You can get ready for a job interview by anticipating and preparing for potential questions. One common and generally detested question for interviewees is “Why should we hire you?” or “Why are you the best person for the job?” If you don’t prepare for this question, it may be hard for you to respond in a concise and clear way that is likely to impress your interviewer. However, by thinking about answering “Why should we hire you?” and formulating your response, you can deliver a thoughtful answer that hits the mark.
Why interviewers ask “Why should we hire you?”
Before you prepare to answer the question, it’s a good idea to understand why the interviewer asks this question, or one of its many variants, such as “Why do you think you’re a great match for this role?” They ask it to find out about your skills, and if you would be a good match for the job. But there is more to this question. They also want to see how well you understand the job requirements. In other words, did you prepare for the interview by reviewing the position? If you can answer how Your qualifications, skills, or personality make you a unique match for the job, then you show expertise that you’ve put your in the context of the hiring company.
When an interviewer meets a candidate who can articulate how their skill set or personality characteristics align with the company and its culture, it could be a clincher. It shows the interviewer that you are both skilled in your job and focused on the company.
How to answer “Why should we hire you?”
To answer this question, first, get a description of the job. This will give you an understanding of what is involved in doing the job. After reviewing the job description, you can answer one of the following ways:
Highlight job skills, training, or education
Do you have any job skills that closely align with the position you’re interviewing for? If so, discuss how those skills make you the best person for the job. If you have certifications or education that make you a good candidate, bring that to the table, then express those skills in terms of past successes.
Bring out personal traits
Some jobs require a specific “type” of personality. For example, maybe the job is for a leadership position or requires meticulous attention to detail. If you have characteristics or a personality that would make you a good match for the job, mention these by also putting them in the context of a past success for a previous company.
Discuss past experiences
As indicated above, past job experiences that are similar to the position are something you want to elaborate on. Combining proven skills with past successes makes for a very robust response; and backing up personality trait claims with past successes is also a great way to impress.
Examples of strong answers
Here are examples of possible answers to the job interviewer’s question. Of course, you will need to modify the response to fit your job skills, personality traits, or experiences.
My skill set in content marketing and writing, along with my certificate in inbound marketing, make me a great match for the job. Also, at my last job, I handled all the creative content writing for the company, increasing traffic to the site by 38%.
Benefits of this approach: This response mentions vital skills for the job, highlights past experience, and brings out past accomplishments with quantifiable results.
My previous job working as an academic secretary in an educational institution provided me with experience for this position. For three years, I honor the skills necessary to do this job, such as answering phones and emails, providing academic information to students, and entering student data.
Benefits of this approach: This response is effective because it details past job duties similar to the current position you’re applying for. The candidate would know what the current job requires by reading the job listing and researching what is involved.
I am a flexible employee and a quick learner. I taught myself computer coding, three programming languages, and in the process became adept at troubleshooting in those areas. I don’t require a lot of direction as I am a self-starter who can be depended on to follow through with whatever task is given to me. I love learning new information and value quality work. You can count on me to stick with a job until it’s done.
Benefits of this approach: This job candidate’s response shows a strong work ethic, determination, and other personal characteristics of an employer would value. They also show they have solid computer abilities and would likely grow in a technical position.
Tips to prepare for your interview
When preparing for the interview, take time to do the following:
Research the company: It’s helpful to know about the company you want to work for. What are their values and mission? This can give you insight into the qualities they may be looking for in a candidate.
Study the job description: Make sure you know the job duties and qualifications well. Then, match the skills you have that align with the position. By reading the job posting and reviewing your resume, you can find this out.
Use quantitative data: When giving your response, provide examples of how you achieved results. Use numbers, percentages, or dollar amounts to show the interviewer the actual results you gained for your past employer.
Show don’t tell: It’s fine to tell the interviewer about your skills and qualities, but then back it up with real-life examples. This will show them how you put those skills into practice in the past and how you can do it again for your new boss.
Practice before you go: They say practice makes perfect. It can help you refine your answer if you practice saying it aloud. This can prevent you from stumbling or getting your words mixed up. Practicing will also help you speak with confidence.
See more help and advice on job interviews or check out our comprehensive list of behavioral interview questions.