How To Answer: Why Should We Hire You? (Examples Included)

Heidi Scott Giusto

When asked “Why should we hire you?” all possible responses should reduce to this:

“You should hire me because I’m the best fit for the job.”

That’s really all you are trying to communicate when answering why a company should hire you. That response encompasses so many things—yet it will not stand alone as a good answer.

Here’s how you communicate that message in a convincing manner. This question tests your knowledge of yourself, the job, and the company.

Big-Picture

  • Demonstrate self-awareness of your strengths, qualifications, and experiences.
  • Present clear, specific information in your response.
  • Evaluate in advance all the reasons the employer should hire you.

Research the Company and Its Needs

Learn as much as you can about the organization and its needs. This advice applies to pretty much any interview question and for every interview you have.

Do your best ahead of time to understand the “pain points” and how you can be the fix to offer the company relief. In this sense, you, as the new employee, would be the problem solver. You won’t know how to position yourself if you don’t adequately understand the organization’s needs.

Decide the Pathway of Your Response

Knowing that your answer needs to land at “because I’m the best fit,” means you need to think about how you’ll get there. On what will you rest your claim? Why should the company hire you? What is your value proposition to the company? What makes you the most qualified candidate? If you’re not actually a perfect fit based on what the company is describing in the job description, think about what makes you a strong fit despite your shortcomings in terms of the job description.
Here are things to consider:

EXPERIENCE
What experience do you have that aligns with the requirements stated in the job description—or from what you’ve learned from a contact who works at the company? This experience might include both paid work and volunteer positions. When considering your experience, think about the specifics.

  • Number of years of experience
  • Industries you’ve worked in
  • Sectors you’ve been employed (corporate, non-profit, government)
  • Promotions you’ve had that demonstrate your expertise while gaining experience

Sample
“Based on the job description and the information I’ve gained from this interview, my understanding is that you want someone with at least three years of fundraising experience in a higher education setting—who also has project management skills. You should hire me because I’m an ideal fit. My current position is as a fundraising specialist for the alumni association, which is part of the university, and I’ve been doing the job for three and a half years. Part of my duties includes keeping various projects running smoothly, according to a timeline and budget. In short, I meet your primary requirements and can envision myself having a smooth start as I learn the culture here and your priorities.”

QUALIFICATIONS
These include information like your previous work history and also your educational background and skills. Review the job description and make note of the qualifications you have.

Hint: Inventory the additional skills and qualifications you have that might be beneficial to the role but that are not listed in the job description. These can be “value added” qualifications—ones that the employer might not specifically be seeking but that will appreciate nonetheless.

If your interview is for a job that has not been posted (and therefore doesn’t have a job description), try to take an objective look at your qualifications and how they can contribute to your success in the role. Do you have any of the following that will help you succeed?

  • Educational Degrees
  • Certifications
  • Technical skills
  • “Soft” people skills

Sample
“In addition to having the required number of years working for a management consulting firm, I also have the advanced degree and technical skills the job description indicates the company prefers. I have an MBA from a top 20 program as well as all of the technical skills you’ve shared with me today. I’m confident in my abilities to excel in this position and am excited at the prospect of doing so.”

A FIT THEY MIGHT NOT BE EXPECTING
Although you want to focus on the “main dish” part of your answer, you can throw in some “side dishes.” These side dishes supplement and complement your answer to help show you as an ideal fit for more than one reason.

Passion: One time a job seeker attending one of my events asked how he could get the interviewer to know his passion for the work? My answer was simple: tell the interviewer. The participant looked surprised—and relieved.

Although you must justify almost everything you claim in an interview, you don’t need to explain or prove a passion or interest. Rather, you share it.

Sample
“While planning my wedding, I realized my passion for event planning and management. Since that experience, I decided to pursue events management as my career, which I have done successfully now for eight years.”

Beyond sharing your passion for a particular line of work, you can also share an interest in the industry, the company’s products, the organization’s mission, or something that makes a case for your fit. This method can be particularly useful if your passion is in an area that is not widely popular or in high demand.

Geographic region: If you have an interest moving to (or staying in) a geographic region that is not a popular “hot spot” for jobs, you can consider including that information in your response. Doing so could suggest you won’t decide to look for a new job after a few years. (Looking for a hot market? Check out this article from Forbes.)

Sample
“I know not many people want to move to rural Maine, but the fact is that I miss living in a rural area. My goal is to move out of the city and settle back in the country.”

Flexible employment status: Unsurprisingly, most people want a full-time, permanent position. If your situation is flexible and allows you to work as a contractor and / or on a part–time basis, this can help how the interviewer assesses your fit.

Sample
“I’d like to add that working part-time is ideal for me at this stage of my career, so the part-time hours fits perfectly with what I’m seeking.”

Obviously, these sample responses wouldn’t be an entire answer to “Why should I hire you?” but they could be a part of it. Any one of them on their own would not likely earn you an offer, but if your experiences and qualifications are solid, then this supplemental information can help land you a job offer.

Final Word

Assert you are the best fit by providing clear, compelling evidence to support your claim.

Provide a multi-faceted response that includes support for your skills, qualifications and experiences.

About The Author

Heidi Scott Giusto

Heidi Scott Giusto, PhD, is a Certified Employment Interview Professional and holds additional certifications in resume writing and motivational coaching. She earned her doctorate degree from Duke University. Heidi delights in helping people succeed when the stakes are high by coaching them to excel at all stages of the job application process.

Website: http://careerpathwritingsolutions.com/

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