How To Answer: Why Should We Hire You?By Elaine Sim • 9 min read
5 simple words but perhaps one of the most difficult and daunting questions in an interview – Why should we hire you?
The whole interview boils down to this particular question – to help employers understand why should they hire you over other qualified candidates.
While it remains an intimidating question, it’s actually one of the best opportunities for you to create a concise sales pitch to sell yourself and show that you are indeed the best fit for the position.
If you’re trying to figure out how you can answer this perfectly to land the job, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you better understand and know:
- Why do interviewers ask: Why we should hire you?
- How to slay this question to ace the interview?
- Examples 😀
- What are the common mistakes to avoid?
Why do interviewers ask: Why we should hire you?
It seems like they’re just trying to put you in a spot by asking such a difficult question, but here’s what they really what to know.
Why you instead of others?
Let’s face it, there are probably many other equally well-qualified candidates vying for the same position as you. The interviewer is looking for clear reasons why you are the better choice and your edge over other candidates.
Why are you the best fit?
If you get called for an interview, chances are you’ve met the basic qualifications for the role. Even more than your capabilities, the interviewer wants to know if you’ll be a good culture fit. For example, if the company has a “clan culture” they want to know if you are a team worker that will fit in the culture.
How can you value-add?
Employers need problems to be solved in their company. Be it growing revenue, cracking a new marketing channel, or even differentiating against a competitor. For that reason, if you can show that you can solve their problems and achieve their business goals, you will definitely shine.
Can you think on your feet?
Most employers want to hire someone who can perform under pressure and think on their feet to adapt to the situation. Interviewers know this question will put many candidates in a spot – and that helps them distinguish the good candidates from the excellent ones who can give them a solid and concise answer.
What’s your Special Magic?
The best candidates who look good on paper may not be the best hires. The interviewer wants to know who are you beyond your resume – what motivates you, what you’re passionate about and what your personality is like.
Now that you know the intention behind this question, avoiding the common mistakes that people make will bring you one step closer to success.
How to slay this question to ace the interview?
Besides the typical tips like practicing your answer over and over again, here are some practical tips you can instead adopt to answer “Why should we hire you?” question more effectively.
Think: If you were the interviewer, what would impress you?
There are three key things that you need to know: yourself, the job and the company.
Knowing yourself: Categorising your skills
First of all, to sell yourself, you need to know yourself.
Take some time to refresh yourself of all your achievements – be it big or small, technical skills or soft skills. Once you have done that, cluster these skills into categories. For example, attributes like “Willingness to assist team members with tasks, excellent collaborators across different departments, acknowledge others, provide and receive feedback well” can show that you are a team player.
To really build a solid answer, think of specific examples that prove you are good at these skills. Perhaps you want to tell the interviewer that you are skilled at cross-cultural communications – for this, you can say that you have managed and led a team of 8 from 4 cultural backgrounds and you managed to achieve all the project objectives.
Furthermore, you need to understand your personality and traits. What makes you you? If you are unsure how to start, you can do a simple 16 personalities test to find out more about yourself! Do keep in mind that the 16 personalities result is not the gospel truth – but it’s a good way to start knowing yourself a bit better.
Knowing the job: What you can and cannot do (for now)
After knowing yourself better, you’d also need to know what you can bring to the role. Study the job description and note down:
- What job requirements do you meet
- What job requirements do you exceed
- What job requirements do you not meet
This helps you better understand how you can value-add to the company when they hire you. For the requirements that you do not meet, simply use this opportunity to show your willingness to learn.
If one of the job requirements is “Proficient in Adobe Photoshop” and you are not skilled at it, don’t downplay it just yet. Instead, say that you are learning Photoshop during your free time using YouTube tutorials. This shows the interviewer that you have a growth mindset and are willing to independently learn whatever it takes.
Besides the job requirements, pay attention to the job responsibilities. Tie your experiences, skills and personality to why you will be able to deliver and thrive in this position.
Additionally, knowing these will also help you manage your expectations for the job when you get it – so you can better prepare for it! Some ways you can better understand Google the role, read LinkedIn profiles of people who held this position or talk to people whom you know are taking on this role.
