aren’t going away. The workplace may shift from sweatshop-like co-located (like IBM enjoys) to Virtual Reality Headset-enabled virtual office (our personal favorite, just don’t tell our boss), but you’ll ultimately always going to have to interview the person that’s going to work with you. Here we’ll share the answers you should look for when conducting a job interview.

What we’ve found is that hiring is the fulcrum upon which a good business turns. There is no amount of training, motivational practices, team-building and incentive programs that will fix getting the wrong person. On the other hand, getting the rightest (that’s a word right? Well, it should be!) can be so powerful that it may just revitalize your business or team.

So… Better not screw it up, right? But the dirty secret is… A lot of people never gave much thought to what they want to HEAR in a job interview. Interviewers build up a set of questions – especially dedicated interviewers even think hard about what questions are the most suitable for their area – but then mostly go through the motions.

Crucially, how many interviewers have through not just about the questions they want to ask, but the ANSWERS they want to hear?

Exactly. How do you know your perfect employee when you see him or her? Most of us – I’ve been guilty of this in the past too – never set a target, we just expect to sit at the table, fire our questions, and hope to be delighted.

What we at Distant Job have challenged ourselves to do – and we challenge you to do so as well – is: come up with your perfect answers. What does it look like when a prospective employee hits a homerun? What follows are our expectations. Let us know yours!


“Why Should I Hire You?”

In response to “Why Should I Hire You?”, there are no magic words.

What you want is to have the candidate give a reply that expresses that they have researched and love the history and the culture of the company they are applying to.

Lots of people don't go past the company name and position. When employees say that they would be a good fit, that's just talk. When they explain WHY they would be a good fit, revealing knowledge of the company, that's a winner.


“What was a time in a past assignment where you seriously messed up and had to be reprimanded and/or corrected?  How did you feel and what did you do about that reprimand?”

This is long one, but it’s also one of our favorite interview questions, and a perfect replacement for the ambiguous, weak “What is your biggest weakness?” question. We explain why in this article.

What you’re looking for here is ownership. A bad employee will look to shift the blame to this process or to that person; will complain about lack of information or resources. A mediocre employee will try to partially shift the blame.

Someone that completely owns a failure and proceeds to explain how she (and only she) should have acted to prevent it? I want that person on my team, and you should, too.


What is a piece of work that you are proud about, and why?”

We admit to having stolen this one from Treehouse. It’s a great question, because it lets us see what someone loves about their work – and indeed, IF someone loves their work.

Here, you want to gauge confidence and how that’s balanced with a desire for growth. You want to see their eyes shine when they mention their work! But at the same time, it’s an incredibly healthy sign if they say “…but, I would have liked to have gotten further with….”; “I’m still not satisfied with…” This shows desire to grow and learn!

Someone that reveals total detachment from previous work? That’s a no-go. Someone that thinks their previous work is flawless and they are super-hot because of it? We’d shy away from that, as well.

Candidates you get from Distant Job are expertly headhunted and vetted – there are no losers on our team. But the questions you ask of them will ensure that they fit perfectly in your company. These were our favorites. What are yours, and what answers do you expect?


Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

or... Subscribe to our newsletter and get exclusive content and bloopers

Luis Magalhaes

Luis Magalhaes

Luis Magalhães is Director of Marketing and editor-in-chief at DistantJob. He writes about how to build and manage remote teams, and the benefits of hiring remote workers. He‘s been managing editorial teams remotely for the past 15 years, and training teammates to do so for nearly as long.

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to our newsletter now and receive our latest eBook “Agile in Remote Teams” for free.