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“Why should we hire you?” is a common question that is often asked during an interview (as are the variations – Why are you the best candidate, How would you fit into our team, etc.). Most job seekers consider this one of the most dreaded questions. So how on earth do you answer that question adequately? The key to this is to frame your job search as an answer to this question. So what, exactly, does that mean?
Focused Career / Credentials review:
It will be easier to answer this question if you’ve done some homework (on yourself). Make Some Lists:
- Your strengths and weaknesses
- Jobs you are qualified to apply for based on your experience and education
- Your accomplishments (including statistics, such as “saved $10,000 for the company”
- Promotions (and why you were promoted)
- Problems you’ve solved at work
- Review Your Lists: Take the key components from each of your lists – these are some of the reasons why you should be hired.
Create Your Elevator Speech:
Your elevator speech is your short marketing speech (your job search objectives) and can be used in a variety of situations including your answer to why you should be hired (and yes, even in an elevator). Convincing a potential employer why you are the right person for the job is a sales job. Your sales pitch should include (from the lists you created):
- Focus on the core of your experience (why a hiring manager should consider you for the position).
- Speak to your top 3 accomplishments in your career (include the benefit-cost savings, etc.) and how they relate to the position.
- Define the purpose (what are you trying to achieve).
- Include a “wow” factor, keep them interested and listening to you, and focus on your strengths.
Body Language and interview skills:
You know the saying – “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”.
- First impressions are important; therefore make it a good one.
- Smile, maintain eye contact, and offer a firm handshake when meeting your interviewer(s).
- Maintain eye contact during your interview (but don’t stare).
- Keep your posture upright and neutral. Don’t lean forward when questions are asked, but also do not lean back as if you are in a lounge chair.
- Minimize how much you use your hands in the interview (but don’t keep your hands on the table or in your lap the entire time).
Practice Makes Perfect:
- Practice for your interview at home in front of a mirror. Notice your hand gestures, posture, and eye contact.
- Get friends or family to help you practice.
- Speak with confidence (and don’t forget to smile).
- Keep positive (no matter how tough the interview).
And the Answer is (to why they should hire you) . . . .
- Your experience is a great match for the job description
- Your skill set is exactly what they need
- You’ve always wanted to work at (name of company)
- Your accomplishments support your experience.
You need to remember that you should be fully prepared for the interview. While this is a difficult question to answer, the interview will have other difficult questions as well.
Some Must-Read Books:
What Color Is Your Parachute?
What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles is a classic job search book that provides valuable advice on interviewing techniques, among other things. This book is updated annually and covers all aspects of the job search process. The interviewing section of this book is particularly helpful because it provides guidance on how to prepare for different types of interviews, how to answer common interview questions, and how to negotiate job offers.
This completely updated edition features the latest resources, strategies, and perspectives on today’s job market
Cracking the Coding Interview
If you are applying for a technical job, Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the go-to book. This book is specifically designed to help programmers and software engineers prepare for coding interviews. It provides over 150 programming questions that are frequently asked in coding interviews, along with detailed solutions and explanations. The book also includes tips on how to approach coding interviews, what to expect, and how to ace them.
Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabling you to perform at your very best.
Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed
Sweaty Palms by H. Anthony Medley is a comprehensive book that provides guidance on all aspects of the interview process. It covers topics such as how to prepare for an interview, what to wear, how to answer common interview questions, and how to negotiate job offers. The author also includes examples of successful interviews, as well as interviews that did not go well, to help readers learn from the experiences of others.
A newly updated edition of the comprehensive guide to job interviews that has over a half million copies in print, SWEATY PALMS teaches readers everything they need to know in order to land the job of their dreams.
Whether a first-time job seeker searching for that elusive entry-level position or a seasoned e
Interview Like a Boss
Interview Like a Boss by Hans Van Nas is a comprehensive book that covers all aspects of the interview process, from preparation to follow-up. It includes advice on how to create a strong resume and cover letter, how to research the company and the interviewer, how to answer common interview questions, and how to negotiate job offers. The book also includes tips on how to handle difficult interview questions and how to deal with nerves.