While it might be archaic and intimidating, one of the most popular interview questions that commonly pop up is the question, “Why should we hire you?” The question is a loaded one, and with it, recruiters expect a loaded answer. After all, hiring managers will gauge your response to determine if you are the right candidate for the job.
It is an important question because it will reveal to the interviewer whether you have the right aptitude and attitude to work in the company. So, what do you do when you get hit with this almost inevitable question? Here’s how to respond.
1. Plan Ahead
Recruiters tend to ask this question at the end of the interview. It is a make or break question; It may be your last chance to convince the employer you’re the best option for the position. With that much on the line, you need to plan your possible responses ahead of time.
Before the interview, spend time doing the following:
- List your skills and strengths.
- Using the principles of the C.A.R technique (Challenges, Actions, and Results), figure out your C.A.R. stories by listing down accomplishments for each of your jobs.
- Document your accomplishments.
- Figure out what makes you unique by reviewing letters of recommendation and other testimonials from work, school, or volunteering
By taking the time to do these things, you’ll uncover concrete answers to similar questions and you’ll be able to give concrete examples to prove you fit the bill.
2. Show Them Your Skills and Experience
You’ll never exactly know what other candidates are bringing to the table, but you know what you can offer. Emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that directly correlate with the responsibility of the position.
You could even offer the recruiter a scenario of how if those skills can be applied and how they directly offer a solution to a problem shared with you during the interview.
Don’t have a lot of professional experience? Pull from experiences in your life that show your professionalism, responsibility, and credibility. Things like school activities, clubs, sports, volunteer work, and odd jobs are all great examples to mention. Here’s an example of a good response:
“While I was volunteering abroad in disaster relief and working alongside professional international disaster responders in Nepal, I learned how to deal with work pressure and gained sensitivity to cultural differences. Coordinating donation drives helped me develop better communication and planning skills that are vital when performing the responsibilities of an emergency manager. I think this position would be a good fit, and I’m excited about this opportunity.”
3. Highlight How You Fit into Company Culture
Recruiters are interested in expanding their company’s talent pool and recruiting candidates who’ll make a great addition to the team. They want to hire people who will be an excellent cultural fit.
Organizations vary in company culture and values. Before you apply to any job, do your homework and figure out if the company’s corporate culture is right for you. If you don’t thrive in that culture, the job can get toxic rather quickly.
The truth is, despite a candidate’s stellar qualifications and skills, few employers hire based on merit. It’s essential to tell the hiring manager how you will fit in. Show him or her the beliefs and behaviors you have that align with company core values and culture, and the corresponding personal and professional traits that’ll make you a valuable team member.
4. Describe Your Unique Selling Point
Be prepared to show the hiring manager your personal USP (Unique Selling Point). If you don’t know what your USP is, recruitment expert James Ball suggests these eight tips for developing a killer USP.
Why is this important?
As a job seeker, your unique selling point is key to showing your potential employer what unique and standout value you can bring to the table. It’s also one way to differentiate yourself from other candidates, most of which will respond with cliched statements and claim to possess common attributes.
If you can communicate an innovative approach or unique ways how you can create greater efficiency that can save the company valuable time and money, you’ll nail the interview right off the bat.
Make sure to focus on the benefits you can provide them. Instead of saying, “I can do X, Y and Z,” you should focus on what that means for the employer. A better response would be: “I can do X, Y, and Z so I’ll save you time, money and effort.”
5. Show Enthusiasm for the Work
Your job application lets recruiters know you’re willing to do the work. Receiving an interview invite means they think you’re capable.
Aside from highlighting your skills and experience, show the interviewer your enthusiasm for the job, profession, and the opportunity. Prove to him or her your positive attitude towards the task.
However, don’t go overboard. A big grin will never replace professional qualifications. There’s a fine line between genuine enthusiasm and overkill. Try to avoid these signs of over-excitement during your interview:
- Talking too much
- Not fully listening to the interviewer
- Speaking too quickly or in a high pitch voice
- Being overly fidgety or squirmy
- Appearing desperate
- Taking any job available
Do not forget to follow up on the interview with a thoughtful and cheerful thank you note.