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Why Should We Hire You: The Best Answer for This Common Interview Question

Why Should We Hire You: The Best Answer for This Common Interview Question

You crafted the perfect resume. You landed the interview. You’ve got a stellar work history and education supporting you. You’ve knocked out home runs on every question the interview pitches your way. That job is as good as yours…

…as long as you can tell the interviewer why they should hire you over the other equally qualified applicants.

And that’s exactly where many people fail to close the deal.

Why It Is So Hard to Answer This Common Question

It’s a common question, but it’s also one of the most challenging ones to answer. Shouldn’t your accomplishments speak for themselves? Isn’t your resume a good enough indicator that you’re the perfect fit?

For many people, it isn’t easy to talk about or brag on themselves. And that’s exactly what you’re doing when answering this question. You have to convince the interviewer you are better than every other prospective candidate.

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But here’s a little secret: What you say when answering this question is just as important to how you deliver your answer.

They want to see how you can balance confidence and humility. They want to know how you articulate your best qualities without reducing those of other people. And they want to see how much you believe in yourself.

Why It’s Important to Prepare for This Question

You don’t want to sound rehearsed in the interview (because let’s face it, good interviewers can tell a memorized answer from one that comes from the heart). But you also should know that this question WILL be asked, and it doesn’t hurt to consider how you will answer it.

What many people don’t realize is that this particular question is your pivotal moment to differentiate yourself from the stack and sell them on YOU. Not your resume, not your cover letter, not your references. Just plain YOU.

And how you answer this question could win you the job, or send you back to the job board.

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5 Essential Tips on How to Answer ‘Why Should We Hire You’

There is no one-answer-fits-all solution because our talents and experiences are all unique. But be aware there is a basic formula you can follow to know how to give a solid answer that will knock socks off and push you to the top of the resume stack:

Listen for hints from the interviewer.

During the interview, pick up cues about what the company is looking for in a candidate and find a way to link those needs to your own unique offerings. If you listen closely enough, the interviewer will essentially arm you with the “right” answer. It’s also a good way to show them you were paying attention to them.

For example, if the company has emphasized its focus on customer service, you could include a concrete example of how you went above and beyond for customers at your old job, like this:

“My role as customer experience manager in my last job allowed me to get creative for our customers on a daily basis. I would make courtesy calls to see how they like their purchase, give them real demonstrations, and spend as much time as needed to help them make the right decision. I feel your company can benefit from my customer-centric mentality.”

Choose 3-4 top reasons for your closing statement.

You don’t want to rehash your entire resume, so pick a few key skills or accomplishments that put you in a positive light. Remember, this is your final chance to sell yourself and close the deal, so make sure you end strong.

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You could talk about your experience, awards, skills, accomplishments, or anything else that you think other candidates can’t offer or might not talk about. It’s crucial to differentiate yourself in this question; otherwise, if every candidate’s answer sounds the same, it does nothing to help the hiring decision for the recruiter.

The following statement is far from a canned response, plus it also relates how the candidate plans to benefit the company:

“My ability to create and foster strong relationships with clients, my drive to always do something better than someone else, and my creativity in solving problems can contribute to taking this company skyward in its revenue and reputation.”

Prove your worth.

Companies want to know they are making a good investment by hiring the right person. You could reiterate specific achievements from your previous jobs that could be beneficial to their company, such as your influence in sales increases, new ideas that brought in more customers, or ways you saved your company money:

“For example, I found a bookkeeping error in an account that had been overlooked for 3 years, which in turn generated an extra $500 a month for our company. Being money-conscious and resourceful comes naturally to me, and I find I’m often looking for ways to keep costs down. It’s my attention to detail, even when others have searched for and haven’t found anything amiss, that sets me apart from others.”

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Tailor your answer to the company.

One of the detrimental side effects of crafting your answer beforehand is that it isn’t specific to the job you are interviewing for. You don’t want to present a generic answer, so make sure you include some cues that are relevant to the job and the company.

Here’s a good example if you are truly familiar with the company you’ve applied with:

“As a long time [company name] customer, I’m already quite familiar with your products and the benefits they provide [name a few products and benefits for example]. You offer products that I feel comfortable standing behind and recommending to customers. Because I’m also a customer, I can speak not only from training materials but also personal experience, which could help in providing deeper connections with customers.”

Tie in the company culture to your answer.

Hopefully you checked out the company website before your interview (and shame on you if you didn’t). The website can give you a good impression of the company’s culture and mission.

One thing that interviewers look for when they hire someone is how that person will fit with the company culture. If you have solid accomplishments, education, and all the other requirements, you should highlight how you can fit in with their core environment.

“Looking at your website photos of your company outing at [name of place] reminds me of a similar group event I coordinated for my last company [give a few details]. In addition to the skills and accomplishments we’ve already discussed, I feel like I’d fit right in as part of the family here. It looks like your company keeps a sense of humor around the clock and truly has a passion for serving your customers, which is exactly the type of environment I thrive in.”

5 Don’t for the Why Should We Hire You question

  • Don’t get cocky, but don’t be too humble. Remember, this is a balancing game of confidence and humility, and you want to demonstrate a fair amount of both.
  • Don’t be generic. Saying things like “I have great qualities that will benefit your company” says nothing about what makes YOU the best choice. Other candidates may also have great qualities that can benefit the company, so be unique.
  • Don’t sound desperate. Recruiters will not take pity on you if you need the money or have 4 children or just lost your job because you got sick. Rather, this is your chance to make them feel your value.
  • Don’t tell them you want to work there because you live close by. Companies aren’t concerned if you want the job out of convenience. They want you to know how much success you can contribute to the company, and that you have a strong desire to do so.
  • Don’t focus too much on yourself. This question, as much as it sounds like it’s about you, is more about what you can do for the company.

Summary

Even if you prepare ahead of time, thinking how to answer “Why should we hire you?” can prove nerve-wrecking. But with a little practice, you can trust yourself to say the right thing at the right time and earn the job you deserve.

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Alli Hill

Freelance Writer and Marketing Consultant

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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