Why Should We Hire You? What to Say in Your Interview
To get a job, you must position yourself as the answer to a proverbial question. This is how to match your experience with an employer’s needs.
At some point during a job interview, you can expect to be asked straight up, "Why should we hire you?" That's because from the moment you enter the room, the hiring manager is assessing one thing: Are you the best person for the job? Answer this question correctly, and you'll pass a very important test.
Obviously, you can't respond, "Because I need a job." Basically, your answer needs to demonstrate that you are the solution to the employer's problem (a vacancy on their team), and no other candidate could possibly do the job better than you.
So why should they choose you over anybody else? Take these steps to prepare a well-crafted response.
Focus on the Employer's Needs (not Yours)
Though the question "Why should we hire you" seems like the focus is on you and your wants, it's really not. Your personal career goals are certainly important, but this question is an opportunity to explain how you'll bring value to the company.
To prepare, research everything you can about the business' agenda—read its website, social media, quarterly reports, company profiles on Monster, press releases, and recent news stories about the company. What are their goals? Where do they see themselves headed in the future? How can your talents help get them there? ("This company wants to be an industry leader in xyz. My background has given me valuable experience in that realm, and I have a lot of ideas as to how we can make that happen together.")
Reflect on the Job Itself
You can also learn a lot from a job posting. Most job descriptions outline not only the job responsibilities and qualifications, but also what core skills are required to be successful in the position.
Target three to four skills you see in the list and explain how you've demonstrated them in the past. You'll get extra points if you can weave in some of the language from the listing. ("I know that business acumen is one of the crucial skills for this position. Let me give you a few examples of how I've applied this skill in my career thus far.")
Address Cultural Fit
In addition to your skillset, cultural fit is a key consideration for employers when they're reviewing candidates. Read: Part of your "Why should we hire you" answer should indicate why you'll be a good match for the company's environment. ("This isn't a traditional company, which is wonderful because I don't consider myself a traditional worker. Like you, I thrive on innovation.")
Using trite words or phrases to articulate your value is one of the biggest mistakes job candidates make. Indeed, you're not going blow hiring managers away with your originality by using lines they've heard over and over again. Don't just sit back and proclaim, "Hire me because I'm a hard worker," or "I'm self-motivated."
Rather than telling an interviewer that you're a self-starter, back it up with an anecdote that shows how you've collaborated well with coworkers in the past. ("I'm a team player. I know you've probably heard that before, so let me give you an example.")
Don't Hold Back
To impress a hiring manager, you have to show confidence. Let them know what your strengths are and show them you know you can add value to their company.
Look at past performance reviews to see what managers praised you for, and talk to former coworkers about your contributions—then highlight those skills or achievements. And, lead with a power statement: "If you want someone who can walk in and start managing a project without a lot of direction, or someone who already has a black belt in this sector, then I'm the person you should hire."
Feeling fearless? Try this unconventional response: "If you want someone who will maintain the status quo, then I'm not the person you should hire."
Why Should We Hire You: Answers that Work
Depending on the job to which you're applying, plus the company and culture, the following answers can be a good source of inspiration to help you craft your own:
Show them you've done your homework: "A fast-growing organization like Company X has to be a dynamic place to work. A company that has outstripped its revenue expectations five quarters in a row provides the challenge and opportunity I'm looking for."
Show them you're qualified: "The numbers I achieved at my current position show my dedication to performance. My Q3 and Q4 numbers from the past year, which I achieved while also serving as interim department head, are an example of the kind of results you can expect from me."
Show them you're motivated: "I thrive on high expectations, and it's clear Company X holds its employees to incredible standards. The results speak for themselves and I'd like to be a part of that."
Fit to Be Hired
Unfortunately, it's not enough to hear "Why should we hire you?" and then point to yourself and blurt out, "Honestly, why wouldn't you want to hire this?" There are better ways to make your point. Want to convince more employers that you're the one for the job? Make a profile on Monster and start getting connected to recruiters. You'll be rolling into a new job before long, no question about it.