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How to Answer the Interview Question – “Why Should We Hire You?”

Interview PreparationSuzie Finch
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I recently put together 23 tough interview questions (and how to answer them), however I felt the interview question “Why should we hire you?” deserved it’s own dedicated post. 

Over the years I’ve observed literally hundreds of candidates trying to answer this question first-hand, and from the other side of the desk it isn’t always pretty.   It’s a difficult question to answer in a convincing way and can really put people on the spot!

Over the course of the next few minutes (5 minute read) I’m going to run through some of the reasons why employers like to ask this question and what you can do to deliver a convincing pitch, a great answer and kudos from the company.

So, before we delve deeper into the best answers to “Why Should We Hire You?” (also closely related to “Why Should I Hire You?” or “Why Should We Give You A Job?”) it’s important that we first understand the psychology behind this line of questioning…

So, Why Is The Interviewer Asking Me This Question?

An interviewer is trying to gauge your suitability and experience in-line with other potential applicants, the “why should we hire you?” question is an amazing way of doing this.  It’s such a versatile interview question which helps employers glean a whole variety of information from would be employees (which is why it is used by companies up and down the land).

 It is asked to assess your:

  • Self-belief / Confidence – The answer “why shouldn’t you hire me” is probably taking things a bit too far, however the interviewer is hoping to get assurance and confidence in your answer to this question.

  • Listening Skills – An interviewer wants to know that you’ve been paying attention (hang in there and stay alert), make sure you give an answer that directly relates to the position and previous conversations.

  • Enthusiasm – The interviewer wants to visibly see your passion and enthusiasm.  They want to know this means a lot to you.

  • Experience – The interviewer is hoping that you’ll give a direct answer that makes them feel they can’t do without your experience and expertise – sound convincing!

Like most interview questions it is also used for:

  • Benchmarking – Expect your answer and the delivery of your answer to be graded and compared against others in the same boat – eek.

Does This Question Mean I’m Doing OK In My Interview?

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Yes – Absolutely! The first thing you should know about this question is that it’s what us in the trade call a stage 2 question.  Interviews typically have a couple of stages, with questions split into first and second stages…

  • Stage One interview questions – These are generally discovery and fact-finding questions which an interviewer will use to ascertain whether you possess the basic knowledge, skills and relevancy for the role.

  • Stage Two interview questions – These are more in-depth questions designed to qualify and quantify suitability and intelligence.  They are also designed to be awkward and more difficult to answer so an interviewer can gauge intangible skills such as how you handle pressure.

Between the two stages is a natural break, as an interviewee you may have never noticed it, however it allows the interviewer to call time without it seeming out of place.

So, the fact you’ve been asked “Why should we hire you?” is a real positive, it means you’ve covered the basics and have progressed well through the interview.

Just Tell Me How I Should Answer – “Why Should We Hire You?”

OK, so that’s enough recruiter waffle, let’s get down to it.  Below are 5 of the best answer examples on how to answer the question.  You can also find a handy Best Answer PDF download as well (so you can print and read on your terms).

5 Best Answer Examples to why should we hire you?

1. // Best Answer Example 1 …

From reading the job description and speaking with you today I feel I can demonstrate all the skills you require and more.  Possessing 5 years commercial PHP Development experience within your sector I would be able to provide instant value from my first day and work on completing some of those great projects you’ve been talking about.

 This is a good answer for positions that are based around Hard Skills (i.e. programming, content writing, web design, typing etc.).  Employers hiring in this realm are often looking for minimum downtime and instant results.

2. // Best Answer Example 2…

I’m confident that with my connections and your amazing setup it would be a great partnership. As an ambitious individual this opportunity would give me an amazing platform to nurture and develop some brilliant tier 1 accounts for your company.

If you work in sales this is a great answer as it both compliments the client but demonstrates the value you could bring in the form of a little black book.

3. // Best Answer Example 3…

I’ve always admired what you’re doing in this space, to be part of it would be amazing.  I may not possess all the skills listed on the spec but what I lack in hard skills I make up with enthusiasm, tenacity and the desire to learn.  I’m a big fan, I’d be a real advocate for the company.

In this day an age where companies are trying to build tribes of super engaged employees, this answer is designed to highlight your passion and motivation above specific skills.  By acknowledging that you don’t have all the skills also highlights you are wary of areas which you need to improve.

4. // Best Answer Example 4…

From what you’ve told me I can see areas where I can provide an immediate impact.  At my last role I was responsible for implementing new strategies and processes resulting in huge efficiency savings in both time and money, I’m confident I can follow this good work on with you.

This is a good answer for those in process driven, strategic or research driven roles.  It once again highlights the ability to hit the ground running (which employers love) but it also relays that you understand the position and know how to apply your skills and experience which in the above case saves time and money. 

5. // Best Answer Example 5…

It sounds like you’re under a lot of pressure right now I’d be the perfect person to remedy that.  Combining 10 years in Office Management with a CIPD and an ACA I could clear your desk from that mountain of a to do list you mentioned.  I also live locally and can start immediately which means we could be up and running from Monday if you wish.

This answer directly solves the problem of having an excess workload.  The interviewee states they can remedy the problem before backing it up with the credentials.  Mentioning locality and start date is fine when it benefits the employer don’t use it in the self-advantage tense.

One last thing - Remember to give a performance…

It’s important when answering this question that you deliver it with conviction, I’m not saying you need to deliver a performance like “Brett” does in this Dan Brown clip below when asked “How would you fit into this role?”, but make the employer feel like that you genuinely want to work there (even if you don’t). Good luck!