Among the many interview questions that you’re likely to encounter, one that often causes candidates to pause and ponder is the classic, “Why should we hire you?”
This seemingly straightforward question can make or break your interview. In this article, we will help you craft a response that resonates with employers and showcases your genuine potential.
Why Hiring Managers Ask, “Why Should We Hire You?”
When employers ask this interview question, they want to:
- See if you’ve done your homework about the company.
- Verify that you understand the role you’re applying for.
- Gauge how confident you are in your abilities.
- Understand how well you align with their culture, values, and company.
This is an invitation to pitch yourself, summarize why you’re an excellent fit for the position, and what unique value you bring.
How to Prepare, Craft, and Answer This Question?
The key to crafting a successful response to this interview question is through preparation, understanding the company’s needs, showcasing your unique value, and delivering your answer confidently and authentically.
1. Align your response with the job requirements
Begin by studying the job description. Identify the essential skills, qualifications, and attributes the company seeks. Your response should emphasize how your background, experience, and skills align perfectly with these requirements.
For instance, if the job requires strong project management skills, you could highlight a successful project you led that showcases your ability to manage teams and deliver results within deadlines.
2. Showcase your accomplishments
Think about your professional journey and highlight your most significant accomplishments. These could be projects you’ve completed, awards you’ve received, or challenges you’ve overcome. Frame these accomplishments in a way that demonstrates your skills.
You may have accomplished many things throughout your career, however, not all of these can be used to highlight your skills. Focus on the ones that directly relate to the job you’re interviewing for.
3. Highlight your unique skills and strengths
What makes you unique from other candidates? Find the answer to this question and showcase what sets you apart. It could be your diverse combination of skills, depth of industry knowledge, or fresh perspective that you bring.
Share anecdotes illustrating these strengths and how they can contribute to the company’s success. If you’re an excellent problem solver, provide an example of a complex problem you tackled and the positive outcomes that resulted from your solution.
4. Back your claims with evidence
It’s also essential to provide evidence and concrete examples to make your response more credible.
Instead of merely saying you’re a great communicator, share an example of how your communication skills led to improved teamwork, clearer project instructions, or better client relationships. Try to frame this in the form of a story that will be easy to remember and then, if available, use specific numbers to quantify that success, such as “had 15% higher than average customer service reviews.”
5. Focus on problem solving
Employers often seek problem solvers or individuals who can identify issues, develop practical solutions, and drive positive change. You can look at different angles, like the industry or the company’s needs, challenges, goals, and recent achievements. You can use this information to tailor your response and show how your skills can directly address their needs. This demonstrates that you’ve done your homework.
If you’re unsure, ask the hiring manager or recruiter about the company’s goals and recent challenges. They might just tell you.
6. Keep practicing
Practicing your response multiple times will help you deliver it confidently during the interview. Ask the help of a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews and provide feedback. Pay attention to your tone, body language, and delivery of your response.
7. Express enthusiasm
Passion is contagious—express excitement for the role and the company. Enthusiasm makes you a more appealing candidate. If you’re genuinely excited about the company’s products or services, let that shine through in your response.
Additionally, if the company has a mission statement, read this ahead of time and express your alignment and personal connection with their mission.
Additional Tips and Best Practices to Help You Ace Your Interview
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when going through an interview:
1. Be specific and quantify your achievements
Rather than speaking in vague terms, provide specific examples of your achievements and quantify them whenever possible. Numbers and specific results add credibility to your claims.
Instead of saying, “I improved team efficiency,” say, “I implemented a new process that reduced project turnaround time by 30%.”
2. Be concise and focused
Keep your response concise and focused. Rambling or going off on tangents can dilute the impact of your message. Aim to deliver your response within 2-3 minutes while maintaining the key points.
3. Focus on yourself instead of the other candidates
Focus on highlighting your strengths and achievements rather than comparing yourself to other candidates. The goal is to present yourself as a unique individual who brings value in your own right.
4. Practice humble confidence
Confidence is important but be sure to balance confidence and humility. Instead of sounding arrogant, emphasize your abilities while acknowledging your eagerness to learn and grow within the role.
5. Stay authentic
While preparing and structuring your response is critical, don’t lose sight of your authenticity. Be genuine in your enthusiasm, examples, and stories. Authenticity is what truly connects with interviewers and sets you apart from others.
6. Manage Body Language
If you can, maintain eye contact with the interviewer and use positive body language.¹ A confident and engaged demeanor further reinforces the credibility of your response. If you have a virtual interview, sit in the center of the screen and focus on the camera. If you’re doing a phone interview, speak a little louder and more clearly than what feels natural, and make sure you’re in a quiet space.
Related Article: Virtual Interviews: Essential Tips and Tricks for Jobseekers
7. Listen and adapt
Pay attention to the interviewer’s reactions as you speak. If they seem particularly interested in a specific aspect of your response, you can choose to elaborate further on that point. Likewise, if they appear to have concerns, be ready to address them with explanations.
8. Prepare follow-up questions
After presenting your response, be ready to ask insightful follow-up questions. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the role and allows further discussion. Thoughtful questions can also give you more insight into the company’s needs, allowing you to tailor your responses accordingly.
Related Article: Asking questions in an interview
Putting It All Together: Sample Responses You Can Use as a Template
Let’s bring it together with a few sample answers tailored to different scenarios and job roles.
1. Project Management
“I’m confident that my track record of effectively managing complex projects, combined with my natural leadership abilities, aligns perfectly with the requirements of this position. I recently led a team through a challenging task that required quick decision-making and resource allocation.
As a result, we met the deadline and exceeded client expectations, resulting in a 15% increase in customer satisfaction. My strong communication skills and ability to manage stakeholder expectations will enable me to ensure the seamless execution of projects at your organization.”
“I believe my experience in digital marketing, coupled with my strategic mindset, makes me a strong candidate for this role. In my previous position, I successfully executed a data-driven marketing campaign that resulted in a 40 percent increase in website traffic and a 25 percent boost in conversion rates.
I’m excited about the opportunity to leverage my creativity to develop innovative marketing strategies that align with your brand’s vision. My passion for staying ahead of industry trends and collaborating cross-functionally will allow me to contribute positively to your team’s growth.”
3. Software Engineering
“My passion for coding and problem-solving has led me to thrive in software engineering roles. In my previous job, I was responsible for developing a critical module that significantly improved the performance of our application, reducing loading times by 50%.
I have a strong foundation in multiple programming languages and a proven ability to collaborate seamlessly with cross-functional teams. Your company’s reputation for innovation aligns perfectly with my desire to tackle challenging coding projects and contribute to developing cutting-edge software.”
READY TO TEST YOUR SKILLS AND ANSWER HARD QUESTIONS?
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1. “Positive Body Language with Examples” Harappa, 6 Jan. 2021, harappa.education/positive-body-language-with-examples.