Why I Won’t Hire You – If You Are NICE

Crazy right? Now that I have your attention, let me explain.

In my 19 years in Human Resources, on top of being a full spectrum HR Partner and Coach, I have hired almost 1000 people with over 90% retention. So what does nice have to do with this?

Well, I expect everyone I hire to be “nice”. What seems to be missing with many candidates is that the interview is not about you, it is about your ability to contribute to the team/project/company. What I mean, when there is a job opening, there is a business need that must be addressed. Employers are always considering; how long it will take the new hire to be productive and making/saving money, how much training is involved, do you have the technical skills, and will you fit into the team. It is ALL ABOUT BUSINESS; we expect you to be nice.

When I ask “why should I hire you?”, I hear “because I don’t know when to quit,” “I get along with people,” “I look forward to the training,” blah blah blah. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this!

What I want to hear is how you can add value to the business with your skills/experience, save time in training and get you profitable for the company quickly, over everyone else I have interviewed. How you are the business solution!

Some suggestions to this question. Again think of the “pain” points a company faces with the role being vacant or what would be a high desire for a productive employee? Show how hiring you will ease that “pain” with specific examples.

Engineering – “You should hire me because I am superb at X. I have excellent Software experience in X. I interface with the clients and have earned new business because of my relationships. I know cradle to grave engineering in my discipline as well as X. I have been told I am super at X by my manager. I will be billable in short order.”

Finance – “Hire me because I understand X, X, and X very well with my years of experience and can do this for you too. I am consultative with my clients by providing the latest in advice and tax solutions. I have implemented successful new processes at my past company that saved X. I mentor and train fellow teammates.”

Administration – “I am comfortable wearing many hats and can recognize priorities. I am coachable and take direction. I look for ways to save time/money. I type X wpm. I am an expert in excel. I have grown in responsibility in all my roles, and I will be able to hit the ground running.”

Show me how you are different. Illuminate why I should pick you.

Think of what may be concerning for various industries and educate the hiring manager how you are not that. For Warehouse, concerns may be – punctuality and safety awareness. For Engineering, knowing when to defend your design and when to concede into someone else’s design with no ego. For Administration, companies are concerned with longevity, commitment, and eagerness to take on new tasks.

Once you are hired, you can show how you earned the job because of your technical/soft skills – but also how nice you are to work with!


Patty Miller
Patty Miller
I have 20 years of progressive Sr. HR Experience, as President of MillerNet HR Solutions, I provide Custom, Confidential Sr. HR Business Services in all industries. ANY HR function is successfully addressed. Very strong in Operations with high business acumen. We help you make/save $. We look at ways to save time & reduce $ and improve your bottom line. Succession planning, Business Optimization, Career Coaching, fit for purpose hiring on how you are wired. Complex Documentation for any requirement. Expert Profiler using Core Values Index CVI. Proficient Investigator- Bullying, Safety incidents, Performance, etc. Hired 1000+ people, w 94% retention. Terminated 130+ people with zero litigation. I inspire positive change, empower leaders & ignite performance solutions while working under your brand. Powerful! Having an Executive HR background compliments my leadership coaching since Coaching & HR all go back to day to day business. "Effective Leaders outperform Ineffective leaders every time" ~W.A. Adams. Let’s point everyone in the same direction at the same time & reap the rewards! I GUARANTEE improved Leadership Effectiveness when you work with us! Leadership Effectiveness is the key to improved EVERYTHING - ROI, Productivity, Career Fulfilment & more. Through “Influence Genius – An Executive Leadership and Coaching Company”, we work with leaders in transition who are new to leadership or for leaders who are taking on additional/new responsibilities through Re-organizations, M & A or Downsizing, Team and 1:1 leadership development. This is REAL straight talk grounded in science on how & why we react to situations based on how we are hard-wired. We equip you with the tools to see how you naturally lead & set you up to be a leader that is embraced rather than a boss. Who does not want that?

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  1. Interesting suggestions proposed.
    Although I was not a professional recruiter, I took care of hiring for many years and I often asked this question, even though I was not too convinced of its practical usefulness; starting from the assumption that it is only the company staff that knows the real situation, they should be the ones who know which is the ideal candidate. Not the one who is looking for work!
    In any case, the expectation of response was that the candidate I was facing would be curious and ready to take on the ever-changing challenges that the business context continually poses, that would be open to the growth opportunities that the company offers, putting itself in play without prejudice and prejudice, and able to bring new and ‘alternative’ points of view without fear of experimenting and making mistakes, because there are no other ways to learn and grow.