At some point during your interview, you will likely hear the dreaded question: Why should we hire you? Although it seems simple, this question can be tricky and intimidating if you’re not prepared. After all, explaining what makes you a better fit for the role than other candidates is not easy – or is it? With preparation and a handy list of tips like the one below, you can master your answer and cement your position as the ideal candidate.
Why do employers ask, “Why should we hire you?”
Employers have many reasons for asking, “Why should we hire you?” Firstly, they want to see if you are confident in yourself and your abilities. After all, if you don’t seem to believe you are the ideal candidate, why should they? They might also ask this question to learn how you measure up against the other candidates. Essentially, they want to know what they can gain from you that other candidates can’t provide. This is a great opportunity to show what extra assets you bring to the table, whether your personality or unique work experience.
This question is your chance to pitch yourself to the interviewer. Present yourself as an invaluable asset, and your chances of moving forward in the hiring process will skyrocket.
How to answer, “Why should we hire you?”
The key to answering this question is to avoid overwhelm and stress. Instead, focus on preparation. Start by identifying which of your qualifications are relevant to the position. Afterward, think about the times you’ve used these qualifications in your past jobs. As you go through each step, make mental notes, or write your answers down. Finally, think about the skills or expertise that make you unique. As mentioned before, it is crucial to stand out and explain your unique value. Then, combine all these into one answer.
When preparing for your interview, read through the job description at least twice. Then, identify the qualities that align with the requirements to make a list of relevant points you can mention. These can be your skills, but also personality traits or certifications. To distinguish yourself as a candidate, select at least five of your core strengths relevant to the position. Also, don’t forget about the possible qualification that can set you apart. For example, you might have extra knowledge about the company product or unique certifications in the field. All these will help you stand out as a candidate from the competition.
Steps for Answering “Why should we hire you?”
With enough preparation (and maybe a confidence boost from family and friends), you will be well on your way to giving the perfect answer!
Step 1: Show them you’ve done your research and know what the job involves
Review the job posting to get a deeper understanding of what the employer is looking for. To determine the specific qualities and skills they seek, look at the requirements, education, and experience section. These will give you an idea of which of your qualifications are relevant for the position. But it doesn’t end with the job description. Next, spend some time studying the company. Their mission, projects, and goals can give you an idea of what qualities they seek in their employees. Moreover, this information can help you plan your answer. To show that you’ve done your research, explain which of their values resonate with you or how you could help them achieve some of their goals.
Step 2: Explain why your background and experience would be a good fit for the position
In your answer, connect your experience to the specific position and company. In other words, explain why your qualifications make you the ideal candidate for this particular job. In the least, you should go over the requirements from the job posting and address each of them with examples from your career. But to stand out, you should also add any information about your background that could give you a competitive advantage. This could be anything relevant to the job, from being multilingual to volunteering abroad.
Step 3: Show them you’re excited about the job and will be motivated and enthusiastic in the role
Being invited to an interview means the employer most likely knows you’re capable of performing the everyday duties. So, apart from highlighting your value, don’t forget to show your passion and enthusiasm for the job. After all, every employer will want employees who can keep a positive attitude and enjoy work. But don’t go too far. A smile and a few words about why you are enthusiastic about the role are just enough.
Why should we hire you? Example answers
Example answer #1 – With no work experience
I am an ambitious worker and a fast learner with a proactive approach. Although I have no formal experience in sales, I have volunteered in roles with similar skillsets. For example, while volunteering in the city museum, my job was to ensure that customers leave satisfied. Or, while volunteering at the shelter, I learned to communicate and find common ground with people from all backgrounds. I trust this experience makes me an excellent fit for this position. I am excited by the opportunity to prove my passion and commitment to this role.
Example answer #2 – Career change
As you can see from my resume, most of my work experience has been in various managerial positions in the construction field. Although in a different industry, these roles have given me an understanding of leadership, problem-solving, and analytical skills. In the job listing, I noticed you were seeking someone to manage the new branch and help onboard new employees. In my previous roles, I was also responsible for new hires, whom I helped get acquainted with our technologies, standards, and processes. This helped me understand the importance of team building, effective communication, and active listening. I am confident that my experience will translate well into this role, and I am excited to begin my career in this industry.
Example answer #3 – College graduate
I trust that my academic record sets me apart from others. Studying at Cornell University has exposed me to multi-cultural environments and taught me valuable communication skills. Also, living on campus has taught me the importance of networking, organization, and self-motivation. In my extracurricular activities, I always strived for excellence. Winning the Chess championship and qualifying for the national swimming competition with my team are some of my biggest achievements. I am ambitious and proactive in my approach to learning as well as work and volunteering. I believe that these qualities set me apart and make me the ideal candidate for this position.
Example answer #4
In my 10 years of working in this field, I have acquired a valuable skill set and experience, which I would love to bring to your company. Considering my commitment to professional growth, I have been working tirelessly on my leadership and communication skills, which I am excited to use in my future job. I always commit to excellence in my work. This reflects my references and my past employer's recognition of my value as part of their team. I strive to continue giving 100% effort in all my future endeavors, which will hopefully be part of your company.
Example answer #5
First off, it is a great pleasure to be interviewed at such an esteemed company. I have been an advocate of your products for many years and would be honored to be a part of their creation. I have all the skills and qualifications necessary for this position. The skills I have honed throughout my past projects have equipped me for a role exactly like this. Moreover, I am self-motivated, ambitious, and dedicated to exceeding expectations. I can quickly pick up new knowledge and keep a positive attitude as a solo worker and a team player. I believe these attributes, along with my experience, make me the ideal candidate for this position.
Example answer #6
I bring with me 5 years of professional experience in various positions in the industry. I have worked for industry giants and start-ups, gaining insight into the everyday challenges and overcoming them with ease. The variety of environments I have worked in has granted me great versatility, which I believe would benefit your company. My extensive experience and qualifications align with the company's requirements and make me a perfect fit for this role.
Common mistakes to avoid
- Overselling yourself – Confidence is great, but too much of it can make you seem arrogant. When answering, don’t be afraid to point out your best qualities, but always stay humble. Coming off as cocky during an interview could easily ruin your chances.
- Lack of preparation – “Why should we hire you?” is not a question you can answer on the spot. You will need time to prepare your answer. And the more work you put into your preparation, the better your chances of landing the job will be.
- Lying – Similar to your resume and cover letter, you should never lie during your interview. It can ruin your chances of getting the job and give you a bad reputation that will stick with you.
Now, you have an idea of how to respond when the interviewer asks, “Why should we hire you?” The key to a successful answer is distinguishing yourself from other applicants. So, prepare a confident, value-centric answer that will make you stand out. To do that, research, prepare, and practice. Soon, you’ll be ready to give a killer answer and impress the employer!