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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

Lifestyle Writer and Marketing Consultant

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Published on August 3, 2020

How to Be Organized: The Ultimate Guide to Get (and Stay) Clutter Free

How to Be Organized: The Ultimate Guide to Get (and Stay) Clutter Free

With all the inputs, information, and clutter that come into our lives today, just staying on top of it all creates so much stress and frustration, and it can often lead to feelings of helplessness and anxiety. Most of the time, you simply don’t know where to start when you want to learn how to be organized.

However, it is, in fact, something that can be learned.

By developing a few strategies and methods, and having a system in place that quickly deals with all these inputs, you can finally get control of your clutter and, more importantly, stay clutter-free.

Here are a few rules that can help you on your path to a clutter-free life.

1. Don’t Use Your Computer’s Desktop for Storage

Your computer’s desktop was not designed to store your files. Your desktop should be clean and file free. Not only does a cluttered desktop slow down your computer, but it also makes finding things painfully slow.

Instead, as you’re learning how to be organized, create a basic folder structure inside your documents folder. Now, this needs to work for you, but try not to make things too complicated. What you can do is think about the kind of files you will need to keep, and categorize them between your personal and professional ones. For me, I have two basics folders inside my documents folder, one called “work” and one called “personal.” Inside of these, I have subfolders organized according to my different roles or categories.

It’s simple, and it allows me to quickly find what I need when I need it.

Now, I do understand that during the day, when you are doing your work, you may need quick access to certain images and files, and it’s okay to hold them on your desktop temporarily. However, make it a habit to clear your desktop at the end of each day as part of your closing down routine (more on that later).

2. Learn to Use Your Computer’s Search Features

It surprises me how few people know how to find documents on their computer with a simple keyboard shortcut, but it’s one of the easiest things to do as you’re learning how to be organized. On a Mac, for instance, CMD + Space bar brings up the spotlight search, and you can type in a date, a file type, a keyword, or a file name.

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On a Windows computer[1], open the start button, and begin typing the file you are looking for.

In both cases, you do not need the exact name of the file. Just type a few letters, and within seconds you have the file you need.

When you learn how useful your computer’s search features are, you will be much more comfortable removing all those files scattered around on your desktop and putting them in an appropriate folder on your computer.

3. Keep Your Desk Clear of Clutter

Just as with your computer’s desktop, your desk’s desktop should also be file and clutter-free. Use your drawers for those paper documents that habitually hang around on your desk—a cluttered desk does not encourage inspired work[2].

Also, take a look at your workspace, and ask if what is on your desk is necessary. Often, we have stuff on our desks that serve no meaning and has no sentimental value to us. It’s just something we have always had on our desk. If you don’t need it or it does not inspire you, remove it.

And while we are talking about your desk, make a decision this week that you will go through your desk drawers and clear out all the old pens, cups, and other debris that has accumulated over the years. Trust me on this one, the act of cleaning out your drawers and removing all the clutter on your desk will give you renewed energy and ignite a lot of creativity that has been pushed into the background. You will love working at your desk again.

Pictures of your loved ones and a few inspiring mementos are fine. Just don’t go crazy with them. Keep them to a minimum.

4. Create a Closing Down Routine

This is such a great way to make sure you keep your files and other stuff organized, so make it an essential skill to adopt when learning how to be organized. Give yourself ten to twenty minutes before you finish your work for the day to clean up your desktops.

Move your files to their rightful place, and delete anything you no longer need. I often accumulate a lot of screenshots throughout the day, and if I am not removing them, at the end of the day, they soon start building up.

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Before I shut my computer down for the day, I clean these up, delete the screenshots if I no longer need them, and leave my desktop file free. It’s a beautiful way to start the next day with a clean desk and a clean computer desktop.

5. Incorporate a To-Do List Manager Into Your Life

Writing your to-dos and commitments down on post-it notes just encourages clutter. Sure, it might seem like a great idea to stick these to your computer so you don’t forget things, but over time you become numb to them. They just become a part of your desk, and you ignore them.

Remove them. Take your tasks and commitments, and put them into a to-do list manager. Whether you use Windows or Mac, they both come with to-do list managers. Make good use of them.

You do not need to create an elaborate to-do list structure. All you need is an inbox for quick entry and the ability to date tasks for when they need doing.

