Answering the Question "Why Should We Hire You?"

John Krautzel
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You ace every interview question your potential employer throws your way and feel confident about your chances of getting the job. The meeting is coming to a close, but the interviewer has one last question. "We've had quite a few qualified applicants for this position," she explains. "Why should we hire you?"

Don't State the Obvious

Hiring managers hear the same cookie-cutter answers to their interview questions several times a day. Most candidates are hard workers who need jobs, and many have a strong desire to work for Company XYZ, but the applicants that stand out from the rest are those that skip generic responses that state the obvious.

Be Prepared and Stay Attentive

The best way to avoid a cliché response to this dreaded interview question is to do your homework before and during the interview. Review the company's mission and goals for the future so that you can clearly explain how your skills and talents are desirable assets. During the interview, pay attention to the job requirements, and make a mental note of any previous training and experience that could help you effectively perform the role.

Don't Get Carried Away

It's hard to answer any interview question about yourself, but responding to "why should we hire you" can be particularly nerve-racking. Short, generic replies are not the solution, but long-winded, rambling responses won't help your chances either. Focus on accomplishments and skills that make you unique in comparison to other candidates, but keep your answer concise, and avoid the urge to exaggerate your achievements.

Sell Yourself and Provide Proof

The best response to this common interview question is a carefully crafted sales pitch that convinces the hiring manager that you are the best person to fill the position. Highlight skills, awards and recognition that support your claims, but concentrate on showing your worth through real-life experiences. If you developed a campaign that generated a multimillion dollar contract in your previous marketing position, include that information in your answer.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute

Start formulating your response now instead of waiting until you hear the question at a much-needed job interview. Create a list of your qualifications, and make note of your most unique talents and traits. Think about your past positions and how your expertise benefited the employer. Before a job interview, use your notes to find qualities that suit the requirements of the desired position, along with experiences that can enhance the company's future success. When your potential employer pops the question, you already have the framework for an unforgettable response.

"Why should we hire you" is a common interview question that oftentimes determines the fate of potential job candidates. If you're serious about getting the job, set yourself apart from other applicants by telling your future employer exactly what you can do to benefit the company.

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