Knowing the company: Help them solve their problem
Research, Research, Research.
The importance of knowing the company and role like the back of your hands cannot be emphasised enough.
Do your homework on the current problems that the company or industry is facing. There are various ways you can do this. First, read their websites and annual reports. Then, do some stalking on their social media channels. Also, you can run a quick Google search to find media mentions of the company.
Now, the next part is very critical. Think: Solutions that can contribute to solving these issues – especially those related to the role you are applying for. This gives them a compelling sneak preview of the value they’ll get from hiring you, and why you are a worthy hire.
Say if you are applying for a job in a florist shop. Tell them the following.
“I understand that there are peak and non-peak seasons for florist shops and engaging cost-effective and timely delivery services may prove challenging. I am able to negotiate the cost and the time for you as I have a knack for negotiating terms. Which was exactly how I helped reduce costs for my previous company.”
You just came to them with a possible solution and told them how you are an asset. So how can they resist a hire like you?
Pro Tip: You need to speak with confidence here. You need to prove to the interviewer that you know what you are saying and you can deliver as expected.
Let’s look at some examples
Here we have some samples of quality answers to this unnerving question on “why should we hire you?”
Why this is a good answer:
✔ Showed you did your homework by bringing up the company’s vision
✔ Concrete examples to demonstrate passion in the company’s work
✔ Showed how transferable skills from past experiences are relevant to the job
Why this is a good answer:
✔ Fresh take: Talk about the problem the company is facing
✔ Shows problem-solving skills: What you can do for the company
✔ Sells yourself with quantifiable results
✔ Tactful phrasing: Appropriate phrasing of words and showing achievements without arrogance
Why this is a good answer:
✔ Reflected clear interest in the role
✔ Demonstrated his willingness to learn and passion in the subject matter with examples of how he independently picked up relevant skills
✔ Went one step beyond just learning the skills, but applying his skills by teaching others how to code
When an interviewer asks you why should they hire you, it is a great opportunity to convince them why you are the best candidate for the position.
Don’t panic and remember our 3 must-knows – and you are on the way to nail the interview.
What are the common mistakes to avoid?
Listing things from your resume
Even if the interviewer did not review your resume before the interview, he probably has a good idea of your past experiences from the interview thus far. Interviews are often a one-time opportunity to impress the interviewers, so don’t waste precious time just rehashing what is in your resume.
Not tying it back to the job
As much as it is about selling yourself, remember the goal is to land the job and you should connect it to the job requirements.
For example, saying that you can finish a half-marathon in 2 hours is great but it does not value-add to the job. Instead, relate it back to the job you’re interviewing for: “I’m the best person for the job because I will do whatever it takes to achieve a goal once I set my mind to it. In 2019, I set a goal to run a half-marathon and as someone who did not fancy running, I started training daily and managed to complete a half-marathon before the year ends.”
Not tying it back to the company
If your answer could have been repeated at an interview with another company, it’s too generic. Remember: You’re not looking to just do okay at the interview, you’re looking to be the candidate that gets the offer.
Don’t just say this kind of company or this industry interests you, focus on this particular employer. Demonstrate why you’re the best hire for this particular employer.
Exaggeration or hyperbolic language
You want to convey a healthy sense of enthusiasm and impress. But you don’t want to exaggerate your ability or come across as “cocky”.
Don’t sell yourself short. But don’t exaggerate either. If you are using hyperbolic language like “incredibly successful” or “game-changing solution”, make sure you can back up what you’re saying.
Not selling yourself
Another mistake people usually make is the opposite of exaggerating. When the interviewer asks why they should hire you, it’s an opportunity to sell yourself. This is not the time to be humble. Instead, lay out exactly why your achievements, experiences, competencies, interests and personality makes you the best person for the job.
Find the perfect balance between “exaggerating” and “not selling”!
Giving vague answers
Don’t just say fluff. Soft skills should always be backed with metrics or experience.
If you want to say that you have leadership skills, don’t just stop there. What you can do instead is letting them how you led your team to complete a project from scratch with quantifiable measures of success.
Now that is impressive.
Level up your interview game today.
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