Do you have an answer ready?
This question is like the shark in Jaws. You never know when it’s going to attack. It could be at the beginning of the interview, or maybe in the middle. It’s even possible it catches you off guard at the end when you think you’re safe.
What’s so scary? It’s only five words. “Why should I hire you?” You might also get “Why do you want to work at this company,” or something else along similar lines.
The scary thing is that answering these questions requires plenty of preparation beforehand. This is probably not an answer you can come up with right away (especially if you first consider saying “because I need money, duh.”)
Here are a few essential things to include in your answer.
- “Because from what I know about this organization through my research, I believe I match the company culture.”
Do your research. Make sure the job meets your needs and your skills meet the job requirements. Your interviewer wants to know that you 1) know the company and 2) are a “good fit.”
Who is a “good fit?” A person who fits in with the culture of the department and company in general. If you’re loud and talk too much, you might not be right for an accounting department that needs absolute quiet. If you’re shy and don’t like talking to people, you probably shouldn’t go into sales.
Some companies embrace a “family” culture, where everyone knows everybody else. Others are full of people who never interact. Find out what the company culture is like at the business you’re interviewing at, and explain how that matches your own preferences and values in a few short sentences.
- “I have a history of demonstrable success in positions like this.”
Your interviewer wants to know what you can bring to the table. What makes you better than the last girl or guy he interviewed an hour ago?
Focus on your accomplishments and use metrics. How you increased ROI by 5%, raised page views by a certain number, increased your personal assembly time by a specific amount in a year, or freed up however many hours of your executive’s schedule. By showing that you’ve succeeded at previous positions and matching those accomplishments to the job description you’re applying for, you show your interviewer you’re valuable.
- “I have the soft skills necessary to thrive in this position.”
Indeed.com defines soft skills as “personality traits and behaviors. Unlike technical or hard skills, soft skills are not about the knowledge you possess but rather behaviors you display in different situations.”
So, this means qualities like being flexible, a great leader, a stellar conversationalist, etc.
When you mention these skills, come up with specific examples. Instead of saying, “I’m a people person” and leaving it there, say something like, “I love to meet people and learn new things. In my last position, I frequently attended networking events with other people in my industry. I met Karen, introduced her to my company, and we gained a new client!”
And there you have it. Everything you need to answer the question: Why Should I Hire You? Combine each of these into your answer, prepare well in advance, and you’ll sail through your interviews.
For more in our Answering the Interview Question series check out:
Answering the Interview Question: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years
Answering the Interview Question: What Are Your Top 3 Strengths and Weaknesses?
Answering the Hardest Interview Questions
Answering the Interview Question: Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job/Company?
Do you have any other ways to answer this question? Let us know in the comments section below!