When an interviewer is trying to gain insights into your personal views and characteristics, he or she might ask whether you have ever thought about going into business for yourself.
It can seem like this question is designed to measure how self-motivated you are, but in reality, your answer will reveal how well you would fit into the position you are interviewing for. Your interviewer is probably concerned with learning whether you are a team player who can support a larger organization’s interests and find satisfaction in working as an employee.
Points to Emphasize
Your answer should demonstrate that you would make a reliable and committed employee. Try to address the following points:
- Emphasize why your skills are ideally suited for work as an employee at a company like the one you’re interviewing with.
- Describe the factors that make working for a company the ideal option for you.
- Explain your desired career trajectory to show that you intend to continue working as an employee.
- Briefly mention the traits or beliefs that make running a business an undesirable option for you.
If you previously have considered opening a business, be careful to explain why you are now committed to securing this job instead.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
It can be easy to slip up while answering this question. It’s important to provide details to justify your answer and watch out for the following mistakes:
- Don’t give the impression that you dislike working for others.
- Do not suggest that pragmatic factors, such as a lack of funding, are all that deter you from starting your own business.
- Don’t segue into a discussion about the aspects of working as an employee that you dislike.
- Don’t overreact to the question by implying that you lack the knowledge or competence to start a business.
An open, honest answer can help reassure an interviewer that you would make a dedicated employee.
The following two responses are both examples of effective answers to this question:
I haven’t considered opening a business because I think my skills are best suited to a career in human resources. I know that a position with an established employer will let me focus on developing those skills and eventually reaching my goal of becoming an HR manager.
Opening a business wouldn’t be a good fit for me because I do my best work in stable jobs with well-defined responsibilities. I also enjoy working in positions that let me learn from my co-workers and managers.
This question can be tough, but if you approach it carefully, you can use it to help your interviewer better understand your dedication and your long-term ambitions.