During a job interview, it's common for an employer to ask, "Why should we hire you?" Although it can feel uncomfortable, this question is a great opportunity to present yourself as an asset to the company. By speaking directly to the employer's practical and emotional sides, you can create a competitive advantage in the hiring process.
Focus on Your Competitive Advantage
It's not uncommon for job applicants to have similar educational and professional backgrounds. When you're competing with candidates who also have a marketing degree and three to five years of work experience, it's important to stand out during the job interview. Use the "Why should we hire you?" question to showcase your unique qualifications. Mention that you've completed specialized training that enables you to do the job more efficiently, or talk about unusual work experience that gives you insight into the end user's needs. Consider also the value of your personal activities. If you serve as the volunteer coordinator for a charity, for example, you might discuss how that leadership and management experience is useful in the office.
Fill the Company's Needs
When it comes down to it, a job interview isn't about you; for the employer, it's about filling a void. Make the interviewer's job easier by focusing on how you can help the company meet its needs, whether that means increasing profits or building great websites. Do your research to discover underlying or upcoming requirements that are not explicitly stated in the job posting. If you find that the company wants to expand into the African market, you might say, "I spent two years volunteering with the Peace Corps in Kenya, and my firsthand experience of the region's sociocultural climate can help as Company X builds a presence in Africa." Alternatively, address a pain point. If you're interviewing at a manufacturing company that's been through a recent budget crisis, explain that your approach to lean operations helped past employers cut costs by 30 percent.
When you're trying to maintain a professional demeanor in a job interview, it's easy to underplay your enthusiasm. "Why should we hire you?" is an opportunity to let your excitement show. Talk about the specific reasons that you love your career, and don't be afraid to get personal. Explain how a former teacher helped you escape a bad situation and get your life on track and that you want to do the same for other struggling kids. Stories create an emotional connection and make you a more memorable candidate. In addition, clearly communicating your interest during a job interview can convince the employer you're motivated and dedicated.
"Why should we hire you?" is an opportunity to shine during a job interview. By using the answer to position yourself as an asset, you can boost your chances of a job offer.
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