The last thing you want during a job interview is to be surprised. Walking into an interview, you may have layered on our deodorant and put on our best silk shirt. But – nothing can prepare you for that moment when someone asks you a question that totally stumps you. A reader commented on my last job interview post asking about a particularly hard question: “why should we hire you?”. Eeek!
This question is honestly difficult for a multitude of reasons. For one, you don’t want to sound cocky, but you always have so much to say. I mean odds are, you are awesome and people SHOULD want to hire you! So how can you phrase your answer so that the interviewer knows this without saying, “I’m the best and that’s all you need to know?!”
“Why should we hire you” is one of those interview questions that you should practice learning how to answer in advance. You’ll most likely be asked this question in every job interview. Seriously. Every single one. So the more you are able to speak to yourself, the better you’ll be.
I’m going to provide a bunch of things you should and should not do when preparing this answer. If your brainstorming your answer – start with these questions:
- What makes you a good fit for this particular role?
- How does your past experience fit with this new experience?
- What skills and qualities do you have that make you a great fit for the role?
Here’s the answer we’ll work on coming up with together: “My experience in X, Y, and Z, combined with excitement for your industry makes me a great fit for this role. I’d be thrilled to have the opportunity to (whatever you’d do in the role).”
How To Answer “Why Should We Hire You” During A Job Interview
Keep It Simple
Because you’ve practiced your answer (right?!), your answer to “why should we hire you” should be succinct. Like short. Similarly to almost any interview question, you don’t want to be droning on and on for hours. Basically, don’t be like Hannah B from the Bachelor (please say you get this reference).
Don’t Focus on Being Simply A Hard Worker
A lot of people focus on their qualities when answering “tell me about yourself”. You know those people that self describe? People will say, “well I’m a hard worker, I’m proactive, etc.” Don’t be this person that solely self-describes and expects people to believe you. Just don’t. And I’ll tell you why.
You want to show your interviewer that you have these skills when talking about what you’ve done. Show them that you are a great fit for this role. Try and pull from your prior experience by saying that your past experience in (whatever your past experience is) combined with your passion for whatever the job is, makes you a great fit for the role. Kapesh?!
Talk Through Your Past Experience
Use this question to give a subtle plug about how your past work makes you a great fit for this role. Don’t worry about bragging about yourself – that’s LITERALLY the point of a job interview! People want to know about you.
When you are preparing for the interview, think hard about what specific (seriously, get detailed!) experience from your past makes you a great fit for this job. Pull those experiences into this answer to say why someone should hire you – because you already know how to do the role!
Show That You Know The Role
When answering “why should we hire you”, you should also mention that you have a passion for the role you are applying to. As I say in almost every post similar to this one, people want to hire people who are excited about the job.
Speak To The Value You Bring
If the connection isn’t already made for the hiring manager (or even if it is), talk about what value you’d bring to the role. If you bring on your past experience, state that your past experience will allow you to bring value to the role that they couldn’t get elsewhere – you are unique!
Practice Your Answer
With any job interview, practice makes perfect. The more you can prep (take out that mirror babe!) your answer – the better off you’ll be.
Here’s your formula for answering the question, “why should we hire you”. First, talk through your past experience that makes you able to crush this role right away, make it clear you know what the role entails, and talk about your passion for the role. Easy!
Again, you can say something like, “My experience in X, Y, and Z, combined with excitement for your industry makes me a great fit for this role. I’d be thrilled to have the opportunity to (whatever you’d do in the role).” Got it?! Kapesh!