Tough Interview Question - What criteria are you using to evaluate potential employers?

What criteria are you using to evaluate potential employers?

Similar interview questions:
What is most important to you in evaluating where to work?
Tell me about how you plan make a decision on which job you will accept.
What are your top three requirements for your future employer?
Are you interviewing with other employers? What do you like and not like about what you have seen and heard so far?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
This is often being asked late in the interview process when there is a strong interest in the candidate. So there can be a shift from the candidate selling to the employer to the employer selling to the candidate. Especially if the employer responds to your criteria with how it matches up well, this can be a very strong buying signal on the part of the employer. Most employers only ask this question if there is a strong interest in the candidate.

The best approach to answering this question:
Focus on your fit with the employer. This is not the time to bring up areas which they are not able to meet. If and when you have multiple offers, you can further evaluate your options based on your full criteria. But you are still in the interview, so you need to focus on how your background aligns with this employer. Focus not only on the immediate, but also on opportunities for growth in the future.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"It’s important for me to feel a strong sense of fit, not only with the role, but also with the team as well. I want to work with a team that is focused on delivery. And I am also looking for opportunities for growth in the future. I would like to have avenues for growth and development as I move further down the path of my career…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"I’m looking for an opportunity to be an immediate contributor, but also have opportunities for growth and advancement over time. Cultural fit, both with the employer and with the team specifically, is very important for me. I want to work with a team that I will make better and that will make me better as well. I want to be a top performer, so I’m looking for an employer who will provide me with the tools needed to reach that goal…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, my big first question is how are the benefits? And how many weeks vacation and how many sick days will I receive? I want to make sure that I can maximize those two things. So tell me more about your benefits, your vacation plan and your sick days policy…"


Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!


Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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