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The No. 1 interview question this tech executive asks before hiring a candidate

Courtney Connley
The No. 1 interview question this tech executive asks before hiring a candidate

Hiring managers don't want to hear you regurgitate your resume in an interview.

That's why Rhonda Vetere, president of data and analytics at health care tech company nThrive, gets straight to the point with every candidate she interviews by asking one simple question, "Why are you here?"

"It's all about being authentic," she tells CNBC Make It . "I am looking for authenticity, and there is no right or wrong answer."

With over 20 years of experience in tech, Vetere has interviewed many candidates throughout her career. Before joining nThrive in January of this year, Vetere held leadership positions at companies like JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and most recently Estée Lauder, where she served as CTO.

As someone who has been in a position to hire and fire, she says she's always looking for candidates who aren't afraid to be honest — no on wants an employee who is willing to lie to get ahead.

"It can be your job situation where you feel you are not learning, or it can be that your company is down-sizing," she says, but whatever your reason for making a change, "transparency is what I am looking for."

Bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch agrees, and says hiring mangers are usually pretty good at sensing a dishonest answer from an applicant.

"Don't make up a story," she says. "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Lying is never good."

And if you are job hunting because you want to escape something about your current role — a bad manager, for example, or low wages — Welch says to be careful not to let your honest answer sound like you're bashing your current employer. Instead, "make your answer about the future."

"Turn the conversation towards why you want to join the new company," she adds. "Explain why this job is so right for your skills, your values and your career goals."

She says describing your current company as plagued by "slow growth" or your role providing a "lack of opportunity" is a great way to summarize your situation without going into too many details.

"After your quick and courteous explanation, quickly pivot to what excites you about the new company's values, mission and culture," Welch says. "Talk about its people and its products."

Delivering this type of response will show that you're an honest and positive employee.

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