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We mentioned above that recruiters and hiring managers ask job seekers “Why should we hire you?” in the hopes of seeing if they’re the best fit for the job. There are a couple of other reasons, such as:
Interviewers might disguise this question in other ways too, so keep a lookout for questions like the ones listed below and any that sound similar:
If you want to make sure your answer to this question is effective, you should take some time to prepare before your job interview. Think of this question the same way you do other behavioural interview questions. Be specific, provide examples to back up your answers and tailor your answers to the details of the job description in question.
Here’s what you should do when faced with the “Why should we hire you?” interview question:
In order to prepare for this interview question, you should consider the job posting itself. Look at the skills and key qualifications that they list as being necessary. Then consider your own skill set and work experience to determine where your skills and their requirements overlap most strongly. Remember that your soft skills are also important. If the job posting is for a front-facing, customer-centric role your people skills will be just as important as your key qualifications when it comes to landing a new job.
Highlight your years of relevant experience, whether they’re in paid employment or during an internship. You should also highlight your skill set and major strengths. If you are a recent graduate, you should talk about how you have prepared for employment during your studies.
A copywriter, for example, might say: “I’m a highly skilled creative copywriter with experience working with retail brands. At my previous employer, I was responsible for writing branded content and creating campaigns for Swift Shampoo and Cornelia Boutique. I think that my creative skills and collaborative nature make me an ideal candidate for this position.”
Before the job interview, you should’ve taken some time to research the company, so talk about the things you feel will help you to fit into their company culture. Think about all the ways you can contribute to the workplace. You could even make a list of bullet points detailing the things that make you a great match for the role.
An illustrator might say: “I understand that having a great sense of humour and being adaptable is key for this role. I’m able to work in a fast-paced environment and lend a helping hand to my team members and colleagues, all the while maintaining a positive attitude.”
Every job seeker has a unique selling point, something only they can bring to the table. Discuss the things that make you the best person for the job and the things that will distinguish you from other potential candidates.
A sales representative may say something like: “I have prior experience working in a retail environment. My previous experience has allowed me to excel in customer service and develop my persuasion skills. I have a proven track record of convincing customers to buy a certain product that will benefit them.”
Unless you work in an incredibly specialised field, there will be many qualified and capable candidates for the job you apply to. Not everyone will show genuine passion and enthusiasm, however. Showing passion for the work will help you to stick in the recruiter’s mind.
Think of your answer as a sales pitch or elevator pitch. You are trying to sell yourself as the best person for the job in order to get to the next stage of the hiring process.
A web developer might say: “I became a web developer because creating websites sounded interesting but over the years, this curiosity grew into my passion. I love the fact that I get to design digital experiences for people and I hope to contribute to your company with my enthusiasm.”
Being direct and honest in your answer to this question is the best thing you can do if you want to make a good impression on hiring managers. They reserved a time to meet with you, so keep that in mind and try to not go over the meeting time.
As you can see from the examples above, they go straight to the point and are only a few sentences long, so keep your answer to a similar length.
Bonus tips: Avoid the following in your answer:
Here are some example answers you can use as a base to practice yours:
If you’re a student who submitted a CV with no experience, here’s a sample answer to this question that puts together all the tips mentioned above:
I’m a quick learner who is interested in growing in this industry. I know how to work well with others, have great communication skills and I’ve always been passionate about making pastries and coffee. I’m very enthusiastic about this opportunity to join your team.
As a first-time job seeker, mention any relevant experience you have that will show the recruiter or hiring manager why you’ll be a perfect fit for the job, including internships or volunteer experience.
My internship experience as a graphic designer gave me the opportunity to hone my Photoshop skills, as well as my Illustrator and InDesign skills. I have firsthand experience brainstorming with others, so I hope to contribute to the success of your agency with my creativity and team player skills.
You have a couple of years under your belt and plenty of relevant skills for the job. Try not to go overboard answering “Why should we hire you?” and keep your response concise, like this example:
I’ve been a teacher for eight years; I can confidently say that it’s my passion. I want to make a difference at this middle school by using the same creative, hands-on approach to teaching and work ethic that has characterised me during my career and better students’ lives.
When you’re changing careers it’s crucial to mention skills from your past experience that will be useful in this new role and show the potential employer that you’re a good match.
I believe that my experience as a photographer will be a great asset to your company. My eye for detail, aesthetics and conceptualisation gives me a unique perspective as a filmmaker that will elevate the production and quality of your projects.
“Why should we hire you?” won’t be the only question hiring managers will ask during the job interview. Here are other ways you can prepare to provide great answers and leave a good first impression:
Despite being one of the most common interview questions asked, “Why should we hire you?” may be worded in different ways. Interviewers may also ask:
These are all essentially variations of the same question, and you should answer them in the same way.
Stick to talking about what you offer to the business when asked this question. Talk about your skill set, years of experience and achievements as opposed to what the company can do for you. Convince them with your skills and experience that you will be a great asset to the team and revolve your answer around what you can bring to the table.
The recruiter or hiring manager will let you know the benefits of working with them later.
It makes good sense to practise answers to this question, but don’t simply memorise one answer and give it verbatim every time you are asked. You need to provide an answer that is at least partly tailored to the job description of the role that you are applying to.
It’s also important to seem natural. If you rehearse an answer too much, your response might sound robotic. Remember that a job interview is also a chance for you to get to know the company better, so keep the flow as natural as possible to resemble a conversation.
“Why should we hire you?” might be disguised as “Why are you a good fit for this position?”. Both should be answered the same way: mention relevant skills and work experience, keep it short and to the point and focus on what you can do for the company, not on what the company can do for you.
This is your chance to convince the potential employer that you are worth hiring over other qualified candidates, so put on a good argument and get that job offer.
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