Well, sir, without any facetious intent whatsoever, I can tell you, it’s a jungle out there. In a perfect world I assume that employers like you would like to feel that an applicant like me has done a lot of research and narrowed his search through the sights of a rifle and not a shotgun. I have done my utmost to match what I want and what I know about myself to carefully select employers. At the same time I’ve tried to be realistic. I may not find exactly what I would prefer, but I am a resourceful person with a variety of skills and abilities. I might even discover an opportunity I had not anticipated — so there are some good things about the tight market. It requires me to be open to the unexpected. I want to be productively employed. I never thought of working in your industry until very recently and I think I have found something challenging here at APEX, LLC. What I would find challenging is . . .
Comment. In this answer the applicant is acknowledging what everyone knows. The job market is for the seller these days and he/she is banking on the idea that the kind of employer sought knows this and further, wants commitment and attitude over perfect match of experience and skill. After I had mentioned the challenge of APEX, I would cease in the hope that the next question would be related to a subject I had anticipated. The ball would be in my court. If not I have only been realistic about an employment market that sucks. What is important is that a significant portion of target companies have been researched in detail. One must use a shotgun in the interest of survival and chance.
The risk here as with all honesty is that it may be too honest. The employer may fear that this applicant is dishing bull and that he will always be looking for what he really wants. This, of course, may be what the employer does in his own interest, but he really may want to hear only that APEX represents the be all and the end all of the applicant’s dreams. If this is the case the employer is naive.
If the employer is sensitive to to the market, it doesn’t matter. The situation affects all concerned so the employer may as well be as exacting and demanding as he wishes. Again, the rule is the interviewer is looking for reasons not to hire rather why to hire. He’s got a pile to work through.
Here’s another possible answer if you’re a data person. “I look at a company first for the challenge it offers and the opportunities to grow as a professional. Uni-Ply has had at least 3 three to 4 per cent growth in the last ten years. That is respectable in these times. Your bond rating is above average and from what I’ve read you really research your markets before you enter them. I like that kind of thoughtful conservatism. Bottom line, a company that is not breaking new territory is not for me. I want the opportunities which growth brings like the chance to head up a new division or at least be part of new division startup team. It all takes time. I know that.”
Steadfast and cautious,