Why should we hire you? How to answer this uncomfortable interview question



If your immediate reaction to this question is ‘Urgh’ then you’re not alone. It’s a great question for the interviewer as they’ll get to assess how you may fit in to the role if hired but also, they can learn how much information you’ve taken on-board throughout the interview process.

For the interviewee however, it can cause discomfort, but at this point, you do need to impress. Remember, this is your opportunity to highlight your skills and experience and could potentially be the question that sees you hired.

So, how can this be answer be structured?

·        Experience – Related to the role

·        Personality / Ethos – Related to the company / team

·        Strengths – What makes you standout?

·        Reason – Why you are interested

Remember to always follow a feature with a benefit to ensure that the interviewer will also see the benefit of the statement you’re making – ‘I have a season ticket at West Ham United’ is a feature with ‘which means I am able to watch (slightly disappointing) football every other week’ a benefit!

For example, let’s imagine you’re applying for a job as an accountant:

Experience: I have worked as an accountant at a similar business for 10 years and understand your business structure and your clients’ needs having worked with the entertainment industry for the past 6 years.

Personality / Ethos: You’ve spoken throughout the interview process of the importance of honesty which is important as I have retained a number of clients because of my reputation for transparency. I believe that our shared values would enable me to perform to the best of my ability.

Strengths: I’m aware that a large part of this role is focused on client interaction. In recent appraisals I have received the top rating for my client management skills. I’ve been told I am extremely dedicated and I believe this approach would be one that your clients appreciate as much as mine do now. I am also a subject-matter expert on US GAAP reporting which forms a large part of this role so I would require little training.

Reason: Finally, I believe that whilst I am able to perform the majority of the tasks in this role at a high level, I have not experienced working on transactions of the size carried out at Acme Inc. Whilst I understand the processes associated, there is room for me to learn. I truly believe that my career has been successful so far as I am continually learning. It’s a huge motivator to me and this position will give me the opportunity to develop whilst using my experience gained to date which is exciting.

So there you are, it’s an opportunity for you to sell every reason why you are great for the job, not just technically but why you as an individual will ‘fit’. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll be able to address what you haven’t done and why that is a positive.

If you are going through interviews at the moment, practice your answer – ‘Why should we hire you?’

Written by Paul Miller.

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