Qualifier Interview Questions

Ask yourself like an employer – “why should we hire you?” and see what qualifications puts you ahead of everyone. This section deals with some great qualifier interview questions that an employer seeks to qualify his potential candidates.

  1. What do you know about our company? What made you apply for this job with us?
  2. What do you hope to find here that you did not find in your current job?
  3. You seem to be over qualified in terms of experience for this role, why have you decided to apply for this position?
  4. Are you willing to take a pay cut?
  5. Is job security important to you?

Question #1 What do you know about our company? What made you apply for this job with us?

If you read our job research section, there are resources listed on how to research and gather information about the company you are applying for. With internet, this should be easy. Always jot down, in your mind, key appealing factors about the company and the job you are interviewing for – this question is inevitable and you better have an answer ready. Read the company’s vision statement – you don’t have to repeat it during the interview but it will give you a great deal of information about the company’s attitude and outlook in general.

Variations of this question:

– Why do you want to work for us?

Trap alert: Do not bring anything ‘money’ in response to this question.


Question #2: What do you hope to find here that you did not find in your current job?

Response: I have learned a great deal about the technology and project execution in the past 2 years – I love the team I work with, however, I have come to a point where I feel like I am not challenged enough. I think you will agree that only constant challenges help you grow. I am sure I will be promoted regularly at XYZ as it is easier to get noticed in a smaller team setting but at this stage of my career I am looking for opportunities to grow and an organization such as ABC will have greater scope of opportunities to grow.

Notes: Generally, this is an unlikely question but possible if you are switching company’s for the jobs with similar responsibilities and similar role levels. Linear moves tend to raise this question in one format or other (see variations below) and you should have a brief response for this interview question. Interviewer will try to figure out throughout the interview as to why you want to take up this job.  Congruence in your response is the key.

Variations of this question:

1. What are you looking for in a job?

2. What is your greatest motive for your move?

Trap alert: Do not talk about the perks, amenities and privileges, keep you’re answer focused on challenges, opportunities and growth.


Question #3: You seem to be over qualified in terms of experience for this role, why have you decided to apply for this position?

Response: I have learned a great deal about the technology and project execution in the past 4 years – I love the team I work with, however, I have come to a point where I feel like I am not challenged enough. I have learned everything I could at XYZ. I have somewhat started growing complacent but I realize that is not a good thing for my career in the long run.  I think you will agree that only constant challenges help you grow.  I got promoted regularly but the challenges presented at each level were not enough. That is the reason I have applied for a job that I may seem overqualified but entering the organization at this level will help me understand the challenges of this role.  I am confident that I will progress quickly at ABC and the experience I gain in this role will help me greatly in the long run.

Notes: When applying for a job that you may been seem overqualified for, it is a good idea to have a response that justifies your decision.  If your current company is smaller than the one you are applying for – it may be relatively easier to answer this question – as you can always say that the responsibilities at your level in a smaller firm may coincide with the responsibilities of the role that you have applied for in the bigger firm and you want to learn the challenges before proving yourself the right of next level.

Variations of this question:

Why are you willing to take up a role that seems below your experience level?


Question #4: Are you willing to take a pay cut?

I am not sure if we are at the stage where we can discuss the compensation.  However, since you have brought it up, I have always stayed competent with the industry standards and all my earlier positions have compensated me for what my role was entitled for. When you say pay cut, what standards are you referring to? Are you talking about pay cut compared to my current pay or in relation to the industry standards?  Has anyone joined ABC before with a pay cut?  What influenced their decision?

Notes: This is a tricky question – especially if it is brought up early in the interview. Wage cautiously. Try to find out why the interviewer thinks you should take pay cut – say for example – the company may have some programs that are considered part of your pay package (cost to company) and your interviewer maybe referring to the ‘take home’ income.  It is always better to dig more into details before responding hastily to this question.

Variations of this question:

1. What are your expectations about the pay?

2. Do you believe that you are compensated well right now?

(Both these questions need you to tweak the response presented above a bit).

Trap alert: Do not jump to conclusion.  Do not say ‘Yes’ – if you do – you may get underpaid for a long time or you may not get the job for not knowing your worth.  Do not say ‘no’ – as it may just have been a tricky question to see how you respond to difficult questions – it is highly unlikely that an employer calls you for an interview hoping to pay you less than what you are already making.


Question #5: Is job security important to you?

Response: I have held jobs in startup companies that had no guarantee about their continuity but the positions there promised a great deal of learning.  I have proved myself, more than once, that I can take up any task and execute it well – that is what is important to me – mutually successful relationship – in which I contribute to the growth of the company and myself. For some, job security maybe of primary concern but not for me, I rely on my ability to perform. When I take up a job I look at the potential of opportunities and not the security.

Notes: Job security is for under performers – super performers always strive for opportunities – not security.  Do not say ‘It is important but…”, always say “I care for opportunities not security”…sound confident but not cocky.

Variations of this question:

1. Do you take chances?

2. What is more important – job security or bigger paycheck?

Trap alert: Keep your conservative side on leash in responding to this question.