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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, focus on your strengths.
Body Language and interview skills:
You know the saying – “you don’t get a second chance to make a 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 skillset 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 other difficult questions as well.