How to answer "What do you think is the most important aspect of this job?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why employers ask this

Employers are interested in knowing what you consider to be the most important aspect of the job you're interviewing for because your answer shows them if your skills, expectations, and values align with their company culture. It's also an opportunity for you to highlight what makes you the perfect fit for the role.

In addition, the hiring team is looking to assess the level of research you've done about the company. They want to see if you have a good understanding of the job description, the challenges and responsibilities of the role, and the company's core values. Your answer will help them determine if you're genuinely interested in the position and demonstrate how well you can connect the dots between your experiences and the organization's goals.

How to answer the question

  1. Start by stating the essential requirements of the job: Begin your response by mentioning some of the advertised requirements or responsibilities of the role. You might say something like, "From what I've gathered about the role, the primary duties include (do this) and (do that) which are both important aspects of the job."
  2. Show your understanding of the company culture: Explain how the most important aspect of the job aligns with the company's values, culture, or mission statement. You can say something like, "I think the most critical aspect of this job is (mention the most crucial responsibility). I understand that this role requires someone who values (company culture value) because it's at the core of everything the company does."
  3. Relate it to your skills and experience: Demonstrate how your experience, skills, and strengths match the most important aspect of the role. You may say, "I have (mention the specific skill) which I believe will be an asset in carrying out the essential role of (mention the critical aspect of the job). In my previous roles, I have been able to (mention an achievement that aligns with the critical aspect of the role).

Remember, your response should be tailored to the specifics of the job and the organization. Be confident, be enthusiastic, and be genuine. With these tips, you'll be able to confidently answer the question and demonstrate that you're the perfect fit for the role.

Sample answers

One of the most common interview questions is "What do you think is the most important aspect of this job?" This question is an opportunity for job seekers to showcase their understanding of the job requirements, their skills and experience, and their compatibility with the company culture. Here are some example answers, both good and bad:

Good answer 1:

The most important aspect of this job is communication. As a team, we need to communicate clearly and effectively to ensure that we are all on the same page and working towards the same goals. I believe that my excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, will enable me to collaborate seamlessly with my colleagues, build rapport with clients, and deliver high-quality results.

This answer is good because it demonstrates an understanding of the key skill that is required for success in the job, and also showcases the candidate's relevant experience and strengths.

Good answer 2:

For me, the most important aspect of this job is innovation. I think it's essential to stay ahead of the curve and be creative in our approach to problem-solving and project management. I'm excited to bring my experience in developing innovative solutions to complex challenges as well as my passion for brainstorming new ideas to this role.

This answer is good because it shows the candidate's enthusiasm for the job and demonstrates their willingness to think outside the box and take a proactive approach to their work.

Bad answer 1:

The most important aspect of this job is the salary. I'm looking for a well-paying job to support my lifestyle and to save up for my future goals. I believe that this job offers a competitive salary compared to similar positions in the industry, and I'm confident that I'm the right candidate for the role.

This answer is bad because it shows that the candidate is primarily motivated by money rather than by a genuine interest in the job or a desire to contribute to the company's success. It also doesn't answer the question in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the job requirements or the key skills for success.

Bad answer 2:

The most important aspect of this job is the location. I'm looking for a job that is close to my house so that I don't have to spend too much time commuting. This job is in a great location for me, and I'm excited about the possibility of working here.

This answer is bad because it shows that the candidate is prioritizing their personal convenience over the job requirements and the company's needs. It doesn't demonstrate an understanding of the key skills or the responsibilities of the role.

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