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How to Answer "Are You a Risk Taker?" Interview Question

How to Answer "Are You a Risk Taker?" Interview Question

Some people are born risk-takers, while others prefer the safe road.

But when it comes to interview questions, there is no right and wrong answers to the questions “Are you a risk-taker?”

However, most people find such behavioral questions hard-to-answer, as they require more than just a “yes” or “no” answer.

We are here to help you, in this article, we are going to explore the following questions:

  • Why do recruiters ask “Are you a risk-taker?”
  • What is the best approach to answer “Are you a risk-taker?”

And we are going to leave you off with some great example answers to get you started.

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But if you are ready to find out how to answer “Are you a risk-taker?”, stick around.

Why do recruiters ask "Are you a risk-taker?"

Like most behavioral questions, this one has many layers, and the recruiter is looking for more information than you would think.

Mostly, the question “Are you a risk-taker?” would be asked if you have applied for a managing position or one that requires you to take calculated risks and make lots of decisions.

In this case, the recruiter would be looking for evidence that you are comfortable with that responsibility.

However, you might be asked “Are you a risk-taker?” even if the position does not require many decisions on your part.

If that’s the case, the recruiter might hope to gain some insight from your reaction to the question, and how confidently you answer.

Best Approach to Answer "Are you a risk-taker?"

Now that you understand why recruiters ask “Are you a risk-taker?” it is time for you to find out how to get the best out of your answer.

First, don’t forget this is an interview question. No recruiter would be interested in any extreme sports you practice, so make sure you keep your answer professional.

And, just like all behavioral questions, you need to be prepared with specific examples and outcomes from your risks. The recruiter would be interested in what you did, why you did it, and how did it turn out.

Additionally, what you would like to include in your answer is:

  • What was your thought process for the decision
  • How did you weight the pros and cons
  • What you learned from the situation
  • If you could do it again, what would you do differently (if anything)

Don’t be afraid to use an example of a situation that did not turn out well. In this case, you can show that you have learned from your mistakes, and you can also show the steps you took to fix the problem.

Examples are extremely essential when it comes to the question “Are you a risk-taker?”. As it is all about problem-solving skills, you need to demonstrate that you possess what is needed to handle complicated situations.

Recruiters are aware of the fact that things go wrong in business, but what really matters is how you handle such situations, and how do you fix problems.

Providing a specific examples of that can put you in a great light, and show that you are really confident in your problem-solving skills.

If you decide to share a situation when a risk you took turned out well, you need to take the time to explain your step-by-step process. You need to make the recruiter aware of every decision you took and why did you go for it.

Last but not least, make sure you show that every risk you took was calculated, and not a shot in the dark.

Example answers to "Are you a risk-taker?"

And now, as promised, check out our example answers, and use them to structure your own.

Example 1

I am not a natural risk-taker, but over the years I have developed the confidence to take risks when it matters. In my personal life I prefer to play it safe, but when it comes to professional decisions, I have taken a significant amount of calculated risks that have paid off. A great example of that is when I started my own business, which is sucessful so far.

Example 2

I would say that I am a risk-taker. I am not afraid to take on a challenge, or try something new. Likewise, I think it is great to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Otherwise, you stop yourself from growing and learning new things. Of course, not every risk is worth taking, but one of the most rewarding things a person can experience is a calculated risk paying off.

Example 3

I would say that I am somewhere in the middle. I don’t like taking unnecessary risks, but I also don’t like to play it too safe. Likewise, I think there is a golden middle between the two extremes, and that’s exactly where I try to stay. What I consider the best approach to any situation is to weight the pros and cons and make a decision based on that.

Takeaways

We are all done, now you know how to answer the question “Are you a risk-taker?” just right.

Let’s go through a quick recap and make sure that you are ready to nail your answer:

  • Keep your answer professional – no recruiter wants to hear about your interest in any extreme sports
  • Prepare examples for your answer – just like all behavioral questions, examples are what makes your answer strong
  • Describe your process – recruiters are interested in the whole process from facing the problem, through taking steps, all the way to the outcome of the situation
  • Don’t be afraid to share a situation that did not have a good outcome – this is a great opportunity to show that you have learned from your mistakes, and you can also share how you fixed the problem afterwards

Check out our example answers one last time, and nail your answer in your next job interview.

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Kal Dimitrov
Kal is a resume expert @ Enhancv. He frequently publishes blog posts around resume writing, cover letters & job applications. Kal also runs a Career Accelerator Bootcamp for young graduates.