There’s only one you. You’ve travelled the world, you’re in good shape and you make a mean cup of tea – you’re pretty cool! However, sadly, none of this is really going to blow employers away in an interview. “ Why should we hire you? ” is a simple, yet vital, interview question that leaves many job hunters unravelled. So much is at stake based on your answer to this short, seemingly innocent question. A strong response could be the key to your dream job. Bearing that in mind, are you truly prepared to answer this crucial interview question?
“ Why should we hire you? ” – Why employers ask this interview question
OK, so you may be sat there thinking “Duh, it’s obvious!”, bear with us. While, yes, the main objective of this question is to find out why you believe you’re suitable for the role, there’s a little more to it than that.
First of all, your interviewer has a job to do. They can’t just hire anyone who walks in and claims they’d be perfect for the role. It’s essential for them to find the right candidate for the job or, more accurately, the best candidate for the job. So, interviewers use this question to help them make that difficult decision.
Do you match the criteria? Are you passionate about the opportunity? Is your personality the right fit? There’s a lot an employer needs to find out about you during an interview and they don’t have much time to do it. Asking “ Why should we hire you? ”, or some variation of the same question, is one way to gauge your suitability.
Secondly, it’s a test of how well you sell yourself. If the interviewer feels that you haven’t given it some thought, then surely you’re not that enthusiastic about the job. Or maybe you didn’t do any preparation? Perhaps you couldn’t be bothered? This is how an interviewer thinks; it’s not just about what you say, they’re constantly reading between the lines.
Prepare your answer beforehand
The whole purpose of attending an interview is to persuade your potential employer that you are the only person for the job. It’s your sole mission to make them forget about the competition and realise that the role was made for you. That’s going to be hard to do without any preparation. Sorry to any disappointed ‘wing it’ types out there, but it’s true! Preparation really is key here.
While you may not be directly asked the question “ Why should we hire you? ”, your aim throughout the interview is to answer it anyway. Therefore, preparing your response is never going to be a waste of time. Your answer to this question should be a concise sales pitch, detailing the reasons that you would be a great fit within the role and the company in question.
The best place to start when preparing your answer is the job description. Take a good look at the job requirements and responsibilities. Try to think of the boxes you tick and the relevant skills/experience you possess that are in line with the role’s criteria. This would also be a great time to research the company, too, and consider how you could fit into the culture.
Once you’ve done this, it’s a great idea to compile any examples or evidence you use to back up your claims. Interviewers love it when you prove you’re not just bluffing!
How to answer “ Why should we hire you? ”
With your points and evidence ready to go, you will need to decide which are the most important things you want to put across during your interview. Then order these into a cohesive pitch that’s informative, but to the point – no waffle! Your answer to this question should only last a couple of minutes maximum.
Your pitch needs to sound natural, so don’t learn and recite a speech during your interview. It’s always obvious and it never looks good! It’s best to compile a few main points you’d like to discuss in response to this question and talk through them conversationally at the interview. The interviewer wants to see your personality, not a robot!
A strong answer to this question will include the following:
- Your relevant skills and training
- The strengths you possess that lend themselves to the role
- What makes you stand out from other candidates?
- The value you will bring to the role AND the company
- Why you will fit in well with the business
It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase what you bring to the table, the research you have completed and the fact that you’re well prepared. As far as interview questions go, it’s an all-rounder.
What to avoid
There are a few common mistakes job hunters make when answering “ Why should we hire you? ”. Here are a few to avoid:
- Talking for too long: Your interviewer will probably stop listening.
- Not showing your enthusiasm: If you sound bored, they’ll be bored, too.
- Being too cocky: Yes, you’re trying to sell yourself, but no one wants to hire a big head.
- Being too modest: There’s a fine balance at play here, this is no time to sell yourself short!
- Winging it: It will be more obvious than you think.
- Not tailoring your answer: If your response is generic and could apply to any role, with any company, it’s unlikely to impress a potential employer.
Bringing it all together
In summary, a lot is riding on this interview question, so don’t ruin your chances by falling into the same traps as failed job seekers before you. By ensuring that your response to “ Why should we hire you? ” is well thought out, tailored and to the point, it will pack a punch and leave your interviewer wanting more!