How do you successfully answer the “Why should we hire you?” question?

The recruiter smiles and nods. Everything is going great and your confidence is swelling when you're asked: “Why should we hire you?” Your heart beats faster and you stumble over your words as you try to think of an intelligent, strong answer to make a lasting impact.

Answering questions during an interview is tough and makes the best of us sweaty in the palms, but the kicker is when a recruiter asks why they should hire you. Well ... why should you be hired? When answering this question, you want to make sure you sell yourself. This answer is your spotlight, your solo during the concert, and your opportunity to really show the company why you are a great fit. Below are tips and examples on how to strengthen your response to the “Why should we hire you?” interview question.

Why do employers even ask this interview question?

Recruiters craft interview questions in a way that will help them gain a deeper understanding of you and your abilities. Each question is carefully designed to reveal a skill or quality desired by the company. When asking “Why should we hire you?”, recruiters want you to pull it all together. Tell them exactly what value you will bring to the company, and how you will bring success and growth. In other words, hit them up with your elevator pitch, carefully tailored for the role at hand. The way you answer this question can leave a lasting impression, either good or bad, with recruiters and may determine if you continue on to the next step.

Explain why you're a good fit for the job and company

Employers want to hear how you are qualified for the position, why you would be a good fit for the company, and how you will assist in development and growth. Don't sugarcoat your answer or exaggerate your abilities. Recruiters want to hear the truth. Honesty and accuracy is the way to navigate your answer.

Sell yourself without coming off too strong

Trying to sell yourself without sounding arrogant or cocky is difficult. When responding to this question, avoid saying “Because I'm awesome!” or “Because I'm better than the other applicants.” You want to highlight how you possess the key qualifications the company values. Show the recruiter you have what it takes to succeed in the role, and that you will make a great fit for the company culture.

Create a list of your best qualifications and achievements

The best way to prepare a response to this interview question is to make a list of the top qualifications necessary for the positions you're pursuing. For example, if you're targeting roles in management, your list may include skills in leadership, team development, relationship building, etc. Your list will vary depending on your career goals and position level, but you should be able to draft a basic overview of necessary traits for the types of jobs you're interested in.

Then, go back and take note of how you possess each of the required skills on your list. It's one thing to say you're a great leader, but it's much better when you can provide proof of your leadership skills. For instance, you may have completed a leadership course, received an award at work for your leadership skills, or earned a promotion because of your abilities. Better yet, you may be able to point to an accomplishment your team achieved, such as exceeding their sales quota or becoming the top-performing region, under your leadership.

Customize your interview answer based on the job requirements and company values

After you have a basic response regarding your accomplishments and qualifications, review the company profile to tie everything in with the job description. Read the about us, or mission page, on the website and look over the job description you originally applied to. The job description will have a minimum qualifications area, as well as a preferred qualifications section. Write out a list of all the matching qualifications and draft a simple, yet impactful response. Tie in a few of the values from the mission to make the answer even stronger.

Be confident, not cocky

Is there a wrong answer to “Why should we hire you?” Yes, there is. Recruiters and hiring managers hear so many answers to this question, and you don't want to seem repetitive or arrogant. Confidence is ideal and can be an attractive quality, but too much is a definite no-no. You want to highlight your skills and tie them into the desired qualifications without being one of those people. You know the kind — the self-praisers who talk so highly of themselves that no one wants to be around them.

“Why should we hire you?” sample responses

Below are a few examples of how to craft your response to the interview question, “Why should we hire you?”:

  1. “I believe I should be hired because, after researching your company, I really feel I would be a great fit. Not only do we share the same values, but I possess several of the qualifications mentioned in the job description. I have the education, experience, and have accomplished [x, y, and z]. I really feel I could help your company to grow and develop by bringing my years of experience and expertise in the industry.”

  2. “I believe my accomplishments speak for themselves. I've led and developed teams and grew revenues, which the job description stated is desired. Not only am I great fit in terms of experience and education, but I have used your [product or service] and believe in it. I would love to be a part of the changes your company brings to the industry.”

  3. “I believe I would be a great fit. I've researched your company values and mission, and I agree. I believe in the same values, love this industry, and really want to leave my mark with a company going places, and I feel your company is going places based on what I've read. I have the education you desire and the drive to accomplish significant goals.”

Final thoughts

Figuring out how to answer “Why should we hire you?” during a job interview isn't as scary as it seems. Do your research, draft an initial response, edit your draft based on the specific job description, and practice delivering your answer to this interview question. Go into interviews feeling confident, but not too confident. Know why you are a great fit and don't be afraid to tell a recruiter why you think so.

Need to practice for your next job interview? Learn more about our interview coaching services!

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