How To Answer “Why Should We Hire You?” (With Examples): Job Interview Question

By Ryan Morris - Sep. 27, 2021
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Job interviews are all about convincing an employer that they should hire you. So in a way, it’s refreshingly direct when a hiring manager comes right out and asks “why should we hire you?”

Coming up with a concise and compelling answer can put you ahead of the competition. We’ll cover what interviewers are looking for in an a response, a step-by-step program for answering, and example answers to show all our advice in action.

Why Interviewers Ask “Why Should We Hire You?”

Interviewers ask why they should hire you to learn what aspects of your background and skill set you view as most important for the role. Hiring managers are also curious about your ability to handle a direct question and articulate your understanding of the job.

This question has the same spirit as “what sets you apart from other candidates,” because there’s an inherent emphasis on why hiring you is a better decision than hiring them.

With that in mind, it makes sense to think about what differentiates you as a candidate. It could be a unique background that most people in your field don’t have or a certification that gives you an extra level of expertise and authority.

Interviewers are also concerned with cultural fit and general ease of onboarding, so a response that shows them that you’ve researched the company/role and are ready to step in and contribute on day one can go a long way.

How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?”

To answer “why should we hire you,” show a thorough understanding of the job before describing how your background and skill set match (and even exceed) the job requirements. Here’s a step-by-step process for preparing a response and answering “why should we hire you?”

  1. Review the job description. Before the interview, read the job description carefully. Note the words that are repeated or emphasized throughout and identify which elements of your background will work to your advantage.

    Additionally, research the company and department you hope to join. Read about recent news, check out the company website, review their social media pages, etc. The more knowledgeable you are, the stronger your answer will be.

  2. Emphasize your most relevant experiences. Now that you have an idea of what’s most valued in a candidate, you know exactly which parts of your experience and skill set to bring up. The trick here is to laser in on the most relevant stuff because you need to leave yourself time for the next step.

  3. Surpass the competition. Finish off your answer by showing how you’re a step ahead of the competition. To be honest, a lot of your relevant experience and skills are going to be shared by other candidates — that’s why they got invited for an interview, after all.

    To give a truly impactful answer, you need to come up with your X factor. Consider what elements of your professional background are somewhat odd for your field or career, which certifications you have that aren’t required (but great to have) for the role, and what other skills or life experiences give you a unique perspective on the role.

    Don’t try to force it if you don’t have any super-unique experiences. Instead, surpass the competition by briefly touching on a phenomenal, stand-out project from a recent job.

Example Answers to “Why Should We Hire You?”

  1. Example answer based on the job description:

    I’ve been part of projects that process databases with millions of rows of data and I’ve been able to glean valuable insights where others have missed it. For example, we saw that people who give us their email instead of Facebook connect are 30% more likely to come back to the site.

    I presented this data to the management team in a clear visualization of users returning over time and suggested we make the email sign up more visible which increased the lifetime value of users.

    I believe I can deliver this same kind of insight to drive value here.

  2. Example Answer: Recent College Graduate

    Being fresh out of college gives me a fresh perspective and plenty of training on the most up-to-date marketing practices. During my internship at a media software startup, I was able to gain experience in using data to drive app engagement.

    I believe I have a unique blend of creative problem-solving and first-hand knowledge of new technical skills that can be an asset to your company. The marketing campaign I worked on drove up the number of daily users by 26%, which I was very proud to be a part of. I hope to bring the same results to XYZ Corp.

  3. Example Answer: Career Changer

    Coming from a technical background gives me a unique insight into the customer experience and common pain points. There’s a common frustration with customer support staff that they don’t fully grasp the client’s problem, and it’s incredibly inefficient to involve multiple experts on a fairly basic problem.

    With a successful background in team management and SOP development, I have full confidence that I could excel in the Customer Success Manager role here by unburdening other departments. If hired, I would be not just a great manager and member of the customer support team, but a valuable resource for solving customer IT problems independently.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Answering “Why Should We Hire You?”

The most common interview questions also have common mistakes. If you can avoid these mistakes during the interview process, you’ll be one step closer to proving you’re ready for the job:

  1. Salary or benefits talk. Job interviews are for you to sell yourself – you can ask about these details later on, after you receive a job offer.

  2. Too much memorization. Look, you know the most common interview questions are going to come up. Have bullet points for what you want to say, not a script. That way, the interview will feel like a natural conversation.

  3. Arrogance. It’s good to be confident, but don’t take it too far. The best employees show results, not wild braggadocio.

  4. Rambling answer. Like most interview answers, keep things short. We’re talking about a minute here, maybe a bit more. Time your answer out beforehand if you’re worried it’s too long-winded.

  5. Personal reasons. Don’t make things awkward by talking about how much you need a job or else you’ll go bankrupt. It’s not a good look on anyone.

Tips for Answering “Why Should We Hire You?”

  • Talk results. Bringing up numbers and concrete achievements from your past is always a good interview strategy. Being vague and talking about your skills in a vacuum doesn’t prove anything to the hiring manager. The more real (positive) experience you’re able to bring to the conversation, the better.

  • Keep your answer short. “Why should we hire you” is a common end-of-interview question. You’ve probably covered most of your major accomplishments by this point, so we recommend reiterating a maximum of one during your answer.

    Remember that part of the reason interviewers ask this question is to see how well you understand the role. Stay focused on only your most relevant and impressive qualifications, and you’ll show off impeccable communication skills while you’re at it.

  • Focus on the employer. Don’t make the mistake of focusing too much on yourself that you forget about the “we” in the question. Remember to employ that company research and job description review you did pre-interview. You want to show that, if hired, you’ll be able to start making valuable contributions from day one.

Final Thoughts

What you’re striving for with your answer in this one is uniqueness. You need to stand out, so the urge to do or say something memorable can be extremely strong.

But you want to be careful about exactly how it is you go about being memorable — don’t make a fool of yourself trying to be too silly or cute with your answer, or you might find yourself over-correcting.

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Ryan Morris

Ryan Morris was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog who tried to make the job process a little more entertaining for all those involved. He obtained his BA and Masters from Appalachian State University.

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