A common question a hiring manager may ask in a job interview is, “Why should we hire you?” While this question may seem condescending, the manager wants to see how well you can sell yourself. Therefore, when you answer the question, you should use this opportunity to be as confident and thorough about your qualifications as possible.
The hiring manager has probably seen many candidates for the job and may see many more. Answering this question could set you apart from others if you’re able to convince the manager of your worth. Not only will he take into account the logic that you use in your answer, but he will also notice how you present it and how well your reasoning fits in with the company’s needs.
Tips for Convincing an Interviewer that He Should Hire You
When you answer this question, you’ll want to focus on specific qualities and qualifications that you can bring to the job. Think not just in terms of what the company needs, but of any skills or background you have that could set you apart from other applicants. All of these reasons can help the interviewer have a mental picture of how you would fit into the workplace.
- List any education or professional training.
- Mention any relevant work experience.
There are also things you’ll want to avoid saying when responding to this question. In order to be as specific as possible, avoid listing adjectives like “hard working,” “timely” and “disciplined.” Instead, follow up these words with concrete ways that these personality traits have helped you in life and on the job. For example, you could say that your timeliness earned you the punctuality award your senior year of high school or that your discipline helped you receive steady promotions at your last job.
Sample Answer: Odysseus
To give a more detailed example of how to respond to an interviewer who asks why he should hire you, pretend for a moment that the Greek king Odysseus is answering the question:
After my success in the Trojan War, I bravely faced many battles in my attempt to return home to my wife and children. I was able to successfully escape the clutches of a Cyclops who had imprisoned me in his cave. Through my guidance, mine was the only ship to escape a ruthless cannibal on the sea. Conversely, I was able to receive guidance from my own men when I became too complacent at the home of the witch-goddess Circe. That experience really enriched my understanding of how easy it can be to get too set it one’s ways to the detriment of the crew and the overall mission. The experience also helped solidify my fortitude when we reached a harbor and I was able to summon the spirit of a prophet and my mother. That prophecy was crucial to our returning home and saving my wife from the greedy suitors who threatened to take all we had worked so hard for.
Upon my return home, I was able to go undercover to assess the situation. While undercover I won a contest with a bow and arrow, beating out all the suitors. Through this skill and my ability to prove my identity to my wife, I recovered my stolen land.
While this example may seem farfetched, it highlights much of the type of content that can go into your own answer when the interviewer asks why he should hire you. For example, Odysseus focused on his achievements, struggles he had overcome and his determination that led to ultimate success. Your answer should likewise reflect what and makes you a unique candidate. Focus on your individuality and what you can bring to the table, while also making it clear that you would be honored to by hired by the company.