Got an interview coming up? It’s time to start prepping. And one crucial part of that is practice, practice, practice. That means you’ll need mock questions so you can come up with great responses for the tough questions. Like: Why should we hire you? We asked Dr. Michelle Tullier, founder and principal career coach of Careers Uncomplicated, for her take on how to answer ‘why should we hire you.’ Plus, why interviewers ask this question in the first place.
Let’s start there. Why is ‘why should we hire you’ a question that interviewers ask?
Because hiring managers want to know why you think you’re the right person for the job and what you can do for the company. There’s no denying that being asked ‘why should we hire you’ is intimidating. Dr. Tullier says that’s mainly because it’s so open-ended. “The stakes feel incredibly high because in a sense this is the question to end all questions — it gets to the crux of what you’re there for,” Dr. Tullier tells theSkimm. But remember, the hiring manager already has a feeling you could be a good fit for the role based on your resume.
Phew. Can you help me come up with a good response?
It helps to have a few different responses prepared in advance. Here are a few pointers and a script from Dr. Tullier:
Discuss the details
While prepping for your interview, research the company to find out what’s important to your potential new employer. Check their social channels and their website’s “about” page. That way, when the ‘why should we hire you’ question comes up, you can mention your work experience and how it can help them fulfill their mission or meet specific initiatives or challenges.
Dr. Tullier’s advice: “Prepare your response by putting yourself in the employer’s shoes. What does this organization, department, team, and/or specific hiring manager need? What are their objectives and goals? What problems do they need solved? Then consider how you can address those needs and help meet those goals.”
Stick to the point
Think about this as your elevator pitch to the hiring manager. Dr. Tullier says it’s a good idea to focus on the highlights and be cognizant of how long your answer is. “Practice your answer, timing yourself to try to keep your response to about a minute,” she says. “You can go up to a couple of minutes as long as your response is engaging and moves along at a brisk clip.” Because if your response goes on for too long, you might risk losing the hiring manager’s interest.
Because humility is a great sign that you work well with others. So, yes, confidence is key in acing an interview. But arrogance can be a red flag. “Stating facts and giving examples is not arrogant — it's persuasive and compelling,” Dr. Tullier explains. “Make sure that you don't simply spout a list of skills and other qualifications needed, but that you briefly provide an example or two of how you have made a difference in the past or how you would solve a particular problem in the future.”
Do you have a ‘why should we hire you’ answer template I can use?
If you combine all the tips we covered, your response could sound something like this:
I’m glad you asked. I know that my experience in [SKILLS YOU HAVE THAT ARE LISTED IN THE JOB POSTING] has given me the tools I need to excel as [ROLE]. One of my strongest skills is [QUALITY YOU HAVEN’T MENTIONED YET], which I’ve used on past projects to [ACCOMPLISHMENTS RELEVANT TO THE ROLE]. I would love to bring my skills and experience to this position to help the company [COMPANY GOAL OR MISSION].
Taking notes. Any tips on how not to respond?
Dr. Tullier gave us two pieces of advice for this: One, stay away from summarizing your resume. Because the hiring manager has already read it. Instead, focus on one or two specific accomplishments that are relevant to the role you’re going for. Two, don’t get too personal with your answer. “Don't talk about how you need the job to pay your bills or how you're tired of job hunting,” Dr. Tullier recommends.
Interviews can be intimidating, no matter how much you prepare. But having a few good responses in mind can help you get to the next phase. Psst…you’re already a good candidate, that’s how you got the interview.
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