You may not be aware of this, but hiring managers are generally not trained on how to interview candidates. It’s one of those quirks in the business world in which leadership believes managers can conduct in-depth interviews without any formal training by the company.
Since supervisors are not well-versed in interviewing, it’s natural that they often default to innocuous, standard, basic questions. This strategy works to the advantage of applicants, as they can brush up on the frequently asked interview questions. One of the most commonly asked questions by a hiring manager is, “Why should we hire you?”
This question is designed to determine if the candidate truly desires the specific role and wants to work at the company, or just wants any job they can get. Understandably, managers want to hire people who are highly excited and passionate about the opportunity and the chance to work at the company. For many, it’s hard to feign enthusiasm, as the interviewer will immediately pick up on the vibe and take a hard pass on their candidacy.
Preparing for the question
To answer this question successfully, take the time to adequately prepare for the interview. Prepare and practice your elevator pitch, which keeps you on-point by having a brief, 30-second sales pitch about your background and how it’s relevant for the role. Focus on your strengths and how they can transfer to this new role. Put together a list of your achievements. Be ready to demonstrate how you will add value to the organization.
With a trusted family member, friend or mentor, role-play answering commonly asked interview questions, including “Why should we hire you?” Go over it aloud several times so you’ll be comfortable, confident, and in the flow when you’re interviewing.
Bosses want employees who are upbeat, motivated and passionate about their work. You’ll need to practice sounding excited, but ensure it comes across as genuine and natural.
Use this question to sell yourself
The question is one of the best to receive. The hiring manager gives you the leeway to deliver your elevator pitch on why you want the job and how your skills, background, talents, education and other attributes make you a perfect fit. To be prepared, before you attend the interview, make sure you have put in a lot of time to become an expert on the company, its culture and its mission statement. The knowledge will infuse you with confidence, which will come across well in the meeting.
When answering this question, you can start by saying, “Thank you for inviting me to interview for the (insert the title of the position) role. I’m excited to be considered for the opportunity. I’ve admired your organization for years and would love to work here.”
You need to follow up with specific reasons why you want to work at the organization. This will demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and possess much knowledge about the company, its management team, financial situation, products, services and rankings compared to other companies in the same space.
Provide details about why the job is important to you. Do this by making sure that your experiences match up with the job description. Provide color on your current responsibilities at your firm that will seamlessly transfer over. Share tasks, projects and big wins from your job and prior roles.
Since you are seeking a new opportunity, you will understandably need room to grow and develop. It’s okay to say, “My experiences, responsibilities, talents and prior background are tailor-made for the job. I am confident that I can hit the ground running, add value to the organization and help you with the workload. The position is a perfect fit. Additionally, according to the job advertisement, there are new things that I could be involved with, which will help me get to the next level. Unfortunately, they are downsizing at my firm, and there may not be a path forward.”