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The ‘Why Should We Hire You’ Interview Question



why should we hire you

There’s almost always that moment in an interview when you feel like you’ve covered all your bases in your skills, education, and experience, and then, the interview lets these words roll off their tongue, “Why should we hire you?”

Isn’t that what you’ve just been explaining for the last 20 minutes–you think in your head?  What else is there to say?  But, that’s part of the purpose of this question, to put you back on the spot to hit the real highlights of what makes you the ideal candidate over anyone else that applied.

Many job seekers will respond with something generic, or even a somewhat honest, but uninteresting answer such as: I need a job or I’m a hard worker and love your brand.

Neither answer is going to get you the position.  And, you risk boring the interviewer who might tune out the rest of the interview.

As with every answer in an interview, your goal is to set yourself apart in a positive way and keep the interviewer’s attention.  There’s no room for general answers in the interview if your goal is to land the job.  Be specific, be thoughtful, be positive, and be real.

Think of the question with emphasis on the YOU over anyone else.  What makes you unique, special, and/or different?  What skill sets or experience do you bring?  What motivates you and excites you about working for the company in this particular role? What can you do for the company no one else can?  What have you accomplished that prepares you for this role?

These are all great questions to ask yourself as you prepare your answer.  The key is to pick the highlights and summarize them into a concise, identifiable response that shows you have what it takes to not only do the job, but excel at it.

There are rarely second chances in the interview process, so make sure you shine.  Take your reply one step further and connect everything that sets you apart from other candidates to the job at hand.  Doing this will show you have a greater understanding of not only yourself but of the position you are trying to secure.

But you, yourself, have to believe every word you say.  You might practice answering interview questions until you think you’ve gotten the perfect response down, but if it sounds rehearsed or memorized with no enthusiasm behind the response, the interviewer is not going to believe you.

Don’t let the ‘Why Should We Hire You’ interview question catch you off guard.  If you don’t know this going into the interview already, you’re already behind the game (and should probably re-consider your interest in the position.) Take the time to figure this out, and if you are at a loss, you need to continue to try and focus more on your strengths and who you are as a person.

If you’re still struggling to answer this, perhaps you have some self-esteem issues that need to be worked out or are pursing the wrong type of role.  Talk to others in your life to help define what makes you special, what you have a gift for, and what makes you stand out.  There’s nothing like reassurance from someone you trust.

Know what makes you unique, what you have to offer, and how you can help the company achieve their goals, and overcome their challenges.

Understand the position, it’s requirements, and how you can address these the way no one else can.  If you want to be the only person they consider hiring, make sure you give them a good reason to put you on the top of their list.

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Robin Rayburn

About Robin Rayburn

Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Interviewing.com. Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog, RestlessPillow.com, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.

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2 comments
Wayne Schofield
Wayne Schofield

This is a great article. I have been a recruiter since 1993 and writing resumes for years. When I speak to resume clients I always get them to think about what they bring to the table over another candidate. It's surprising how many candidates don't know how to sell themselves without thinking about it first. Thanks for this!

Robin Rayburn
Robin Rayburn

Thank you, Wayne! I think so many people get focused on trying to find and secure a job that they forget to take a step back and think about how to actually go about it, what they really want out of a job, and to question what makes them great! It's something we should not only do in the interview, but as a daily reminder of how we contribute to our work, our families, and our daily lives! Every person is unique and has something special to bring to the table, and the more we understand ourselves, the more we can "sell" ourselves and mean it!

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  1. [...] you unique? (Does the candidate know what value they bring to the table? This is a nice take on the Why Should we Hire You Interview Question?  The candidate may respond with something out of left field, but a smart candidate will remember [...]

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