“Why should we hire you?” is a seemingly innocent interview question, but there is more to it than meets the eye. If not planned ahead, this goofy question can catch you off-guard in the middle of an otherwise great interview. A lot depends on your approach to answering it. Avoid sounding too confident or cocky, or even worse, too insecure and desperate. For best results, take the middle way – answer with confidence, but without being arrogant. Here are some useful tips on how to answer this question.
Be on the right track
Answering “Why should we hire you?” is actually a chance for you to sell yourself. Seize this opportunity. Don’t just say, “….because I need this job” – that’s too obvious. Instead, say why you think they need you for this job. Talk about your education, skills, experience, and how all those relate to the job you are interviewing for. Rather than saying, “this job would help me grow as a professional,” say how your skills and experience can contribute to the company.
Read the job description again
Start your preparation by reviewing the job description. Make a list of the most desirable skills and qualities the employer is looking for. Now take the time to compare the skills you have with the skills they want. Once you find some good matches, consider using them as the base of your answer. And don’t overlook your personal qualities. For instance, if you are interviewing for a managerial role, don’t forget to stress on your leadership skills, ability to stay calm under pressure, etc.
Research about the company
Try to discover your employer’s pain points – why are they hiring in the first place? Just reading the job description may not help you identify where the pain is. So do a little research on the company. Read all online reviews, testimonials, and recent news about the company. If possible, follow their social accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter accounts. That way, you can find some clues or get a better sense of what they are actually looking for.
Give a solution
Once you figure out why the company is hiring for this position, or where the pain is – don’t stop there. In your response to the “Why should we hire you?” question, give them a solution. Tell them how you are planning to resolve the issue. Even better, if you can tell them how you solved a similar problem earlier.
Back up your claims with tangible evidence
Don’t just say, “I’m a good fit for this position,” – show that you are. For instance, rather than just claiming you are good with numbers, you could say, “I see you need someone to keep record of your sales figures and expenses, and follow up on the receivables, I have done that for more than three years in my previous company, and I would be happy to do that for you.”
Create a sales pitch
Now that you know enough about the job, the company, and the skills they are seeking, it is time to prepare your sales pitch, highlighting your strengths and qualities. The idea here is to tell them why you are the best fit for this position and what sets you apart from others. Take some time to think about your unique qualities relevant to this job. For instance, most of the candidates interviewing for a sales manager post will have some experience recruiting, coaching and handling a team of sales executives. But if you can show that you have some business administration experience as well, that would clearly give you an edge over the competition.
Practice but don’t memorise
Once the sales pitch is ready, you should follow the structure and practice. One good idea would be to have someone listen to your pitch and give feedback during the practice session. You can also record your speech in a digital camera, playback and judge yourself. A little preparation can go a long way to make you more confident when answering the question. It is important to prepare a script but never memorise it word for word. And don’t forget to tailor your pitch to the job you’re interviewing for. Make sure you answer the question differently in every job interview you attend.