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How to answer "Why should we hire you?"

Book open Reading time: 6 mins

One very common question that comes up in interviews is "Why should we hire you?". This can be a hard question to answer on the spot, especially if you are not used to selling your positive attributes. This question can also be very broad, which can cause people to panic in interviews. However, with the right preparation and forethought, you'll be able to make sure you have a good answer that really shows why an employer should pick you over the other applicants.

Understanding the question “Why should we hire you?”

As we've already mentioned above, this is one of the questions that employers ask to see why you are the right choice compared to all the other candidates they invite for an interview. It also shows if you're aware of your strengths and how to use them, as well as giving them a view of how confident you are in your own abilities. Bear in mind that the interviewer will have already seen your CV and cover letter, so you need to highlight the main reasons they should hire you, or tell them something new.

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How to prepare for the “Why should we hire you?”  interview question

As with any interview question, it's always worth preparing ahead of time so that you're not caught out. The main trick when answering "Why should I hire you?" is to look at how you match the job role you are applying for. This means considering:

  • Your skills - If you have been invited for an interview, presumably you have the basic skills they want for this job. You should be sure to think of any skills you have above and beyond the basics. Try to think about what sets you apart from the other candidates.
  • Your experience - Again, focus on anything you have experience in that other people might not have.
  • How you'll fit with the team - Look up the company culture and see what they focus on. This will help you emphasise how well you can work with the team and the ethos they already have.
  • What will motivate you about the role - Every company wants people who are enthusiastic about their work, rather than people who just want to do the bare minimum. Having motivated employees leads to better results, so try to see how the role fits with your personality, goals, and aspirations.
  • How you can help the company - Look up the company's history and any goals they have. If you think you can help everyone work towards this, this is a great reason why the company should hire you.

When you have identified what makes you a great candidate for this role, be sure to write them down. This will help make sure that you remember it in the interview. Be careful though as you don't want to come across as too wooden if you just repeat a list.

Best sample answers to the “Why should we hire you?” question

When answering "What should we hire you?", it can be hard to know what to say. These sample answers are designed to help you know where to start, but you will want to make sure to tailor these ideas to your own skills, experience and personality.

Sample answer 1 - Qualifications

"As well as all the required qualifications for this role, I have gained further certificates in computing that will help me fulfil the job responsibilities. This also means I will need less training on the job while still being able to stay ahead of the field."

Focusing on qualifications you have above and beyond the minimum is a good thing, and you should also show how this helps your employer in the future.

Sample answer 2 - Matching skills with examples

"You've said you are looking for a sales team member who can handle internal and external communications. In my studies, I have had to collaborate with colleagues as well as researchers from other facilities, while maintaining good relationships and making sure everyone knows what to expect from me. This shows I can handle any communications and interpersonal aspects of this role."

Linking the skills they want to real-life examples from your past can help paint a picture of just how competent you are.

Sample answer 3 - Use statistics

"In my last similar role, I increased my sales by 30% by helping match clients to the right projects for them. This was above the company average, and I was asked to start training other staff members in how to approach clients."

This gives a really good quantifiable amount for them to see what you could be worth to their company. Just be sure that the figures are accurate in case you are asked for more details.

Sample answer 4 - Look to the future

"I know that you are looking to reshape how this department handles its IT systems. I have a lot of experience in helping companies set up IT systems that work well for them, including email systems, data management, and communications, meaning I can help make sure that your IT systems are streamlined."

This helps you show the company that you will be a great long-term asset to help their company in the future. If you can find out what their aims are, be sure to use this kind of tact.

Sample answer 5 - Highlight personal qualities

"I know that a role in healthcare needs a lot of empathy, and from my experience working in a care home, I have developed my patience, care, bedside manner, and friendliness."

While a lot of jobs want hard skills, it's also important to show how your soft skills fit the job role.

Sample answer 6 - Go against the grain

"As well as the relevant experience and skills in the IT field, my personal studies in sociology give me a well-rounded approach to teamwork, problem-solving and client relations, which could really benefit your IT team."

If you have experience uncommon in your field, highlight how it can help. Think outside the box for this and make it relevant.

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What not to answer

Luckily this is a question with lots of right answers, since it will depend on the job role and who you are. However, there are a few things to avoid saying:

  • A list - A simple list of your skills is boring, and it doesn't mean you actually have those skills. Instead, focus on a few main skills and give examples of how you've shown these in the past.
  • What you want from the company - This question is all about matching you to the job role, not the other way around. Talk about what you can bring to the role, not why the role is right for you.
  • Very common skills - There are some skills that are expected in almost every role, such as normal computer use. Don't waste your time bringing these up, instead focus on what sets you apart.
  • Negative comments about other job hunters - Don't try to put down your competition to make yourself look better. All this will do is make you seem vindictive and rude to the employer, which isn't a good trait.
  • A pre-planned speech - You should practice what you're going to say, but don't try to recite it word-for-word. This will inevitably come across as stilted and ingenuine.

To Sum Up

"Why should we hire you" is one of the questions people dread the most when job hunting, but it doesn't have to be intimidating if you prepare properly. It's important to look at what the company needs in an employee, and match yourself to this. Remember to focus on why you are a better choice than any other candidates. You can use our best answer samples to start getting ideas on how to answer this.

Struggling with other graduate interview questions? Try our other guides: