It’s a question that splits career experts and interviewers: “Why should we hire you?”
Some people see the question as a great way to get a broad understanding of a candidate’s skillset. Others feel the question is too general and simply lends itself to the same old answers such as “because I’m passionate”, “because I have experience” or “because I really like this company.”
Regardless of the above though, you need to be prepared for the question to crop up – it’s still very common and one that will likely come up during your job search.
Essentially the question ‘why should we hire you?’ is the perfect opportunity for you to pitch yourself, your skills and experience to the interviewer. In asking the question, the interviewer is essentially letting you put your best foot forward and succinctly say why you’re the ideal candidate for the job.
In this blog I’ll drill down into advice on answering the question ‘why should we hire you?’ in HR, IT and marketing interviews – as each of these will demand slightly different answers. However, to start with, there are some basics that – regardless of what job you’re interviewing for – you should keep in mind…
Answering ‘why should we hire you?’ – the basics
The key to answering this question in all interviews is to remember why the interviewer is asking it: they are essentially asking: “why should we hire you, over and above all of the other candidates we’re interviewing?”
The interviewer is looking for you to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate why you are the best person for the job.
Explain why your experience matches the job requirements
When answering this interview question, be prepared to go through the relevant experience and skills in your CV that match the requirements in the job description. Make it as easy as possible for the interviewer to imagine you in the role.
Explain what you hope to get from the job
You may also want to explain to the interviewer what you think you will get from the role. Perhaps you hope this opportunity will give you great career development or that it will give you the chance to expand your skill. By acknowledging that you hope to gain something from the role you’ll be demonstrating drive and a genuine interest.
Demonstrate your soft skills
Research the company too and use the job description to understand what sort of person they are looking for. Are they looking for someone who can communicate well with stakeholders? A team player? Someone confident using their initiative? Whatever ‘soft skills’ they are searching for, make sure you’re ready to demonstrate whether you have these and if so, be prepared to go through a couple of examples.
As with all interview questions though, you will want to adapt your answer depending on the type of job you are interviewing for. With that in mind, click on the links below to jump to our specific advice on answering ‘why should we hire you?’ in a:
How to answer ‘why should we hire you?’ in a marketing interview
As already mentioned, it’s crucial that you prepare your answer according to the unique job description. However, there are a few pointers that marketers should keep in mind when answering the question ‘why should we hire you?’ Here’s my advice:
- Demonstrate your ability to stay up to date with the latest developments in marketing. This is particularly important if the role involves digital marketing or knowledge of the discipline. Marketing is fast moving so make sure you’re prepared to explain to the interviewer how you stay ahead of trends and best practice.
- Provide examples of your creativity and the results it has achieved. If you have been pivotal in putting together a creative campaign or you helped to creatively solve a problem, then be prepared to use this an example as to why this company should hire you.
- Be prepared to show you have a good understanding of the company. Working in marketing you will be expected to know the company well – its brand values, positioning, target audience etc. If you are able to show an interest in the company and a good understanding of their brand, then you’ll be on your way to demonstrating why you are a great fit, not just for the job but for the company as a whole.
How to answer ‘why should we hire you?’ in a HR interview
Keep in mind the specific requirements listed in the job description when answering the question ‘why should we hire you?’ but equally remember that interviewers will be looking for HR candidates that can:
- Make a difference to the organisation. Whether that’s to people or processes, or both, make sure you explain how you feel you could make a positive difference to the organisation. Provide examples of previous experience and the results your changes have achieved.
- Stay ahead of the industry. Legislation and best practice are constantly changing within HR. Explain to the interviewer how you will help them to stay ahead of the times and how this will make you a great hire for them. Also note how you invest in your own learning and development – being inquisitive in HR is a great attribute.
- Demonstrate professionalism and lead by example. Answer all HR interview questions professionally and show personal integrity, don’t disclose any confidential information and be careful not to talk badly of previous employers or colleagues. In many ways, how you carry yourself in the rest of the interview – and if you do so professionally – will answer the question for you.
How to answer ‘why should we hire you?’ in an IT interview
There is a real need to extend beyond your technical knowledge and expertise when asked ‘why should we hire you?’ in an IT interview. It’s likely the interviewer will have established what your skills are and how they fit the job requirements – in asking ‘why should we hire you?’ they are looking to confirm that but to also go beyond and explore your soft skills and what sort of fit you’ll be for their organisation.
- Demonstrate your ability to solve problems. Being a great problem solver is a skill that stretches beyond being technically adept. It means you’re able to get to the root cause of something and come up with a solution – a highly desirable trait within IT. When answering ‘why should we hire you?’ explain why you are a great problem solver and provide some examples.
- Use this as an opportunity to showcase your soft skills. IT interviews can often get bogged down in technical details, so use this question as a chance to explain how well you work as part of a team or your ability to lead others when needed. For example, if you feel your communication skills are a plus then use this as a great chance to demonstrate that – explain why they should hire you succinctly and clearly and then back that up by saying you feel your communication skills really make you stand out.
Be prepared for any interview question
Of course, it’s important that you feel prepared and confident for select, common interview questions like ‘why should we hire you?’ but it’s equally important that you don’t feel thrown by questions you aren’t expecting.
Have a read of our advice to help you prepare for an interview but most importantly, make sure you are familiar with your CV, the job description and make sure you’ve researched the company.