What will you do if I decide not to hire you?

  | James Innes

What will you do if I decide not to hire you?

Alternative and related questions:

What effect would it have on you if we decided not to hire you?
How would you feel if your application for this job was unsuccessful?

The meaning behind the question:

No, this doesn’t necessarily mean the interviewer is going to turn you down. It’s yet another stress question. The interviewer will also be interested in seeing how you handle rejection and what your other job search plans are.

Your answer:

As with many seemingly negative questions, this is an opportunity for you to make a positive statement confirming your interest in the role – but making it clear that you’re by no means desperate and that you know you will be in demand elsewhere. Don’t react defensively or aggressively. Keep your cool and answer the question in a very matter-of-fact manner.


I would naturally be disappointed. I’m very keen to get this job. It meets all my requirements and I firmly believe that I also meet all your requirements. Yours is an organisation I can certainly see myself working well for. However, I do of course have a number of other applications in progress for similar roles and, if my application for this job was not successful, I would clearly continue to pursue other opportunities. But this particular role does remain my preferred choice and I hope I have demonstrated that I would be an ideal candidate for the job.

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