3 Strategies for answering 'why should we hire you?'

How do you answer the question, 'Why should we hire you?' What more can you tell the interviewer about yourself? Here is your opportunity to talk about traits that you haven't highlighted yet - enthusiasm, confidence, commitment and more. Discover the professional way to do so.

I couldn't help but overhear the animated conversation, between what seemed like, a group of young graduates, seated at the table adjacent to mine, at the restaurant. They were discussing probable questions that interviewers ask job aspirants.

"Why should we hire you?" was the last audible question I heard them discuss before I turned my attention to the food and conversation at my table.

Why should we hire you?

As a soft skill trainer, I have interacted with employees from different fields and have had some of them narrate harrowing anecdotes of their job interviews. I have had people speak of questions that stumped them, and of questions that they were clearly intimidated by.

"Why should the company hire you?" is quite a straight forward question, nonetheless it's also regarded as a difficult to answer, question. Well, it is for most people.

However, I feel otherwise. Thank your lucky stars if you get asked that question. It gives you the perfect platform to sell yourself, to demonstrate your knowledge, experience and skill sets, to the prospective employer. Grab the opportunity and market yourself as the best contender for the position. The trick, of course, lies in the way you do it.

Your response should be convincing, and structured around three aspects, namely:

  • The assurance that you will not just do what's required, but do a great job
  • The confidence that you are a team player who will gel with the others and adapt to the prevalent culture
  • The belief that you are a better choice over all the others

Look at the question as an opportune opening that allows you to outline why you are perfect for the position. It gives you an opportunity to highlight your skills and demonstrate how your beliefs and attitude are aligned with that of the company culture, and everything else that you might think to be relevant, to the position.

Package yourself and make yourself irresistible. Sell yourself such that those on the interview panel want you on their team. The following strategies will help you cover your bases. So, here is your contingency plan.

The Interconnection

You are aware of your strong points – your knowledge, skill sets, enthusiasm and experience etc. Your job is to convince the interview panel that your attributes are suited for the position. Therefore, a way to attack the question would be by responding to it, in a way that shows you to be the perfect candidate, for the role.

Before doing that you need to establish the panel's expectations – the qualities they desire in a candidate. Identify those and accentuate your qualities, so that they can relate to them. Basically, you want to demonstrate that you have the skills and the enthusiasm to take on the position. You don't want to sound smug, hence you can also add that you are more than willing to be mentored and to learning new skills.

It's important that you talk about yourself too. In the end, it's both you and the employer who will benefit, if you are hired. An insight about yourself will give the panel reasons to believe in you. Illustrate what drives you, your passion and commitment. They need to see that spark in you – something other than your basic qualification.

I termed this section 'the interconnection', and the approach as you can see revolves around making the right connections. It's like joining the dots to see the larger picture, but in this case, it's to push the right buttons.

The Expert

"Why should we hire you (over everyone else)?" Chances of one of the panelists, posing this question to you, are quite high. This usually happens towards the end of the interview, by which time you'd have unveiled all your skills and special abilities. There's probably not much left to share.

It's not wise to repeat everything that you've already told the panel. So, how do you deal with this 'googly' that they throw at you! Be aware that their intention is not to put you in a tight spot, instead, they want to know a bit more about you.

Hence, a good thing would be to display what you have to offer that the other candidates perhaps do not. Assuming, of course, that you are contending for a position, that equally qualified candidates are vying for. At this point, a good approach would be to highlight your zeal.

Remember, to market yourself in a competitive world, it is crucial to establish that you are the best. To do that, demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the business and that you are the right fit. This requires preparedness, for which you will need to do some groundwork on the company (before the interview), so you can speak of those elements, as you highlight your own personal investment.

Speaking of your knowledge of the company serves a definite purpose. You demonstrate enthusiasm, you establish your commitment and you come across as someone who would be easy to train for the position.

A lot of company data is compiled on company websites, and you can gather critical information, and use the same to articulate yourself. The 'About Us' page of every company is a virtual goldmine – it highlights the company's mission and core values. Take for example "committed to excellence" or "committed to customer satisfaction". Match your own values to align with the company's principles to reveal how you can be an asset to the company.

You'll be in a strong position if you acquaint yourself about the company. Prepration is the key. You may question how any of this could help you ace the interview. The objective is for you to apply all of that knowledge and respond in a convincing manner. You are at the interview because you want that job. All the other shortlisted individuals are there for the same reason. Your goal is to back it up in a positive way, and you can do that by knowing what you are talking about. You show the panel that you know what the company does, or what their expectations are, and show them how you can deliver.

The company could be diversifying and expanding its business. It could be setting up new plants. Use these bits of information to respond to the question. Speak of how you can be part of all that and help the company.

Come to the rescue

Frequently, companies hire fresh graduates because they are short-staffed or because they think of them as fresh minds with new ideas and interests. These positions start at the lower rung of the ladder, and I'm sure you are aware of that.

The company might also be looking for a candidate who can fill in for others – work with different teams and not be given a steady portfolio at the office. You'll know when that is the case because the job description would not be precise.

Becoming flustered is the last thing you want to do at this point. Get into the driver's seat and straight to the point. Communicate how you can step in and smoothen the company's problems, and that you'd prove to be of an advantage to them. Emphasise on the future, as it will demonstrate your dynamism – you'll come across as a go-getter, you'll strike to them as a team player, ready to take on the responsibilities.


Make a mental note of these strategies, so when you're at an interview and you are faced with this trick question, you'll know how to prove yourself, by going for the kill.

Do you have suggestions on how this question should be answered? I'd like your views on this. Share your comments in the box below.


Author: Umesh11 Feb 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

A nice article guiding the people attending interviews.

The interview questions are sometimes very tricky to answer as they are crafted to get the real out of you and your real worth in terms of your organizational utility for them.

Interviewers will know everything about the candidate as his testimonials are laid down on their table but their interest is to know how useful this person will be if he is hired. So the candidate should answer in that spirit only.

Author: Anauj16 Jun 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

Interviews can give tense moments to the most accomplished candidate, and it is always good to prepare well for every trick question that is thrown your way. I think interviews make everyone nervous because you are trying to market yourself and all your achievements while trying not to sound pretentious. It is a tough act; you overdo it and it can be a disaster. No one wants a conceited employee. And if you say too little you give the impression that you have accomplished nothing.

Remember that the interviewers have just your resume/CV in front of them. They have no actual information on what your experience is or the responsibilities that your previous job entailed. They know nothing of your achievements. The best way to go about answering questions on why you should be hired is to highlight how your involvement added value to the team or company or product. Spell out what you can bring to the table.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha16 Jun 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

Though the question seems too tough at the first glance and probably two situations arise before the interviewee, either he is overconfident with the question or this question would make him a little hesitant to offer a satisfying reply before the panel. In fact, both situations would not be desirable to produce a favorable result.

In my service life in the steel industry, a similar question was hurled at me before being selected as Superintendent and my answer was short-plugging the downtime. Downtime denoted the idleness of the crane due to the shortage of crane operators and prolonged breakdown of the crane due to maintenance failure. In fact, my shift on that particular day made a whopping record of despatch of 87 wagons as compared to the normal despatch of around 25 wagons.

I would not say which answer would be best suited, a short or a longer one highlighting the positive attributes one possess, but one thing is certainly sure, mark the mood of the interviewers. It would be easy to identify your performance by gauging their mood.

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