At first glance, the “why should we hire you” or “why should we give you this job” interview question may seem pretty much the same as asking why you want to work for them. But look at the words again carefully. If an interviewer asks why they should offer you the job, a good answer is not so much about what you want, but about what the EMPLOYER needs.
Job seekers often leap into answers that talk about how much they’ve been wanting a job like this and what it would mean to them. And it certainly registers as a plus to an interviewer when a person is excited about the possibility of joining the company. But you also want to show that you are listening, and answer the question they really asked.
Sample answer for why the employer should hire you
While almost all good interview answers really are about the employer’s needs more then your own when you come right down to it, this one most definitely is your chance to show that you get that. So a good answer for the “why should I hire you” question talks about how you see yourself fitting into the company and THEIR needs.
Ideally, your answer should be an answer to “what can you do for us that no one else can?” Being a good people person and someone who gets things done (frequent answers) is nice, but it’s not going to leave much of an impression. In fact, that’s a very forgettable answer.
So what might a good answer look like? While every person and situation is different, here’s a short sample answer to help give you an idea of how you might respond. Notice it contains a real example of something you did:
“After doing research on your company, I’m even more excited about the chance to work here. I know I can do a great job for you. You’re looking for someone to manage your bookkeeping system. Well, I not only handled all the accounts payable and receivable for my last employer, the XYZ company, but I came up with a way to improve their system and wound up saving them over $100,000.”
Adding more detail to your answer
If it looks like they want you to go on or it simply feels ok to continue, here are some kinds of things to add to strengthen your case for this question:
“And if you ask my boss and co-workers about me, they’ll tell you that I’m someone you can rely on 100%. They know I’ll do my best to come through for you when things get tough, like when the system went down and I quickly got them their numbers manually.
But I’m also someone who remembers to show appreciation for what others do – and pitch in where possible. I would love to do at least that for the QRX company, and hopefully become an essential part of your company as you continue to grow.”
NOTE: If you do mention that you did research, make sure you really did it. And be prepared for a follow-up question on what you know about their company and / or what you find that really makes you want to work there.
=> READ MORE: Answering “What Do You Know About Our Company?”
Now a sample answer for why YOU want them to hire you
If you are asked why you want to work for the company, that’s a different answer. It’s important to prepare for both questions – and listen carefully during the interview!
Let’s go over some related questions:
Why would you be a good team member?
Begin by addressing the employer’s needs. What do they need in a team member? Explain how you would fit in the big picture. Share a story from a previous job to illustrate your claims. The closer you listen to your interviewer discuss the work environment, the better your answer will be.
Why do you want this job?
Though it might be tempting to blurt out “for the money,” contemplate the ways that the role will stimulate and challenge you. Provide a genuine answer. A canned response will sound phony and could be a huge turn-off for the employer.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Recall the job description as you answer. Focus on strengths that would help you succeed in the role. Choose a weakness that is less related to the job. Explain how you have worked to overcome this weakness. Spend more time talking about your strength than your weakness.
Some final thoughts
Again, please make sure you create answers that match your situation and personality. And don’t forget eye contact, body language, etc. When it comes to answering interview questions like “why should we hire you”, so much of how well you do is about how natural and conversational you are.
If it looks like you’re trying to play them or say things that don’t ring true, it will show. Although there are exceptions, most interviewers have a sixth sense about when they are being taken for a ride.
So, when you prepare for your interview, just think about what the question is really asking, and answer in words that reflect who you really are. Even while still keeping in mind what they are looking for, you can shape your answers to leave them feeling they met a person they want to work with!