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

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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.

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“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

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

“Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set Limits

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a Not-to-Do List

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be Vulnerable

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t Be a Copycat

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say Yes to Less

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn How to Relax

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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