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How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You And Not Another Person?”

How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You And Not Another Person?”

by Karin Singh 08/12/2017

Imagine you are going to an interview… You feel highly confident. You think you are the best. You don’t give anyone the power to put you down or to intimidate you. You are 100 % convinced that you will get this job because you know that you are smart, you are highly educated, you look attractive, you have the experience, you have the skills, you have the right work ethic, and you even fit into the corporate culture. You know “this is my time to shine, either now or never.” You know that getting that job would not just make a difference to your life, but also to your family’s life. The pressure is high. 

Finally, the crucial time for typical interview questions and answers has arrived. One of the most frequently asked interview questions that you might have to face is “Why should we hire you?”

Let’s be honest, if you can’t come up with a good answer to this question straight away, you should ask yourself why you applied for this specific job in the first place. If you can’t give any reason at all of what differentiates you from other job applicants, then you need to take the time to prepare yourself effectively for this question. This could be the last question (but the most crucial one!) that the recruiter might ask you at the end of the interview. It might make all the difference on whether you should be considered as a serious candidate for the respective job or not. How do you want to come across, as confident or insecure, professional or unprepared? Ask yourself!

You also need to realise that it doesn’t mean that an interviewer will formulate the question exactly like this “Why should we hire you?” There are many other versions of this most frequently asked interview question which a Hiring Manager can choose to extract the same information from you.

Let me give you some examples:

“What makes you stand out for this job?”

“Why do you think you are the perfect fit for this job and company?”

“What benefits do I get, if I reject all the other candidates but hire you instead?”

“What can you do that others can’t?”

“Why should we give you this job?”

There are several reasons for a recruiter to ask you this most frequently asked interview question. Let’s face it, s/he wants to know and see:

  •   how well prepared you are for this question. (Has this question fully surprised you or did you know instantly how to answer it the right way?)
  •   if you are fully aware of what it takes to be a good fit for this job and if you have the skills they are looking for.
  •   how effectively you can promote yourself. Remember, it’s all about employee branding!
  •   how badly you really want this job and how convincing you sound.

Often books can help you to prepare for typical interview questions and answers, but remember to always customize your answer to your specific situation.

What to AVOID when answering this question ” Why should we hire you …?” in an interview:

  •   to oversell yourself – knowing that once you are hired – you will underdeliver.
  •   to inflate your experiences, skills and qualifications. If caught, you risk to get fired later for false representation.
  •   to come across as a desperate, modest and self-deprecating person. Please, make sure you know the difference between passion and desperation. Nobody is keen to hire someone they feel sorry for.
  •   To repeat what you already mentioned in your cover letter or CV.

How you should NOT answer:

“I have the skills, the experience and live just around the corner. If help is required – you know – I live just nearby. I’m the best person you can ever get for this job. Seriously, nobody else would be prepared to work for you for that salary, you must have realised that by now! So, I am the man! I would be prepared to tattoo my arm with the corporate logo if that helps me to get the job. As you can see, I would do everything in the best interest for the company. I’m broke and I really need this job.”

This candidate seems not to know how to promote himself very effectively. He comes across as arrogant, rude and desperate. Would you as an employer hire someone like him?

If you want to answer the question “ Why should we hire you ?” in an impressive way, you need to be fully knowledgeable about the specific job requirements and person specification details. That would allow you to customize your question and to leave you as a front-runner.

A good sample answer for a Recruitment Consultant job would be this:

“I’m very confident that I would add real value to your company’s success as your Recruitment Consultant. If you hire me you will get someone aboard who is professional, with a positive mind-set, the right skill-set, the relevant work experience of 5 years, a work ethic that is second to none and a big network of people in your particular industry. I have a proven track record of exceeding targets consistently. Two months ago, I was awarded “Achiever of the Month” at my current company. It’s not just my background in HR – or my interpersonal skills, which have helped me create, develop and maintain great relationships with clients and staff. But I feel highly passionate about this industry, which also comes across in my blog articles that I have written in the past. I love to get things done, and that always with lots of determination and a smile on my face. Previous employers would describe me as an achiever. I would feel very excited to start contributing from day one.”

Remember, that short-listed candidates that are in the final interview round with you might all have similar experiences, similar education, similar skills. What is it then that sets you apart? Always focus on the benefit that you can give to your employer!

It can be:

  •   your high level of self-motivation,
  •   your culture fit,
  •   your confidence (do you look, sound and act confidently throughout the process?),
  •   your additional foreign language skills,
  •   your network and relevant connections that can turn out to be beneficial for the business,
  •   your past achievements,
  •   your previous employers’ references,
  •   your problem-solving skills (provide them with solutions to the problem they have that you are aware of),
  •   your impeccable online presence

and much more. Think creatively and really look for those things that other candidates don’t offer. If you can package your answer with a personal episode that shows how you succeeded in a certain situation, even better!

When I pitch to individuals and companies for my career- and business-related services I always get straight to the point by giving them 6-10 reasons why they should choose me over others. For me personally, that was always the right and best strategy. I can assure you that the response rate was and is always high. Often clients take the time to let me know that they really liked my pitch. So, if I can do it, so can you!

But if after reading this article, you are still not sure if your answer sounds great or not, ask yourself this self-reflective question “Would I hire myself and why?” If the answer is NO, you need to either work harder to come up with a better answer or maybe apply for another job. Conclusion? First you need to convince yourself that you are the best person to hire. Once you have that self-belief, you will see that it will be easier to convince others about your uniqueness too! Good luck and go for it!

Are you NOT actively looking for a job, but open to great opportunities?

Are you NOT actively looking for a job, but open to great opportunities?

Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client or project is too big or too small for her.

Stop worrying. Start outsourcing!

Karin Schroeck-Singh

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