How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?” Like the Pro That You Are
“Why Should We Hire You?” is one of the most common interview questions, but it puts you on the spot in a way that can be tough. You want to come across as confident without making empty boasts, so the more specific you can be, the better.
Before you come up with an answer, you’ll need to think about what you have to offer and what it will mean in the context of the role you’re applying for – whether you’ll be charged with increasing social media engagement, leading an entire marketing team, or attracting the best talent as a recruiting partner.
You can write down a few bullet points prior to the interview to clarify your thoughts, but we don’t recommend that you memorize a prefabricated response. It’s never good to sound robotic and rehearsed, and you may want to adapt your answer on the fly based on new information you learn during the interview process.
Here are some things to consider when formulating your answer:
What Skills Do You Have that are a Match for the Job?
This is something you should have been thinking about when you applied in the first place, but it’s useful to zero in on this question a bit more thoroughly before your interview. Read back the job description in detail and get specific about which aspects of your education, training, and experience match up.
It’s also worth it to research the company more generally, as well as your chosen field (especially if you’re making a career change). This will help you gain insight into what the job might entail that isn’t specifically mentioned in the listing.
You’ll also want to make sure you keep your ears open during the interview itself, in case the interviewer reveals something new about the position or the ideal candidate they’re searching for.
How Will Your “Soft Skills” Help You In This Role?
“Soft skills” are personality traits and interpersonal skills that can help you succeed in a professional environment. These are a lot trickier to quantify, and there’s no single roadmap to learning them. Extroverts and introverts tend to have very different ways of interacting with others, which means that some soft skills may come to each type naturally, while others may require conscious practice or professional coaching. Same with creative vs. highly analytical thinkers.
When preparing for a job interview, it could be useful to read through this list of soft skills and see which resonate with you. Are there any that you have received praise for in the past, or that have contributed to your ability to succeed in personal or professional situations? Are there any that you have worked, very consciously and deliberately, to cultivate?
Different roles will demand different types of soft skills; sometimes desired soft skills are listed in a job posting, and research might also help you figure out which are the most relevant. But in pretty much any role, the ability to communicate clearly, take initiative, and deal gracefully with feedback will be useful.
What Have You Accomplished that is Directly Applicable to this Role?
Think back on what you’ve achieved in your work history that will demonstrate your ability to perform in the job you’re applying for. Did you have an incredible sales record? Successfully manage a PR crisis? Implement a new internal comms infrastructure at a hypergrowth startup? Redesign the company website, resulting in a much higher conversion rate? Get as specific as you can about what your results were, and the steps you took to get there.
You may also have some amazing accomplishments that occurred outside a professional setting, but that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Maybe you learned some crucial management skills by organizing volunteers for a “Get Out The Vote” campaign at your school. Maybe you grew a major Instagram following by promoting your photography hobby in your spare time. Following your passions can lead to major achievements, because actually caring about something is a great motivator.
Why Do You Want this Job?
The idea of passion as a motivator is another thing to keep in mind when considering why you’re a great candidate for a particular job. In many situations, companies might be willing to hire someone who is less obviously qualified if they believe that person will work hard, learn fast, and make a positive contribution to the company and its mission. So showing genuine enthusiasm, and being specific about why this opportunity excites you, can absolutely help you make your case – and this can be especially important if you’re applying for a job that’s a fairly big leap from where you are now.
Just make sure that you frame your comments in terms of why your passion will make you go the extra mile for them, rather than making it about how the job will benefit you.
Examples of What to Say When Asked “Why Should We Hire You?”
Now that you’ve done all this thinking about your skills and accomplishments, you can choose the most relevant and specific points to make. Your answer should not simply recite your qualifications, but demonstrate them in ways that are unique to you. This is why zeroing in on things like accomplishments and personal qualities can be especially helpful.
The examples below can give you an idea of how to structure your response:
Based on my understanding of the position, you’re looking for someone who can build a social media marketing funnel across multiple channels from scratch. In my previous job at [COMPANY] I built our brand’s Instagram following from under 50,000 to over 1 million followers, using key metrics to guide a content strategy. I also used my networking skills to reach out to high profile influencers and cultivate long-term strategic partnerships, allowing us to reach millions of additional users. Over the course of my time at [COMPANY], engagement tripled and we saw a corresponding increase in the number of new customers whose first interaction with the brand occurred through Instagram. I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to expand on the expertise I developed in this role, and apply the strategies and learnings from this experience to increase conversions across all platforms for your brand.
Given that you are looking for someone to design and implement an educational content strategy that will increase engagement among Gen-Z voters, I think my background makes me an ideal candidate. In researching my Master’s thesis, I specifically analyzed statistics related to political disenchantment among voters ages 18 – 25, and the ways that improperly targeted political messaging led to a lack of understanding of key issues and decreased voter turnout. In addition, I served as a volunteer organizer for [CAMPAIGN] and lead a diverse team of over 100 volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts in Detroit, where we interacted directly with local constituents in the community in an effort to address their concerns about [CANDIDATE] and her policies. So in addition to my direct experience with issues of voter engagement, you can see that I am extraordinarily passionate about this issue and that this passion has guided me in both my academic and personal pursuits. As such, your company mission speaks to me deeply and I will be extremely motivated to be as effective as possible in this role.
What To Avoid When Answering
The key thing to avoid when making the case for why a company should hire you is being generic. You don’t want to simply rattle off a list of skills and attributes, and you also want to avoid simply reciting the information that is stated on your CV. This is why it is crucial, once again, to provide evidence for your hard and soft skills and to explain why you’re passionate about the opportunity.
Furthermore, if you’re specific about your experience and accomplishments, a savvy interviewer will be able to deduce what skills and qualities you possess that got you these results. If you believe in yourself and can say exactly why, an interviewer is sure to believe in you too.