No matter what type of job you’re applying for, when it comes to the interview, you can expect to be asked the question “Why should I hire you?” This question may seem simple on the surface, but in order to make the kind of lasting impression that gets a job offer, you need to ace it—so here’s what you should keep in mind.
What Hiring Managers Are Looking For
When a hiring manager asks this question in an interview, they’re looking for a few key points: how your experience suits the company’s needs; what your personality is like; and whether you’ve done research on the company and role.
The biggest mistake people make when answering this question is they simply outline their skills and work experience—but this information is already on your resume, which the hiring manager would have read. Instead, explain how your skills and experience can be utilized to help the company achieve its goals. Focusing on what you can do for an organization shows them that you’ve done your research and are interested in contributing to their success.
As you answer the question, be personable and passionate! Employers are looking for engaged, eager candidates—people who are excited about the work they do (or have done) and want to bring that enthusiasm with them to a new role. Think about it like this: What about this job is going to make you want to wake up every day excited to get to work?
How To Focus Your Answer
Trying to cram too much into your response can be a bad thing. If you have a lot of work experience, limit your answer to a few key skills. By focusing on fewer skills (rather than outlining many skills), you can give a more detailed answer. It’s important to explain how you used the skill in your prior roles, and how it helped your previous employers reach their business goals—then go a step further and talk about how this skill will enable you to help the company you’re interviewing with. If you’re always remembering to focus on the employer and what they need, you’ll be making a lasting impression.
There’s More Than One Way to Ask This Question
While it’s likely that you’ll be asked “Why should I hire you?,” there are lots of other ways to ask this question. The interviewer may ask you “What makes you the best candidate for this role?” or “What can you bring to this job?” You may even be asked: “Why did you apply for the position?” All of these questions are slightly different, but the interviewer is asking for the same information from all of them: what experience do you have and how can it benefit the company to which you’ve applied.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
It’s important that you prepare a tailored response for each job interview. Look closely at the job posting to get a sense of which skills will be most important in the role, and research the company thoroughly. Then choose two or three of your skills or experiences that will be especially important to helping the company. Once you know what you’re going to say, practice repeatedly until you know it and your response sounds natural (not rehearsed). Your preparation for this question will allow you to come back to these messages throughout the interview, leaving a lasting impression of confidence with the interviewer.