There are some basic (but still intimidating) interview questions that all interviewers love to ask and “why should we hire you?” is definitely one of them.
In fact, it crops up in 99% of interviews.
In fairness that does make sense as it literally is the meta-question that the whole interview is based on. But when it comes to being direct about why you should be hired, many people crumble with their answers.
It’s hard to brag about yourself.
But the question “why should we hire you?” really does give you opportunity to WOW your interviewer, so make sure you take advantage of that.
Here are some tips from our friends at the Interview Academy to help you do just that. (We’ll include some example answers at the end of this blog post.)
1. Draw on relevant qualities and skills.
If a job description specifies certain skills and qualities for its potential workers, then it’s important that you make your ability to fulfill these desires crystal clear.
For example, if a job description is looking for someone who knows a lot about sales, use this opportunity to showcase your sales skills and delve deeper into how you have demonstrated those in a number of different positions.
Solidifying that you have demonstrable experience of using the relevant job skills can be a great way to really hammer home your selling points.
2. Mention specific anecdotes and stories
Big talk is cheap, but stories about real things you did in your previous work experience can be very intriguing and tangible for hiring managers.
You should have anecdotes and stories prepared before you come into your interview and use this opportunity to bring them up, evidencing your claims.
For example, if you’re applying for a management position, bring up stories about times that you managed projects, even if you were not a manager by job title.
This shows that you have the experience and real-life skills necessary for the role.
3. Define your USP
The whole point of the question, really, is to give you an opportunity to sell your USP, or unique selling points.
What makes you different to everyone else in the process?
Ultimately, a lot of people with skills similar to yours are going to be applying for this role, and the interviewer will want to know what makes you stand out!
What extra qualities and experience can you bring to this role that aren’t necessarily specified in the job description?
If you need some help this, check out our recent blog.
4. Talk about how you can benefit them specifically
It’s really easy to get wrapped up in vague language about abstract skills, qualities, and experience that you have during an interview.
But that’s not what the interviewer wants.
They want to know how you are going to benefit their company specifically.
If you quantify ho you will benefit them and their company, then you’ll turn yourself into a sought-after commodity they want to take on.
You have the power.
So for example, it would be better to respond to “why should we hire you?” with “because I can use my organisational skills to streamline your database system and make the overall process faster, as I did with [company name] using [tools],” as opposed to “you should hire me because I have good organizational skills”.
5. Avoid the fluff
Though I myself know a thing or two about fluff, be sure to avoid it when possible in a job interview!
When you are asked “why should we hire you?” your interviewer is looking for a direct and concise response, detailing the key skills which made you apply for that job in the first place.
Don’t use awful clichés try not to talk for too long and don’t say too many things all at once.
Get to the point, list your skills, tell them what you can do for them, and avoid superfluous language.
Here are a couple of example answers. Feel free to swipe them, amend them and use them in your own interviews!
“In my last role, I was responsible for implementing SAP for my team. This was a business critical project that required liaison not only with the external supplier but also with the internal project team and my own team - the ensure it was all delivered on time. We managed to move the entire team over to the new system ahead of schedule and the business immediately started to reap the rewards. I think this experience makes me a fantastic candidate for the Project Management role.”
“In my current role, I am responsible for several sites, in both the public and private sector, each with a value of around £1m. Every site I mange is accident free and comes in on time and under budget. I think that puts me in a great position to take a step up to the Project Manager role.”
“I studied English and Philosophy at university and took a marketing module in the first year which was really fascinating. This ignited my passion for digital and I spent a lot of my spare time reading up on the latest techniques and tools involved in the marketing process. This helped me to get my first job as Marketing Assistant straight out of university. I’ve now been at the agency for 10 years, and have led a variety of different campaigns, including one which made a client £100,000 in a week. I’m hoping to move on to an in-house role so I can really get my teeth stuck into a business and see the results of my hard work.”
I do hope you found this blog post useful and it’ll help you to sculpt some winning answers to “why should we hire you?”
The most important thing to remember is the importance of a personal USP. This will enable you to stand out from the crowd (which can be tough in a competitive job market).
Good luck and stay confident.