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Are you looking to ace your next interview? The "trick" is to explain why you're the best person for the job based on your qualifications, background, skills, and experience.
"Why should we hire you?" is another way of asking, "What can you contribute to this company?"
The approach outlined in this article will help you stand out from other job seekers, impress the hiring manager, emphasize why you're the best candidate in the interview process.
Why interviewers ask, "Why should we hire you?"
Hiring managers ask, "Why should we hire you?" to assess whether you can excel in the position and, most importantly, solve their problems.
The whole interview process is trying to answer this question. Your job is to help the hiring manager understand how you'll help them accomplish their goals if they hire you.
How to answer "Why should we hire you?"
The best way to answer "Why should we hire you?" is to prove your value by sharing specific and measurable contributions you made in previous jobs. Examples that relate to the job description are far more compelling than generic examples, which is why you must prepare an answer before the job interview.
"Why should we hire you?" isn't necessarily a behavioral interview question, but the interviewer wants you to provide concrete examples from your career that relate to the job requirements. So use the STAR method to answer. The STAR method is a structured approach to answering behavioral interview questions that ensures you'll provide a good answer.
The STAR approach works because it makes it easy for interviewers to assess whether your skills and experience are beneficial to the role. Unlike traditional interview questions, behavioral interviews tease out who you are, your skills, and how you approach difficult situations.
1. Read the job posting carefully
Start by reading the job requirements and noting down any skills, abilities, responsibilities, or expectations where you have experience.
It's OK if you don't meet every criterion. Your goal is to highlight the ones you do in your answer. In general, you'll be looking for three things to highlight:
- Technical skills: Technical skills include programming languages, experience with specific tools, or specialized knowledge. Even if you don't have the exact skills they want, you could have relevant experience. For example, if the job calls for expertise with Figma and you've heavily used Sketch, you can talk about that.
- Nontechnical skills: Cognitive, social, and personal attributes uniquely valuable in the position and company culture. For example, communication, leadership, and decision-making skills.
- Traits and values: The specific values that are valued will depend on the company and its industry to a lesser extent. For example, if you're applying to fully remote companies, they'll appreciate the ability to work independently more than a cohabited company would.
Once you understand what the hiring manager is looking for, it's time to research the company.
2. Research the company
If you want to answer this question well, you need to put in some time before your interview to develop a base level of knowledge about the company.
Researching a prospective employer has several benefits:
- It helps you assess the company's strengths and weaknesses, which can help you understand how your skill could contribute to the team.
- It teaches you about the company's culture, mission, and values, which helps you decide if the company is right for you.
- Allows you to ask better questions, increasing your chances of impressing the interviewer and landing the role.
Here's how to research a company for a job interview:
- Visit the company website: Its website has valuable information about its mission, culture, and current goals. Read their homepage, about us page, product pages, press page, and a few blog posts. If they're a publicly listed company, be sure to look at their investor relations page as it provides you with a detailed view of the company.
- Look at their social media: Keep an eye out for how they interact with customers. You can learn a lot about a company's culture from customer interactions.
- Leverage job websites: Job boards are a great way to determine how current employees and candidates feel about the company. You'll also be able to see if you have any connections working there. We recommend checking sites like Himalayas, AngelList, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.
- Talk to existing employees: First-party research is one of the best ways to get valuable information, so reach out to current or former employees of the company. However, don't do this until you've done some research, as your research can help you ask the right questions.
- Check the news: Search Google News to find any recent articles about the company and use what you learn to ask better questions in your interview.
- Understand the industry and competitors: It's good to understand the industry and how the company stacks up against its competitors and alternatives. You can use sites like G2, Gartner, Product Hunt, and Similarweb to find competitors and alternatives. You can also Google the company's name + "alternatives" or "vs" and see what Google suggests.
- Investigate your interviewer: As a final step, research your interviewer and understand their motivations for hiring you. If you can understand what the hiring manager is looking for, you'll answer "Why should we hire you?" easily.
3. Show why you're a good fit for the job requirements
Now you have a good understanding of the job requirements and company culture. It's time to choose a situation that emphasizes why you're the best fit for the position.
Think about a situation or achievement from your past that makes you uniquely suited to the position.
4. Structure your answer with the STAR interview technique
Once you've picked your scenario, it's time to use the STAR interview method to structure your answer. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result:
- Situation: Describe the situation you want to highlight that emphasizes why the company would like to hire you.
- Task: Outline the goals or problems you were solving. Remember, you want the task to be related to the job requirements.
- Action: Describe the steps you took to solve the problem or achieve the goal. If you can, mention how you used skills related to the job.
- Result: Finally, explain the impact of your actions and your contribution. Where possible, quantify your impact.
You can even use the STAR method to structure your resume for future job applications.
Examples of best answers to "Why should we hire you?"
Here are five example answers to "Why should we hire you?"
Example answer #1
"You should hire me because I can improve the design of your product. I know that one of your goals for hiring a new Head of Design is to create a design system and improve the UI consistency of your product.
In my previous role, I inherited a product that had little consistency and a ton of UX papercuts.
My task was to redesign the product and roll out a complete redesign of the product.
I created a design system that acted as a single source of truth for components of the product and then worked with the engineering team to move it into code with Storybook.
I then used the design system to redesign every page of the platform and then worked with the development team to ensure it was implemetned correctly.
After we rolled out the redesign, our NPS increased from 4 to 67."
Why it works: This is an excellent response. The candidate uses the STAR method to highlight a specific situation where they used their skills to accomplish a task relevant to the role.
Example answer #2
You should hire me because I can improve the efficiency of your sales team. I know one of your goals is to close more deals.
In my previous role, I scaled our sales development team from 1 to 10 team members. As we did this, I learned a lot about how to build sales sequences and train up new SDRs. I also wrote the initial email scripts that they used.
