“Why should I hire you?” is not only a common interview question, but often thought of as one of the most difficult to answer. After all, there are few times in our life when we are jarringly asked to describe the best qualities about ourselves, or to tell others why we are valuable, competent, and a great catch. This can be difficult to do, considering many of us have been brought up to be modest “team players”. Naturally, when we are asked to sell ourselves and throw out the niceties, we sometimes feel like a deer caught in headlights.
Regardless of how unnatural it may seem to talk about ourselves in objective terms, it’s something jobseekers need to be prepared to do. A candidate must answer this question confidently and prove their competence by responding with specific reasons as to why they should be hired, what they have to offer that others don’t, and what experiences they’ve had to support their candidacy. The intention of this question may be different for various interviewers – whether it’s to gauge a candidate’s confidence or truly assess what makes them more deserving of the position than others, but ultimately it’s just one tool of many in the hiring manager’s kit of questions aimed at finding the best person for the job.
When it comes down to it, the candidate must convince the interviewer not only that they are the best person for the job, but that the interviewer is not risking their professional reputation by vouching for them. Ultimately, by asking you this question, your interviewer is asking you to sell them on you and your skills. Here are some of the things they are looking for assurance on:
- You can do the work required and deliver exceptional results
- You’ll be a good fit for the team and a great addition to the company
- Your own confidence in your abilities
To master the answer to this frequently asked question and exceed the interviewer’s expectations, preparation before the interview is key. To do this, take a look at the job description and skills required, and prepare a concise summary of the top reasons you are most qualified for the job. Even if this question isn’t specifically asked, this preparation can help you look for openings in the conversation to articulate why you are a great candidate. After all, the candidate who is offered the position is the one who has established that they are the most qualified.
Once a hiring manager feels a candidate has all the bases covered, they will feel confident about recommending them for hire. Reflect on the notable contributions you have made on previous teams and don’t sell yourself short. It may take some getting used to, but highlighting your best attributes can be a great catalyst towards the self confidence that many employers and hiring managers find desirable in new hires.