Interview Question: "Why Should We Hire You?"

Businesswomen conducting job interview
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When a hiring manager asks you, “Why should we hire you?” they are really asking, “What makes you the best fit for this position?” Your answer to this question should be a concise “sales pitch” that explains what you have to offer the employer.

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

Remember that employers hire workers to solve a problem, whether it’s boosting sales or streamlining processes or building a brand. Your goal when making your pitch is to show that you’re the best person to solve that problem. Interviewers ask questions about why you should be hired to measure how you qualify for the job and fit in with the company.

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Watch Now: 3 Sample Answers to "Why Should We Hire You?"

How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?"

First of all, don’t feel overwhelmed by the process. We’re going to start by matching your qualifications to the job requirements, brainstorming how these qualifications play out in real life, and then reviewing what makes you stand out as a candidate. Jot down notes as you go through each step. Then we’ll work to combine them into a concise answer.

When you’re getting ready for the interview, take a moment to review the job description. Make a list of the requirements for the position, including personality traits, skills, and qualifications. Then, make a list of the qualities you have that fit those requirements.

Select five to seven of your strengths that correspond closely to the job requirements, and use these as the core for your answer regarding what distinguishes you as a candidate.

If you’re unsure of where to start, review how to match your qualifications to a job. Don’t forget to think beyond the job description and consider which of your skills and accomplishments make you a better candidate than the competition. For example, maybe you have an additional certification that makes you more knowledgeable about the company’s product than the typical salesperson. When you’re honing your pitch, remember to be positive and to reiterate your interest in the company and the position.

Examples of the Best Answers

Review some sample answers that you can use to help you frame your own response to the question.

Based on what you’ve said and from the research I’ve done, your company is looking for an administrative assistant who is both strong in interpersonal skills and in tech skills. I believe my experience aligns well with that and makes me a great fit. I'm an effective communicator who is skilled in giving oral presentations, speaking on the phone, and communicating via email. I'm also fluent in a number of relevant software programs, including content management systems and spreadsheet suites. I’d really love to bring my diverse skill set to your company.

Why It Works: The response makes a match between the requirements that the employer lists in the job posting and the candidate’s qualifications and skill set, showing the hiring manager why the applicant is a fit for the job.

You describe in the job listing that you are looking for a special education assistant teacher with an abundance of patience and compassion. Having served as a tutor at a summer school for dyslexic children for the past two years, I have developed my ability to be extremely patient while still achieving academic gains with my students. My experience teaching phonics to children aged 6 to 18 has taught me strategies for working with children of all ages and abilities, always with a smile.

Why It Works: With this response, the interviewee includes an anecdote to illustrate their qualifications. You’ll make a much stronger case by showing rather than telling.

Whenever you tell a story about how your skills and abilities play out at work, be sure to conclude with any positive outcomes that resulted from the actions you took.

My experience with technology and, in particular, my ability to maintain and update websites, make me a good match for this position. In my most recent position, I was responsible for maintaining our department web page. This required me to update student and faculty profiles, and post information about upcoming events. In my free time, I learned to code in JavaScript and Swift. I then used my coding skills to revamp our homepage and received praise from our department head and the Dean of Students for my initiative. I would love to bring my coding skills and my general passion for learning new technologies to this position.

Why It Works: The interviewer wants to know how you stand out among the other applicants. This response focuses on the qualities that are different from what other interviewees might offer, or are more difficult to find in candidates generally.

You have explained that you are looking for a sales executive who is able to effectively manage over a dozen employees. In my 15 years of experience as a sales manager, I have developed strong motivational and team-building skills. I was twice awarded manager-of-the-year for my innovative strategies for motivating employees to meet and surpass quarterly deadlines. If hired, I will apply my leadership abilities and strategies to achieve profit gains in this position.

Why It Works: This response provides details on the candidate’s experience, successes, and key qualifications for the role, while highlighting related success.

Tips for Giving the Best Answer

Show how you will add value. For each qualification or strength that you’ve identified, think of a specific time where you used that trait to achieve something. Think about any other skills you may have that would add extra value, or any previous professional, personal or volunteer experiences that provide you with a unique perspective. Ultimately, this is your chance to tell the interviewer why you would be an invaluable employee.

Keep your response short and focused. You want your answer to be brief. Select one or two specific qualities from the list you created to emphasize in your “sales pitch.” If you aren’t sure how to decide which to include, take another look at the job description and use your analytical skills to determine which qualifications would add the greatest business value.

Tell a story. Take your qualification and share a brief story that illustrates how you’ve effectively used it in a previous work experience. Begin by discussing what you believe the employer is looking for, and then explain, using your qualification and your anecdote, how you fulfill that need. Your answer should be no more than one to two minutes long.

What Not to Say

Don’t give a memorized response. While it’s important to practice this pitch for a fluid delivery, don’t go crazy trying to memorize it. Rather, have a general idea of what you’re going to say and tailor it based on how the interview is going. For example, if an interviewer indicates that another quality or skill is more valuable to the organization, then you should be sure to work that into your response.

Don’t make it about you. The hiring manager is looking for what you can offer the company, not what they can do for you. Focus on your key strengths and qualifications for the job, rather than on what you are looking for in your next position.

Possible Follow-Up Questions

Key Takeaways

  • Research the job and the company: The more you know, the easier it will be to frame a response.
  • Don’t repeat your resume: The hiring manager has already reviewed your resume, so respond with additional information to strengthen the case for getting hired.
  • Focus on what you have to offer: Don’t make your interview responses all about you; show the employer what you can do if you are hired.