Why Should We Hire You? – Super Tough Interview Question Tips and Samples

Why should we hire you?”

Umm…

The silence stretches out as you think. Why did they ask that question? They’ve seen your resume and obviously liked you enough to bring you in to interview. What are they getting at?

A Classic Question

This question is an interview staple. Much like it’s infamous relative, “What’s your biggest weakness?, the “Why should we hire you?” question is one of those ones that is trotted out during interviews to make the job seeker squirm. While it can be quite stressful, surprisingly it can also be quite boring.

The reason it’s boring is because it’s so played out. It’s a cliche and people have come to expect some variation of it during an interview. Likewise Hiring Managers have come to expect, more often than not, a stock standard answer that might show why that individual is a good worker but not why they are a good fit for the company.

It’s stressful because the question puts you on the spot. It forces you to talk yourself up. Uncomfortable much!  Most of us are reluctant to talk about ourselves in this way or we simply don’t know how to answer the question in a clear and concise way. Combine that with the fact you have no idea if you are more or less qualified than your competition and you have a recipe for a high stress affair.

This question, when answered poorly, leaves both you and Hiring Manager underwhelmed and disappointed. When answered correctly however it can quickly let both of you know that you’re a perfect fit. 

Avoid This Common Mistake

A question as well-known as this is bound to have some equally notorious answers. If an employer asks you why you think you’re a good fit for the role, please don’t say the first thing that pops into your head.

Why should we hire you?

  • “Because I need the money and you’re the only one to bring me in for an interview!”
  • “Because I will use this as a stepping stone for my next job after this.”
  • “I’m the smartest, strongest, hardest working employee you will ever meet!”

No matter how frustrated you are with the hiring process, make sure you take the time to answer this question to the best of your ability. See how you can do that in a few simple steps:

5 Ways to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?” Better

1. Be Specific

If there’s one thing to remember when applying for jobs it’s to be specific. Hiring Managers are trying to compare multiple (sometimes thousands) of candidates. If each one says they’re good at public speaking or can handle a busy register how would a Hiring Manager differentiate them? Being specific allows you to stand out from the noise. It puts a number next to your name and lets the employer know that you are serious. 

Specificity is also important in the sense that this company is different from the one down the road. Just like you should tailor your resume, you should tailor your response to this question to reflect the company’s uniqueness.

Example

I think I would be a good fit for this position because I have had three years of experience working in a team that developed and launched two apps. Given that’s a goal of yours, my experience in knowing not only the technical side but also how to get market traction could be invaluable to get these to market quickly and with an excellent adoption rate. 

The above gives them a great “WIIFM” – what’s in it for me, in this case, them!

2. Show Them What You Know

Part of the reason that this question is so tricky to answer is because it asks you to do two things at once. You need to show you know the company’s needs and sell your own virtues.

Once you know this however, it becomes the perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate your prior research and enthusiasm for the role. Read the role description and desired skills list carefully. During the interview see if the Hiring Manager is emphasising any particular skill or aspect of the role.

The first rule of sales is to know what the customer wants. Show the Hiring Manager that you know the company’s needs and can help them achieve their goals. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions to problems you know they are experiencing.

Example

From what I’ve read before, and what you’ve told me today, it sounds like you are looking for someone who can lead a team and deal with regional managers to ensure that store targets are being met. I also realise that you have been struggling with maintaining a steady team. At my last managerial position I helped build team unity and success by…

3. Be Unique

Like being specific, being unique helps a Hiring Manager to remember you. Instead of just being a name and some skills you have a personality to go along with it. You’ve leapt off the page and become someone they can imagine on their team.

Being unique doesn’t require anything radical. Simply make the question reflect your own personal situation. Remember the questions asks why they should hire YOU! If you’ve worked by volunteering somewhere different or unusual, try and incorporate it. Stories like these can help build rapport and win a Hiring Manager over to your side.

Besides, the desired skills and qualifications list isn’t the only things an employer will look for. Often a Hiring Manager will have an ideal version of a candidate in their mind. Show them why that’s you – or why you are even better than they hoped!

Example

I would be a good fit for this team because in addition to my several years of experience in similar roles I have also worked on board a luxury cruise ship where we had tight deadlines determined by port arrivals and departures, so I feel comfortable working in a high pressure environment with strict deadlines.

4. Look Alive

This is your time to shine! They are asking why they should hire you, don’t let them down. You don’t need to go overboard but make sure you’re making eye contact, speaking clearly, and try to avoid talking with fillers (um, ah, like). These non-verbal strategies can make you appear more confident and more attractive to the Hiring Manager. While not specific to this question, when referring to previous or current jobs – maintain a positive attitude. Don’t send the wrong message that you are embittered or difficult to work with.

5. Be Brief

Short and sweet is usually the best way to answer these types of questions. Sweet in this situation refers to unique, specific, and engaging. The longer you drag on, the more your message gets diluted. That’s why it can help to practice your answers ahead of time. Remember, though, when practicing you want to remember the gist of it rather than rote learning a speech. That way you won’t be thrown if the question comes out slightly different or if you’re asked to elaborate.

Relax

If you do struggle a bit with this question in the interview, try not to worry. There are plenty of other opportunities to impress a Hiring Manager such as when it’s your turn to ask questions

At the end of the day, answering this question well comes down to knowing what you’re going to say before you are asked. Practice until you feel comfortable talking about yourself. This is one of the best ways you can ensure you give a good response every time.

So tell me… Why should an employer hire you?

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