How to Answer the Interview Question Why Should I Hire You?

The question "Why Should I Hire You?" is one of the toughest questions for most people in a job interview. This question may also not get asked directly, but the person interviewing you is thinking it through the entire job interview. Here is what you need to know to answer this tough interview question the right way.

Why Ask This Question in a Job interview?

In building your answer to this question, it is important to first understand why this tough interview question gets asked. The role of the person interviewing you is to make sure that the best person is hired for the position. Most people who make it through the screening process are qualified for the role. Now, the people interviewing you will be evaluating your fit for their team, their company culture, and what they need in the organization. Thus, the interviewer will ask (or think) "Why Should I Hire THIS Person?"

The easiest way for anyone that is interviewing you is to simply ask. This gives the candidate the chance to answer it for themselves. The people that stand out are those that sell themselves for the role in a way that shows they are a fit for the company and the particular team. Thus, everyone interviewing for a job needs to prepare the best answer they can for this tough interview question and be ready to answer it directly or otherwise in each and every job interview.

Focus on the Specific Job

Start building your answer to the question "Why Hire Me?" with a focus on the job that you are actually talking about. Stay focused on the particular company and job that you will actually be talking about in the interview. Begin this process by reading the job description again. Now, think about the following when building your answer:

  • Knowledge Required. Take the bullets from the job description and incorporate these details in your answer explicitly about how you already have all of the required knowledge. This shows the person that you can easily step into the role and do it right.
  • Preferred Skills. There is a reason the "Preferred" or "Plus" skills are listed in the requirements of the job description. Make the interviewer's job easy by reminding them that you have these preferred/plus skills and that makes you stand out.
  • Soft Skills. Use the company careers page to find the soft skills that they will be looking for. Use that same language and information to articulate exactly how you will be a fit for the role and the culture of the team/company.
  • Results. Sometimes, the ability to deliver results is all that matters. Bonus if you can connect these results to your soft skills that are relevant to the specific job/company.

Stay Relevant

Keep your answer relevant to the job and the person that you are talking to in the interview. The fastest way to lose any job is to steer off course or to give a generic answer to this question. Candidates that are able to show their ability to answer a direct question with a direct answer that effectively sells them as the best candidate will win the job every time. Why? Because they made the job of the interviewer easy. Do that by staying relevant to what the interviewer wants to know. Here are some things to think about in creating that answer:

  • Job Title. The title of the person who is interviewing you does matter when preparing your answer to this question because people in different departments care about different things - even at the same company. For example, the right answer for an HR person that is screening candidates is simply not the right answer for the person who is the hiring manager or a colleague. So, make sure to focus your answer on your specific audience to stay relevant.
  • Collaboration. Think about how you may collaborate with this person or their department if you get this job. Build that information into your answer and include details about how you have done it in the past whenever possible.
  • Background. Do your research online and look at the interviewer's background. Understand how they came to the current role and company and account for that in making sure that your answer to the question "Why Hire Me?" is as relevant to that person as possible.

Be Clear

Do not expect anyone to read your mind in the interviewing process. The best way to sell yourself when answer this question is to be clear about why you are the best fit for the job with this company. Do this by clearly articulating what makes you different from the competition and focus on how that will be helpful if you are selected for the job. A few ways to be clear in your answer without seeming arrogant are:

  • Connect the Dots. Make the job of the interviewer easy. Tell them exactly why you are the best fit for the job by articulating it explicitly in your answer to the question "Why Hire Me for this Job?"
  • Stay on Brand. Use the opportunity to show the skills that you are trying to convey in your answer with examples and how you communicate the answer. It's not enough to just say something, you need to demonstrate these skills as well.
  • Flip the Negatives. Everyone has a weakness. Try spinning them into a positive whenever possible and own them in your answer. For example, move jobs every couple of years? Frame this as a diversity of experience that gives you insights into the best practices so it's not viewed as job-hopping.
  • Address the Resistance. Consider taking the offense and acknowledge your weaknesses. Own them and explain why your strengths outweigh them which is exactly why you should be hired.
  • Use Examples. See more details below on how to do this effectively.

Use Examples Whenever Possible

Finally, the best answers to this tough interview question are those that use examples and aren't just broad statements. Doing this enables the person interviewing you to emotionally connect and understand your answer better. So, use a combination of examples and broad statements in your answer. This will show the person exactly how you stand out and why you are the best fit for the job. A basic structure to do this in your answer is as follows:

I have [Soft Skill] that enables me to [Result]. I have done this repeatedly, for example, I [insert relevant example from your resume]. I believe that I can immediately repeat that same success here if selected for the opportunity.

Try to incorporate at least 2 skills and examples in your answer to the question "Why Hire Me?" This will strengthen your answer and increase the ability to resonate with the person. However, do not include more than 3 skills/examples here as your answer will be way too long and you will likely lose the attention of the person interviewing you.

Remember your audience as you are preparing for your next job interview. And, be ready to answer the question "Why Should I Hire You?" by focusing on what they want to know. Doing this will make the job of the interviewer easy. Craft your answer to this tough interview question by focusing on the specific job and company. Keep your answer relevant and focused by practicing it out loud. Make sure that you focus on your strengths and be ready to share them in a way that connects with your interviewer for the job that you are talking about.