How to answer: Why should we hire you?

‘Why should we hire you?’ – it’s a tricky question and one that we can easily get frustrated with. As with most interview questions, it helps to look a little closer and understand what they are really asking. It would be easy to respond, ‘because I need a job and am qualified for this one,’ but is that what hiring managers really want to hear? Most of the time, they’d know that just from pre-interview interactions.

What does the question really mean?

Why should we hire you? translates to:

  • What makes you different?
  • What about you specifically can help our business/team?
  • Why are you the best person for this job?

Now when you think of the question like this, some more interesting answers may come to mind.

Firstly, think about your experience and how this translates into the job

Have you been in this position before? Are you looking to step up and fulfil your potential (and are therefore motivated and self-driven)? Are you an expert in your field that can offer knowledge? Are you a great team leader that can help bring unity and positive culture to the workplace?

Whatever you have experience in in your last job should be communicated and applied to specifics about the job you are interviewing for. Match up your skills with the major requirements that you have learnt from the job ad and interview. For example, ‘I have had extensive experience with the technologies, skills, and methodologies that were mentioned in the job ad. On top of this I can offer additional skills that help bring a wider perspective on mobile development such as UX design.’ 

Secondly, think about your fit within the company

Are you compatible with the companies existing culture? Will you be able to respond well to the management style and team environment? Think about these things and answer accordingly. For example, if the role is about working within a team you could say ‘whilst autonomous work is great for getting a lot done, especially whilst coding, I have previously worked great in teams and am very open to feedback and alternative solutions to potential complications. I also don’t mind a nice chat to get to know my colleagues!’

This can be helpful in showing you have the right attitude to work within a company.

Thirdly, think about the need for the role

What company needs would you fulfil in the role if you were successful? From your research and other interview questions, it is likely you have some understanding of why they are trying to fill a specific position. Think about what you can offer, on top of your experience and your attitude, what about you is unique? This could be anything from life experience to transferable skills from seemingly unrelated jobs. It could be your expertise, or your general knowledge of an industry. It could be some extra studies you have taken. Whatever it is, it will be unique to the position and company you are interviewing with. Make sure to think about this and keep your uniqueness in mind before the interview so that you aren’t caught off guard!

Lastly, show some passion!

Enthusiasm can be extremely important to employers, especially if the job requires self-motivation. Share with them your passions about the position and the ideas you already have. Remain upbeat and be grateful for the opportunity to interview for the role. If it’s your dream job, let them know that! Passion shows you will be driven, productive and creative and that you have the ability to inspire. All of which make a pretty excellent employee and leader.