“Why should I hire you?” How to answer this question

One of the most common interview questions is “Why should I hire you?” Do you know how to answer it?

At some point in the job interview, the interviewer is probably going to ask you, straight up, “Why should I hire you?” And you expected to have a good answer for this.

Don’t panic. You can do this. This is your chance to bring it home. At the end of the day, this one question is the only one that matters and the only one they actually need an answer to. Every other question in the interview is designed to answer this one question: why should I hire you?

If you can convince them that there are more reasons to hire you than there are reasons to hire any other candidate, the job is yours.

How do you do this? Well, ask yourself why they should hire you. If you’re not sure, you should know that the manager is looking for the following:

3 things companies are looking for in a new hire:

Someone who will solve their problem or problems. Whatever those might be. Maybe they’re trying to save time or money, grow their sales or increase their customer base – probably all of the above. Maybe they’re launching a new product or service.

Someone who will fit in with the workplace culture. It’s important that a new hire fits in with the existing team and gets along with people.

Someone who will bring more value to the company than they will cost it. Here’s an exercise I like — think about this: hiring and onboarding a new employee costs time and money. Salaries and benefits cost money. A new hire should be someone who will bring the company more than they will cost it. So, if your onboarding costs $3,000 and your salary is $65,000 a year, plus another $20,000 in benefits, that’s $88,000. Think about how you will bring more than this amount in value in your first year and, without saying it directly, make the hiring manager see that.

This means communicating that you have the ideal combination of experience for the role and that you will accomplish what is needed to help the company be successful. Here’s how to do that:

Read the job posting carefully

Read it and find ways to highlight how your skills and qualifications fit the role. Ask yourself from reading it whether you can discern what problem the person filing the role will be expected to solve.

Research the company and industry

You should know as much as possible about their products, services, culture, and business goals. Learn their mission and values. Also find out who key competitors are and consider what challenges they might be facing.

Tie your skills, experience, accomplishments, and personal qualities to these things.

The successful answer to this question communicates that your background, experience, skills, and personality will help them achieve their goals and bring value, and that your personality will be a fitting and welcome addition to the team.

Do this by explaining how your skills and experience match the role and company, listing the ones you want to highlight individually. Then, quantify your accomplishments, with numbers, where possible. If you grew the number of sales qualified leads at your last company by 350% in the first year, say so.

List the skills qualities that are specific to you and make you a stand out. For example, if you have a cool hobby volunteering as a fundraiser for an organization or charity close to your heart, and are successful at it, and this demonstrates skills relevant to the role, think about the skills and qualities this demonstrates that make you an attractive hire (drive, dedication, marketing, audience growth, purpose driven).

Then write it out

Write it down before the interview. Don’t wing it. So, when we put this all together you get something like:

“You should hire me not just because I possess all of the skills and qualifications required for the job, but because I will work as hard as possible to be successful and contribute to the company’s success. I can point to a record of consistently exceeded expectations in the past (list examples). I love problem solving, working with other people, and am excited to and help you grow your sales (or audience, revenue, internal team, etc.) and to be an important part of your team.”

This answer should, obviously, be tweaked to fit you and the company. If they have a corporate social responsibility initiative that you’re passionate about, talk about how you want to contribute to it. If you admire the company’s mission and values – talk about how you embody them.

Keep it short and to the point. And note, above all, that there should be nothing about what you need and everything about what you will contribute in your answer.

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