Interview Question: Why Should We Hire YOU? (Plus Sample Answers!)
By Laura DeCarlo
This is a critical question because it will show your success, self-confidence, and preparation. Employers take this question very seriously, and you should, too.
The question of, "Why should we hire you?" can take a variety of forms such as, "Why do you think you will be successful in this position?" Like "Why do you want to work here?" and "Tell me about yourself," this question is the employer's inviation to sell yourself as the answer to their needs.
In this answer, do double-time by selling yourself and by demonstrating your knowledge of the company. Thus, start by doing your homework on the company before the interview, even if it is "only" a telephone interview. That will likely include visiting their website, Googling their name, and performing an advanced search on LinkedIn long before you ever find yourself in the interview!
[Related: Pre-Interview Preparation.]
Bad Answers to This Question
An answer that focuses on the benefits to you is a bad answer. So, answers like:
- I need the money.
- I need a job.
- This location is very close to where I live (or go to school or want to move or whatever).
- I've always been interested in (whatever they do).
As important as those reasons are to you, they are not the reasons the employer will hire you. Frankly, nice as they might be, they really don't care about the benefits to you if they hire you.
Your answer to this question should focus on them, not on you! You are the seller in this situation, not the buyer. So, you need to focus on the benefits (more than one!) to the buyer.
Remember that the goal here is to entice this employer to offer you this job.
[Related: 30 Bad Answers to Job Interview Questions.]
Emphasize Your Knowledge and Experience to Demonstrate Your Value
Embrace that this question as an opportunity to emphasize your value and to demonstrate your knowledge as they work together to show how well you could do the job.
For example, someone applying for a position as an administrative assistant might say:
"I have been using Word, Excel, and Outlook since 2001 to maintain both financial and administrative records, create and distribute internal reports for management to monitor employee activity and asset usage which was received by 4 senior managers including the CEO and COO, and create and distribute the internal organizational newsletter which was sent to over 200 staff members twice a month.
"The financial reports were created and maintained using Excel, and both newsletters were written using Microsoft Word, using templates that I developed, and distributed using Outlook.
"I have taken several workshops on Microsoft Office products, and have worked with the newest version and previous versions, going back to the 1997 version. So, I am very comfortable with the Microsoft Office suite of products."
Or, in a more traditional situation, here’s what you might prepare to say as a new graduate of a medical transcription training program applying for a job with a cardiology practice:
"I believe that I will be successful in this position because I have 900 hours of hands-on training in medical transcription in a classroom environment at the XYZ Institute.
(Get out your portfolio, and open it to a print out of a sample of your work). "Here you can see several examples of medical records, dictation, and reports I have produced in MS Word.
"I have also excelled in my terminology courses, gaining a strong base in numerous disciplines.
"However, I have always been interested in Cardiology and made it a personal goal to focus on that area. Because of that, I read the Journal of Cardiology to stay up-to-date with changes in the field, names of new pharmaceuticals, and other innovations.
"I have an excellent basis in the discipline to transcribe the records of your Cardiologists with ease. Also, I recently joined the American Association of Medical Transcriptionists and am already taking steps to pursue certification."
When I share answers like this, most people react by saying, "That’s so good; I couldn’t do that." But, that’s not true - crafting answers like this is just getting to know yourself in advance.
[MORE: Smart Answers to Job Interview Questions.]
You need to plan to answer questions about why you are qualified and know how to sell yourself above the other applicants. Realize that you may have the same skillset, but much of job interview success revolves around who does the best job at communicating it in the interview!
So, spend some time doing the following:
- Listing your skills and strengths.
- Writing CAR stories (Challenges, Actions, and Results) about accomplishments for each of your jobs.
- Documenting your accomplishments.
- Uncovering what makes you special by reviewing letters of recommendation and/or other testimonials you may have from work, school, and volunteering.
- Writing down concrete answers to questions like this that give a concrete example to prove you fit the bill!
By making getting hired your job and putting in the time to prepare, you can successfully and confidently answer an employer when they ask, "Why should we hire you?" Go get ‘em!
For more about handling behavioral interviews, panel interviews, and telephone interviews, as well as preparing for job interviews, see the article list on the right.
About the author...
Laura DeCarlo is recognized as the career industry’s ‘career hero’ making a difference to both job seekers and career professionals as the founder of Career Directors International. She possesses 11 top-level certifications in resume writing, career coaching, and career management; 7 first place resume and job placement awards; and has written three books on interviewing and job search including Interview Pocket RX, Interviewing: The Gold Standard, Resumes for Dummies,and Job Search Bloopers. Follow Laura on Google+ and Twitter at @careerhero.
Why should we hire you? What to say in your interview
Your answer to this interview question could make or break your chances. You need a brief pitch that matches your experiences with an employer's needs.
"Why should we hire you?" is another common interview question that can take you down the wrong road unless you've done some thinking ahead of time.
If an interviewer asks you, "Why should we hire you?" in an interview, the interviewer is giving you the opportunity to sell yourself. Think of yourself as the product. Why should the customer buy?
The wrong track
Spencer answers by saying, "Because I need and want a job." That's nice, but the bottom line here is, "What can you do for us?"
Mariana says, "I'm a hard worker and really want to work for this company." The majority of people think of themselves as hard workers—and why this company?
The right track
Tom's answer to this question is, "Because I'm a good fit for the position." Getting warmer, but more details, please.
Sharon answers, "I have what it takes to solve problems and do the job." This is the best answer so far. Expand on this, and you've got it.
Develop a sales statement
The more detail you give, the better your answer will be. This is not a time to talk about what you want. Rather, it is a time to summarize your accomplishments and relate what makes you unique.
Product inventory exercise
The bottom line of this question is, "What can you do for this company?"
Start by looking at the job description or posting. What is the employer stressing as requirements of the job? What will it take to get the job done? Make a list of those requirements.
Next, do an inventory to determine what you have to offer as a fit for those requirements. Think of two or three key qualities you have to offer that match those the employer is seeking. Don't underestimate personal traits that make you unique; your energy, personality type, working style and people skills are all very relevant to any job.
The sales pitch: You are the solution
From the list of requirements, match what you have to offer and merge the two into a summary statement. This is your sales pitch. It should be no more than two minutes long and should stress the traits that make you unique and a good match for the job.
Example: "From our conversations, it sounds as if you're looking for someone to come in and take charge immediately. It also sounds like you are experiencing problems with some of your database systems. With my seven years of experience working with financial databases, I have saved companies thousands of dollars by streamlining systems. My high energy and quick learning style enable me to hit the ground and size up problems rapidly. My colleagues would tell you I'm a team player who maintains a positive attitude and outlook. I have the ability to stay focused in stressful situations and can be counted on when the going gets tough. I'm confident I would be a great addition to your team."
What makes you unique?
Completing an exercise around this question will allow you to concentrate on your unique qualities. Like snowflakes, no two people are alike. Take some time to think about what sets you apart from others.
Let the interviewer know that you have been listening to the problem and have what it takes to do the job—that you are the solution to the problem.
Ready to go on more interviews and put your skills to the test? Join Monster today. As a member, you'll get job alerts sent directly to your inbox so you can save time searching for jobs and more time preparing winning interview answers that'll wow employers.