One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview is, “Why should we hire you?” It may be asked in various forms, but the question still implies that there should be significant reasons for hiring the candidate. Many interview candidates panic over this question and fumble through it, stating something like, “Because I have the skills and experience you require.” This answer is not only unspectacular, but it adds nothing to help the interviewer to choose the candidate over the other candidates. After all, the candidate was asked to interview because he/she matched the skills and experience required for the position!
There is a better way to answer this question that will impress the interviewer, rather than simply restating the obvious. In preparing for the interview, a candidate should truly consider what makes them the best candidate for this position. The candidate should review the job description and look for key qualities or experience that the company or organization is seeking and emphasize the qualities they possess. Take this information and create a “Top 10 Reasons to Hire Me” list. The list should not be lengthy or too wordy, or the candidate will not be able to remember it all. It should be something that can be easily memorized and the entire list should fit on a 3 x 5 inch index card. For example, a statement such as, “because I always meet my deadlines”, would be descriptive and interesting for the interviewer to hear.
Once this list is created, the candidate should tape it to the bathroom mirror and read it every time they brush their teeth. It is important that the list flows out of the candidate’s mouth, because if they appear to be struggling to remember the list, it will undermine the interviewer’s confidence in the candidate. It is not advisable to announce to the interviewer that this is the “Top 10 Reasons to Hire Me” or to enumerate the list as it is stated, but rather to simply state the concepts on the list. Practicing the list for sincerity, confidence, and appropriate eye contact is also important. The candidate should be able to deliver the list with reasonable speed, confidence, and end the answer with a smile.
If delivered with confidence, appropriate pacing and a smile at the end, the candidate is sure to impress their interviewer. Having ten reasons, instead of only a few reasons, will also safeguard against a case of nerves that might cause the candidate to forget a few. In essence, even if a candidate can only remember five of the ten reasons, he/she will still impress the interviewer. The best outcome is for the interviewer to be thinking to themselves halfway through the candidate’s answer, “I better hire this person or someone else will!” Finally, it is important to note that many interviewers make their hiring decisions based on the answer to this question. Even if the candidate has performed poorly in the rest of the interview, if they can answer this question with confidence and substance they are almost assured of either a second interview and/or a job offer.