An interviewer’s job is to hire the best person for a given position, and in their search for the right candidate, many will ask you to make your case with one of the following questions:
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you the right fit for the position?
- What can you bring to the position that other candidates can’t?
- Why do you want this job?
These are all variations of the same question, and they are not meant put you on the spot, but rather to give you a golden opportunity to showcase what you bring to the table and persuade your potential employer to make you a job offer. It’s your sole mission to elevate yourself from the competition. There’s only one you, and a strong response to the question, “Why should we hire you” might be the deciding factor between you and another candidate. Here’s how to ace one of the most common interview questions.
Culture, culture, culture
Every real estate agent will tell you there are three things that matter in a property: location, location, location. We in the recruiting industry have a similar buzzword. Culture, culture, culture.
Organizational fit is no small concern. In fact, employers are increasingly worried about the cultural dynamics of the workplace and an employee’s fit within it. We spend so much of our lives at work, it’s extremely important that you are compatible with your team members and the office environment. Some companies have something called the “beer test.” During an interview, if the hiring manager is not sure about the fit, they’ll wonder if you’re someone with whom they’d want to have a beer in a social context. If the answer is no, then why would they want to work with you 8+ hours a day?
How you answer:
One way to attack the “Why should we hire you?” question is to establish why you will be a champion of the company culture and contribute to its long-term growth and success. Do your homework. Is the company looking for someone who will thrive in a fast-paced environment? How are you uniquely suited for the position? Can you bring a proactive mindset to the role? And equally important, how do your beliefs and values match up with the company mission? For example: “My desire to work at Apple is fueled by the fact that you believe in innovation and I am motivated to contribute to the success of the company by making great products that advance humankind.”
Become an “idea machine”
All businesses have areas of opportunity. If during the interview, you come in and make it rain with ideas, and they feel right to the hiring manager, then you have a great shot at being asked to implement them for the company. This also requires research, which can include asking why the job is vacant in the first place.
How you answer:
Explain how you can make the interviewer’s life easier. It’s called a “Pain Letter”. Here’s how you write one. Don’t think in negative terms. Instead, offer suggestions for improvements. For example: “I really love your products. I noticed you don’t have an online marketplace. At my previous company, I introduced an e-commerce website to reach a wider audience and new customer pockets, and it increased sales by 200%.” This shows you’ve done your research, you can perform the work, you’re forward-thinking, and the value you can provide to the organization before you even start working there.
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, concern for business leaders today is retaining employees in a competitive talent marketplace, as well as recruiting, and followed by culture management. Few things are more upsetting to a manager than having one of their top-performing employees suddenly quit on them. In a perfect world, employees would always stick around, but it’s normal for people to move on to new opportunities. That said, no employer wants to hire a candidate to then start the process all over again because it didn’t work out. The last thing you want is to give the impression that you’ll be looking for another job after a few months.
How you answer:
If you absolutely want the job, by all means, say so! Allow your deepest desire and motivation to come through. Detail specific aspects of the position which appeal to you and would encourage you to stay on for a long time. For example: “Some of the most creative thinkers in the industry work at Google and that’s a big reason why I would love to build a career here, to develop my skills, take on exciting projects, and engage with people I can really learn from.”
Even if you aren’t asked “Why should we hire you?” or some similar question, you’ve already prepared a pitch, so look for an opportunity to share it. One recommendation is to wait until the end. You can lead with something like: “I just want to say that I’m very interested in the position and you won’t regret making the decision to hire me because…” Take the time to practice delivering your pitch until it feels comfortable. Leave a final impression, finish strong, and establish yourself as a top candidate.
By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano
CEO & Founder of Barbachano International (BIP), the Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA offering high impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.
At Barbachano International (BIP), we know that talent is the most important asset a company has. When people shine, businesses light up. Experience the BIP difference.