Tough Interview Question - What is most important to you in your job?

What is most important to you in your job?

Similar interview questions:
What is the most important aspect of your work?
What role attributes are meaningful to you?
What components in your position are critical to you being productive?
What one or two things are you looking for in your job?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is inverting the job description back to you and your personal wants and needs in the role, looking for alignment. While this is an idealistic question, it has a very practical application in alignment between what the candidate wants and what the employer has to offer. If there is lack of alignment, the candidate may be rejected for the role.

The best approach to answering this question:
Focus on being productive and the delivery aspects of your role. Do not focus on anything other than the ability to deliver results.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"It’s important for me to be productive in my role. I am known for delivering quality results in a timely manner. Let me give you a recent example of this…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"The most important aspect of my job is being able to deliver quality results on time. This was key for me in my recent internship, where I delivered not only my core project, but also a secondary optional project. Here are the details of those projects…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"I like having flexibility in my job, so any restrictions on my personal freedoms wouldn’t work for me. For example, I want to be able to check Facebook periodically throughout the day without big brother watching over me and monitoring me…"

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 100 Common Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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