The result of this work was an increase in outbound sales volume from $100k per quarter to more than $2m by the time I left.
Why it works: The applicant provides a quantifiable improvement in outbound sales volume, which aligns perfectly with the potential employer's goal of closing more deals.
Example answer #3
You should hire because I can improve your new user retention. I know one of your goals is to grow the business faster, but one of the main things to focus on to grow is retention.
If you don't have good retention, then you can't grow after a certain point.
In my previous role, our new user retention was 10%.
My manager asked me to focus on improving the first-time user experience as we were losing the majority of users in their first session.
I mapped out a new user onboarding flow that touched on the key parts of the product and create a few "Aha!" moments that would surprise and delight them.
When I left, the cohorts that went through the new user onboarding retained at 50% after three months, which was a 40 percentage point improvement.
Why it works: The candidate makes it easy for the potential employer to understand why their experience could help them with their goal to grow faster.
Example answer #4
You should hire me because I can improve the effiency of your marketing spend. The job description said one of the main expecations of this role would be to manage a large performance marketing budget.
In my previous role, I was solely responsible for a seven-figure ad budget on Meta's platforms.
When I joined, our fully loaded CAC was $250 and by the time I left it was $25 dollars. I was able to reduce it dramatically by bringing media buying and creative in-house and I know I could build a similar function here if you hired me.
Why it works: It shows the candidate has valuable technical (media buying) and soft skills (hiring and teambuilding) they could bring to the position.
Example answer #5
I'd be a valuable hire in this position because I have a load of experience scaling teams. In the job description, you mentioned that you have recently raised a Series A and are planning to aggresively open up hiring.
I've worked at a number of fast-growing companies and have experience scaling businesses from 10 to 1,000 employees. I also have experience teaching new managers how to interview and assess candidates that I believe would be valuable.
Why it works: The candidate provides a clear example of how their background relates to the job and company.
Tips for answering "Why should we hire you?"
Keep these tips in mind when answering, "Why should we hire you?"
Understand the employer's goals
The things you highlight in your answer must relate to the job requirements and company. The entire interview process is about finding the best candidate for the specific role.
Make sure you emphasize your most relevant strengths and qualifications. For example, if you're applying for a software engineering role, you might emphasize your familiarity with their tech stack and your background in B2B SaaS.
Emphasize relevant accomplishments
Using the STAR method to describe a situation and its tasks, actions, and results is the best way to show potential employers why you're the best person for the job.
A good answer focuses on career accomplishments that are most relevant to the job description but don't be afraid to offer a diverse set of examples that outline the depth and breadth of your experience.
Quantify your impact
Interviewers want you to articulate why they should hire you, and one of the best ways to do that is to use numbers or metrics to quantify your impact.
For example, if you increased the traffic to the marketing site by 50% in 6 months, you likely have the ability to do it again at another company.
Using data in your answer increases the impact and emphasizes how much you can contribute to the company.
Make it easy for the interviewer
A common mistake candidates make is to emphasize their achievements without linking them back to the goals of their interviewer. You need to do the heavy lifting for them and reiterate why your skills, accomplishments, and background would be a valuable addition to the company.
Focus on positives
Unless you're overqualified for the job you're applying to, you won't have every skill or qualification the company wants. That's OK. The majority of candidates won't either.
Focus on the ones you have and then emphasize your ability (and eagerness) to learn new skills. If possible, highlight a situation where you had to learn something on the job to solve a problem or drive a project forward.
Project positive body language
How you deliver your response is as important as what you say. Your non-verbal behavior can put your interview at ease, make you feel more confident, and help you build rapport. However, it can also generate tension, create an uncomfortable environment, and make you seem standoffish.
Sit up straight, smile, and project confidence.
Mistakes to avoid when answering "Why should we hire you?"
Avoid these mistakes when answering "Why should we hire you?"
Not answering the question
Not answering this question during an interview is a massive red flag. "Why should we hire you?" is the crux of what an interviewer is trying to determine, and they'll expect you to have put some thought into it.
Related: What to do if you can't answer an interview question
Skipping the research phase
Researching the company is a step many candidates skip over, but it's essential to answer this and many other common interview questions. Research helps you understand the company's needs and whether you are a good fit for the organization.
Always, always, always research the company.
Letting your ego get in the way
It's OK to show off a bit when you answer this question. However, you need to come across as easy to work with and likable. Most interviewers are looking for someone who has the skills and will be a welcome addition to the team.
Lying about your impact
Nothing will damage your chances of landing a job offer more than lying. It's not worth the risk. Any good interviewer will reach out to your references and ask them whether what you told them was correct.
Sharing irrelevant or generic details
Keep your answer focused on the job. For example, if you're switching careers from sales to product design, employers probably won't care that you were the best salesperson six quarters in a row. They need to know that you can design, so focus on that.
If you've been working even a handful of years, you probably have a lot of accomplishments you could flag to a potential employer. Avoid the temptation.
Pick the most relevant examples from the most relevant roles and leave the rest out. If the interviewer wants more information, they'll ask you a follow-up question.
Repeating what's on your resume
The hiring manager should have read your resume before your interview. So avoid repeating it verbatim. It's OK to expand on a crucial dot point from your resume. Just make sure it's the most important thing you can highlight.
Assuming your interviewer will make the connection
You need to make it easy for your interviewer to understand how your skills and experience relate to the job and company. The best way to ensure this happens is to make the connection for them.
Be vary careful using examples where you didn't meet the mark. If you need to tell a story that doesn't end well, you'll need to explain why that failure makes you a more valuable higher. It's possible, but it isn't easy to do.
If you fail to impress the interviewer with your answer to "Why should we hire you?" you won't get the job offer. It's as simple as that.
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