I use a simple structure in my to-do list manager. I use a system I call the Time Sector System[3] where I create six folders:

  • Inbox
  • This week
  • Next week
  • This month
  • Next month
  • Long-term / On-hold

Then, whatever I collect, the only decision I need to make is: when am I going to do the task? I can then drop the task into its relevant folder.

One of the biggest causes of clutter on desks (and in bags) are all those little bits of paper you use to write down critical information and telephone numbers or email addresses. When these accumulate, they are easy to lose, and you waste a lot of time searching for them.

Use your digital devices for these. You can take a photo of a written note. You can quickly add a telephone number or an email address into your to-do list manager (or notes app), and if you have syncing set up between your devices, you will have access to the information on all your devices. And what’s more, it will be searchable.

6. Set a Weekly Time to Declutter Your Devices

This is an area that can quickly creep up on you, so take time to develop this habit as you’re learning how to be organized. Taking photos and videos on our phones is too easy these days. We take a picture, and we just leave it in our photo album.

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Over time we end up with thousands of photos in our electronic photo albums that are not worth keeping. I spend around ten minutes on the weekend (usually Sunday evening) deleting all the images I no longer want to keep. It keeps my digital storage needs down—which saves money—and it means all the photos in my photo album are photos I want to keep.

I do the same with my downloads folder. We often download a PDF intending to read it later, and then we completely forget about it. As time passes, we end up with hundreds of PDFs and other documents we are no longer interested in or no longer need. Delete them or file them. Just don’t leave them in your downloads folder.

If you want to stay clutter-free, this habit will reward you. Doing this weekly means you will spend around thirty minutes each week cleaning up and filing. Not doing so means you will end up having to spend a day or two just dealing everything, which will leave you feeling like you’ve wasted those days.

7. Do an Annual Clean-up

One of my annual rituals is to clean out all my folders and notes. I take a day off from work and spend the day going through everything on my computer and delete anything that no longer has any value.

I choose the winter holidays for this. Not only is it the end of the year, but many companies are on holiday, and things are generally quieter.

I go through all my work and personal folders and clean out anything I no longer need. I also archive a lot of files onto an external hard drive—just in case they are needed later.

It’s also a good time to clear out your email folders, too. Email can become a bottomless pit of emails you no longer need. Go through and purge those. You will feel so much better when you do this.

With email, you can also declare yourself email bankrupt and just delete everything in your inbox (or if you are not comfortable doing that, declare a ‘soft’ email bankruptcy and you move all your emails into a folder called “Old Inbox”).

Doing this might seem like a radical step, but it is incredible how much clearer you become. You get to see what you have been holding on to, what you may have missed, and you find yourself with a lot more space ready for the year to come.

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8. Do a Little, Often

I learned this a long time ago. Many years ago, I tried becoming a salesperson. I failed miserably at it, but during my training, I shadowed an experienced colleague. On one of the days I was shadowing her, she had to complete and file her expense report for the month.

I vividly remember her opening the glovebox of her car and pulling out handfuls of receipts and then painstakingly adding them to an expense report—we did things on paper in those days. Four hours later, she finally finished the report.

I remember at the time thinking this was not a great way to do this. When I got my chance to go solo, I began stopping my car in a car-park on the way home and added that day’s expenses to my expenses sheet. It took me a few minutes, and as I was doing it on the same day, I remembered exactly what each receipt was for.

When you’re learning how to be organized, you can use this principle for almost everything. Clear out your email inbox every day, delete screenshots from your desktop and empty your bag at the end of the week, and throw away anything you no longer need.

Doing a little often makes things so much easier, and you do not have that mental backlog creeping up on you where you have that nagging feeling in the back of your mind telling you you have to do something—only you can’t remember what that something is.

Final Thoughts

If it doesn’t come naturally to you, learning how to be organized can take time and effort, but it’s ultimately worth it. Becoming clutter-free helps you in so many ways. You have a more pleasant work environment, and de-cluttering your environment also helps to declutter your mind. On top of that, finding stuff is easier, and that means your overall productivity goes through the roof. Choose the strategies above that will help you in your daily life and start getting your life organized today.

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Featured photo credit: Jeff Sheldon via unsplash.com

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