Why Should We Hire You? – [3 Perfect Example Answers]

By Mike Simpson

You’re funny. You’re smart. You’re a hard worker.

You’re a multi-lingual, multi-talented, able to juggle-ten-things-at-one-time, never-gets-tired, won’t-back-down-from-a-challenge, outside of the box thinker who is ready to tackle the world. When it comes down to it, you’re the best person you know.

So why is it when an employer asks you in the middle of an interview “Why should we hire you?” you suddenly go all deer-in-the-headlights and blank?

Don’t worry. We all do.

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That’s the joys of being put on the spot and asked to answer a question that can easily put a less prepared person into dangerous waters.

How do you answer it in a confident way without sounding conceited, cocky, or too self-assured?

On the flip side, how do you answer it without going too far in the opposite direction and coming off as wishy-washy, weak or indecisive, or worse…begging?

Ugh, this is a tough one!

Luckily, it’s one you can plan for ahead of time which means when you suddenly find yourself on the spot you can answer with something more intelligent than Uh, because I’m totally unemployed and sorta desperate at this moment which means my standards for what I’ll do for money are pretty low and flexible right now, including working for you.

Not the answer they’re looking for.

First off, why is this even a question you should answer during an interview? Why are they asking this? Haven’t we moved past this in 2017?

No, they’re not trying to be difficult, or give you an opening line to try out your best sarcastic zinger (again, try to avoid the answer “Because I’m totally awesome,” or any variation of that theme.), they’re looking to see if you have what it takes to prove to them that you honestly know what it takes to be a good fit for the position and that you posses the skills they’re looking for.

This is why hiring managers continue to ask this question… yes, EVEN in 2017. The reality is, this question isn’t going anywhere, because the theme of the question (or more importantly, the answer to the question) will always be of interest to the person doing the hiring.

What value do you add?

What are you bringing to the table that the other candidates aren’t?

What is it about you that will enhance your team? This company? Our brand?

These are all somewhat covered in the question “Why should we hire you?”, and you need to be prepared to give an answer that reflects them all.

Having said that, job seekers who aren’t prepared for this question often find themselves falling into two camps, the cocky roosters or the whining sheep.

The “Cocky Roosters” are the ones that answer with things like “Because I’m amazing at what I do and every day I’ll put in 110% and I’m better than any other person you’ve seen today or will ever see again…and let’s be honest, hiring me is just going to make you look even more awesome than you already are because clearly, you recognize true talent” (Points to self.)

Ew.

Another thing the cocky rooster does is oversell themselves. Don’t misrepresent yourself or pump up your experiences or qualifications just to impress your interviewer. Not only will the truth eventually come out, but you risk being fired for false representation.

The “Whiny Sheep” are the ones that channel Woody Allen and grovel their way through this question. “Uh, well, I guess because I’m smart and I work hard and I’m totally willing to do whatever you need and I love everything I’m going to do here and really really want to be a part of this company and…”

Again, ew. Enough with the desperation! Also avoid false modesty or being too self-deprecating. Nobody wants to hire someone they feel sorry for…

How To Answer “Why Should We Hire You/Why Should I Hire You?”

Here at Interview Guys Headquarters, we have a little phrase we like to use known as the “perfect candidate.”

What is a Perfect Candidate?

Every company or organization has a certain type of person in mind when it comes to the position they are interviewing for. This person will usually need to have one, two, or even more specific Qualities that the organization believes in or puts a lot of emphasis on.

When the organization is conducting interviews, they will normally select the person who best exemplifies the specific qualities they are looking for.

This person is their Perfect Candidate.

(For more information on the Perfect Candidate and to learn how to answer ANY interview question perfectly, be sure to check our our blog article Job Interview Questions and Answers 101!)

So what?

Well, this question is the perfect opportunity for you to pitch yourself one last time to your potential employer and reinforce the idea that you are the perfect candidate!

The perfect candidate doesn’t get cocky with this answer and they certainly don’t beg.

As the perfect candidate, you’ve already taken the time before the interview to research the position and figure out exactly what they’re looking for…and how you match up to those needs.

Okay so having said all of that, here are the main points to remember when answering this interview question.

Top 5 Tips For Answering Why Should We Hire You?

1) “Tailor” Your Answer

As mentioned in the paragraph above, every organization has a specific set of Qualities that the potential hire needs to have in order to be successful in the position.  It’s up to you to demonstrate that you have these Qualities, and the most important place to do this is in your answers to the interview questions!

If you would like to get 4 word-for-word “tailored” answers to “why should we hire you?” download our cheat sheet.  CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR CHEAT SHEET

To ensure you are showing your hiring manager that you do in fact possess the Qualities they are looking for, you need to infuse these Qualities into your answers to the interview questions.  Confused?  Don’t worry, because we fully cover “tailoring” in our comprehensive blog article, Job Interview Questions and Answers 101.

2) Research the Heck Out of the Company!

How are you supposed to know which Qualities to highlight in your answer?  Well, you need to roll up your sleeves and do a little research on the company… in other words, look for clues!

The first place you need to “mine” for these clues is in the job description, which is generally posted on the job board when you apply for the position.  It will often contain a list of “required skills and abilities” (in other words, Qualities!) that you can highlight in your response.

MIKE'S TIP:

Once you've done that, pay extra attention to the company's social accounts.  Why? Because they use these accounts to reveal more about their "culture".  More than ever, hiring managers are looking for candidates that fit into the culture of the company (and not just a fit in terms of skills and experience).  By visiting their social accounts (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) you can get an idea of the types of people they hire, and therefore, and entirely unique set of Qualities.

3) What You Have That Others Don’t

Okay, so chances are you are going up against a group of candidates that all have very similar skills and experience.  The trick is to set yourself apart, and you can do this by answering this question by highlighting a unique trait that you have that will contribute positively to the position (and work required).

For example, everyone who is competing for an administrative assistant role will have experience with answering phones, word processing and filing.

But let’s say you also had some project management experience, you could really emphasize your elevated skill at maintaining schedules and calendars, delegating tasks and making deadlines.

This little emphasis could really set you apart from the other candidates and leave you as a front-runner for the position.

4) Solve a Problem

If you have followed our advice from Tip 2, you have done a large amount of research on the company and in many cases have been able to identify a need or problem that has caused the company to post the job that you are currently applying for.

In answering “why should we hire you” you have the opportunity to provide a solution to any potential problems that the company you are applying to might be facing.

For example, you may come across a news item for a local hardware store that talks about how the lack of modernization of their computer systems has recently caused them to fall behind the industry standard in terms of their online ordering.

Seeing as how they posted a job for a systems analyst (which you are currently applying for), it would seem that you have the opportunity to offer a solution to