How to answer "What do you think is the most important quality for success in this company?" (with sample answers)

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

Why Employers ask this Question

The question "What do you think is the most important quality for success in this company?" is a popular one among interviewers. Employers ask this question to gauge your understanding of the company culture, values, and the role you are applying for. Additionally, your answer can show how you align with the company's goals and aspirations. By answering this question, the interviewer can understand if you possess qualities that would make you a good fit for the team and contribute to the success of the company.

Therefore, when preparing an answer, keep in mind that the interviewer is looking for more than just your opinion. You need to show that you have researched the company and understand the qualities that are highly valued by the organization.

How to Answer the Question

When answering the question "What do you think is the most important quality for success in this company?" you need to ensure that your response is tailored to the company you are interviewing for. Here's how you can craft a winning answer:

  • Research the company: Before the interview, ensure that you research the organization's culture, values, and any recent achievements.
  • Focus on the role: Your answer should align with the job description and requirements of the role.
  • Highlight your strengths: Use the question as an opportunity to highlight your strengths that align with the qualities valued by the company.
  • Give examples: Support your answer with examples of how you possess these qualities or how you have developed them in the past.
  • Be honest: Do not exaggerate or lie about your abilities, as employers can quickly see through a bluff.

By following these guidelines, your answer will show the interviewer that you understand the company and are a good candidate for the role.

Sample answers

Answer 1 (bad): "I think the most important quality for success in this company is being able to work long hours and being willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done."

Explanation: While it is important to have a strong work ethic, this answer presents a potentially unhealthy work culture and suggests that the company may expect employees to sacrifice work/life balance for the sake of the job. It also does not demonstrate any specific skills or qualities relevant to the position.

Answer 2 (good): "In my opinion, the most important quality for success in this company is adaptability. From what I've read and heard, this company tends to grow and change quickly. Employees who are able to adapt to different circumstances and take on new challenges are the ones who will thrive here."

Explanation: This answer shows that the candidate has done research on the company and demonstrates an understanding of its culture and needs. It also highlights a specific skill that is relevant to the position and emphasizes the candidate's willingness to learn and grow with the organization.

Answer 3 (bad): "I believe that the most important quality for success in this company is being competitive and always striving to be the best. It's important to work harder than everyone else and be the top performer."

Explanation: This answer presents a potentially toxic work culture and suggests that the interviewee might be inclined towards cutthroat, uncollaborative behavior. Additionally, it doesn't show understanding or appreciation of the importance of teamwork and collaboration in the company.

Answer 4 (good): "I think that the most important quality for success in this company is a positive attitude. From my research and conversations with current employees, it seems that the company values collaboration and a strong team-oriented approach. Having a positive attitude can help build relationships with colleagues and contribute to a vibrant and productive work environment."

Explanation: This answer shows that the candidate has researched the company culture and values and recognized the importance of collaboration and teamwork. Additionally, emphasizing positivity demonstrates a focus on constructive communication and support of colleagues, which are very important qualities to demonstrate in many workplaces.

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