Hiring managers use job interviews to ultimately determine whether they should offer you a job. To glean the information they need to make that decision, they often ask tricky but telling queries like, “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “How do you work under pressure?” Sometimes, however, they’re a bit more direct.
In fact, one of the most common (and straightforward) interview questions employers ask is: “Why should we hire you?”
The good news is, this may be your best opportunity to really sell yourself as the perfect candidate and convince the hiring manager that you’d be the best choice. The bad news: that can be a daunting task, and the pressure may get to you.
But if you’re prepared to tackle this question, you should have no problem confidently, concisely, and enthusiastically explaining the unique value you’ll bring to the table, why you’ll be a great investment, and what makes you stand out from the other candidates. Follow the below steps to succeed in answering the question “Why should we hire you?”
Do your homework.
While doing your pre-interview research, figure out which of your skills, experiences, and accomplishments would be most relevant to the job (or company) at hand, so you can know which ones to focus on when answering this question. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any major challenges the company is currently facing so you can explain how you can be (or help with) the solution to those problems.
Be clear on the fact that you’re the one they want.
Pay very careful attention to the language they use in the job posting and throughout the interview. Look for and listen closely to the skills and qualities the employer seems to value most, and, if it’s true, use this opportunity to tell them that you have exactly what they’re looking for. Don’t just allude to it—say it! But know you’ll have to back up your claims. Also: remember that you don’t want to seem insincere, so don’t paint an unrealistic picture of who you are and the qualities you possess. Pick a few strong ones to focus on, and then follow the next step.
Use the opportunity to show your value.
Don’t just tell the hiring manager you have what it takes and that you’d be a great asset — prove it! Use metrics or anecdotes to show the value you’re capable of bringing to this company when answering to “Why should we hire you?”
Rather than saying, “I’m an awesome team player and problem solver!” you’ll want to give a few specific examples of instances in which you collaborated with others to successfully reach a solution. Beyond that, you’ll want to focus on your role in all of it, and show how you and your skills played an integral part.
Ultimately, this employer would be investing in you if they offered you the job, and they want to know the ROI will be strong. Show them it will.
Stand out from the crowd.
Chances are, you’re competing with dozens—maybe even hundreds—of other candidates for this job. So you’ll want to stand out, but for the right reasons.
One way to do this: offer a unique response to “Why should we hire you?” question.
No, we’re not saying you should get too creative, but it will probably help to say something about yourself that they won’t hear from every other candidate. That will make you more memorable.
For instance, instead of just saying you’re an excellent communicator, tell a funny or touching story about a time in which this skill came in handy or got you out of a tricky situation. The last thing you want is to blend in with everyone else!
Be bold—but not conceited.
This is your chance to show off and brag a bit. But you don’t want to take it too far. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t cross it when answering to “Why should we hire you?”
As you sell yourself, really think about whether you’re going too far. One way to do this is practice your answer to this question with family or friends before the interview. Ask them for their honest feedback. You won’t be sorry!
Yes, what you say when answering this question matters—but how you say it does, too.
Be confident in yourself. If you truly believe your qualifications are more than enough, and that you really would be the right choice, the interviewer will as well.
Consider the below approach when formulating a response to “Why should we hire you?”
“I know I’m the right candidate for this job, as I not only have what you’re looking for, and what it would take to thrive in this role, but I am also eager to help you with A, B and C, and know I could do so successfully.
As you can see from my resume, I have the necessary qualifications and several years of experience, but that does not capture the unique advantages I can provide to the company. At my last job, I was given the opportunity to advance my X and Y skills, even getting some experience with positions that were above my work level. For instance, I was involved in a project during which I was tasked with solving X problem, which I know is something you’re facing as well. I managed to help resolve it by doing Z.
I am confident that I can bring something to the table that no other candidate will, and I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to prove it.”