Of all the questions you can get asked in job interviews, the one that puts you on the spot is: “Why should we hire you?”
This is a very important moment in the interview where you’re presented with an opportunity to sell yourself and show why they should hire you. If they catch you unprepared, you risk giving a vanilla answer that will result in them forgetting about you the moment you leave the room.
But, there’s no reason to feel all the pressure just yet. This article will give you secret tactics and examples to resolve this challenge with confidence. We’ll cover:
- Tactical breakdown of 5 successful answer examples
- 4-step framework on how you can structure your perfect answer
- Common mistakes to avoid
Let’s crack on.
Why Do Hiring Managers Ask This Question?
Most of the candidates that make it to this interview stage are qualified for the job. So having the qualifications won’t be enough to separate you from the crowd. If you think about it, that’s the whole point of the interview – to determine if you’re the one. That’s why interviewers ask this question.
Keep in mind that this question can take many shapes and forms:
- Why would you be a good fit for this position?
- What makes you unique?
- Why are you the best person for this job?
- Why your background and experience would be a good fit for this job?
However, this question only has one shape for you and that is: “What makes you the leading candidate for this role compared to other applicants?” Keep your eyes on the prize. 🙂
“Why Should We Hire You?” Answer Examples
Here are a few answer examples you can use for inspiration:
Why Should We Hire You Best Answer Sample: Sales Rep
“It is my understanding that you’re looking for an independent sales professional with an extensive track record. Someone who’s able to close deals with enterprise accounts, navigate longer sales cycles, build relationships with multiple decision-makers, but also add a bit of structure to the mix. That’s exactly what I bring to the table.
In my last role at [COMPANY 1] where I spent 3 years, I was able to close multiple 5-digit deals, nurture those relationships throughout the years, and exceed my sales quota in 30 out of the 36 months I’ve worked there. Prior to that, I also worked for [COMPANY 2], where my focus was on bringing 20+ seat deals in the Finance industry. During that time, our revenue increased from $5M to $10M, where 75% of that revenue increase was coming from outbound activities.
Also, I know your CEO is a big advocate of using Notion to add structure and help manage the team. I share her beliefs as I am a power user of Notion, having built a sales database for the team consisting of the best outreach templates, multichannel sequences, LinkedIn post frameworks, you name it. I’d be thrilled to bring that same mentality into this role.”
Why it works
This answer is a stellar example if you’re looking to get a gig that consists of selling to enterprises. There are a few things we like. First, if you’re going to be chasing these types of customers, it almost always involves weeks and months of meetings with multiple decision-makers. Having spent 3 years in a company is a sign that this person was there long enough to be able to have success with enterprises.
On top of that, if an SDR worked in multiple companies, this is another promising sign because they had the opportunity to expand their expertise in different industries and face different challenges. This means that they are more likely to be proactive and independent in their work. Not to mention that this answer is backed with actual results this person was able to generate.
The final touch was the proof that this person has done their research and noticed the CEO’s passion for Notion. It shows their attention to detail and work ethic. Plus, it’s really well connected to one of the requirements of the job, which is to add more structure and boost efficiency.
Why Should We Hire You Sample Answer: Project Manager
“Well, I have all of the skills and experience that you’re looking for and I’m confident that I would be a superstar in this project management role. It’s not just my background leading successful projects for top companies — or my people skills, which have helped me develop great relationships with developers, vendors, and senior managers alike. But I’m also passionate about this industry and I’m driven to deliver high-quality work.”
Why it works:
She has a lot of confidence and is able to concisely sum up how she meets the position’s top requirements (project management experience, relationship, and team skills). This answer is a little bit general and could perhaps be further strengthened with examples (describing a successful project and what kind of results she was able to bring, naming one of those top companies, and offering evidence of those great relationships).
However, assuming that the candidate has already discussed some specifics of her past roles, this answer does a good job of reiterating and emphasizing. She doesn’t make the interviewer put all of the pieces together on his own.
Why Should We Hire You Answer Sample: VP of Marketing
“Based on what I was able to gather from my research and our discussions, it seems that you’re looking for a VP of Marketing whose main priority would be user acquisition and demand gen, helping [COMPANY 1] enter the next phase of growth.
I feel I’m the right person for the job as I have strong experience in executing marketing strategies that drive growth. For instance, in my previous role at [COMPANY 2] I was one of the key people behind building the inbound channel that was bringing 70% of leads month over month. My team was also accountable for converting free trial signups to paid users, resulting in a conversion rate increase from 30% to 32% in the last quarter.
Plus, from what I was able to see, it seems like you’re looking to penetrate different market segments right now. Meaning, you’ll need somebody who has done it before and who knows how to organize limited resources into each segment. At [COMPANY 2], we were targeting Small, Medium, and Large customers, but we’ve always known that the key marketing focus should be on Medium as the growth rates were the highest there. So we’ve organized our priorities accordingly resulting in $10M ARR in 3.5 years’ time.”
Why it works
When it comes to marketers, there are all kinds. Albeit on different levels, most of them are driven and creative. What separates them is their skills. Some are better at branding, others in user acquisition. One excels in product marketing, the other in content creation. If you’re interviewing for a senior marketing role and especially for a VP of Marketing, you need to make sure that your top skills match the top marketing goals of the company. 9 out of 10 times, that comes down to user acquisition and driving revenue.
Another strong point in this answer is that it positions the person as a problem solver. They proactively identified one of the challenges for the future VP, and used it to their advantage. They understood the challenge of approaching different audience segments. This type of ownership is precisely what any employer wants out of their key people. The better you identify key challenges, the closer you’ll be to getting the job.
Why Should We Hire You Sample Answer: Developer
“Honestly, I almost feel like the job description was written with me in mind. I have the 6 years of programming experience you’re looking for, a track record of successful projects, and proven expertise in agile development processes. At the same time, I have developed my communication skills from working directly with senior managers, which means I am well prepared to work on high-profile, cross-department projects. I have the experience to start contributing from day one and I am truly excited about the prospect of getting started.”
Why it works:
This is another good approach to summing up key qualifications and demonstrating a great fit with the position requirements. In particular, this candidate is likely to win points with “the experience to start contributing from day one.” She won’t need much training or hand-holding and that’s attractive to any employer.
Why Should We Hire You: Fresher Answer
“I have the experience and the attitude to excel in this production assistant position. I have almost two years of television production experience — including two summers interning at The Ellen Show, where I was exposed to all aspects of TV production and worked so hard the first summer that they invited me back for a second summer and gave me more responsibilities. During my senior year at UC San Diego, I have been working part-time for a production company, where I have served in an assistant role but also recently had the chance to help edit several episodes. I have a reputation for getting things done — and with a smile on my face.
That’s because I love working in the television industry and am excited to learn and get experience in every way possible.”
Why it works:
This candidate has nice internship and part-time experience, but he’s a new college grad and doesn’t have any full-time positions to talk about.
This answer highlights the experience that he does have (and the fact that he performed well — he was invited back to his internship and was given an opportunity to edit at his part-time job).
He also expresses his enthusiasm for the job and his strong work ethic. These qualities are important for an entry-level hire, who will likely be doing quite a bit of grunt work at first. Overall, it’s a great “why should we hire you with no experience” example.
Crafting the Perfect “Why Should We Hire You” Answer
To better understand how to answer the “why should I hire you” question, here’s a proven 4-step framework that’ll give you actionable tips and tactics.
Step 1: Study the Job Description
To get started on the right foot, review the job description. Try to understand how what they need matches the skills you have to offer.
For example, what do you see when you look at this job ad from Notion? What are the most important qualifications for this position from the company’s perspective?
About the Role
We’re lucky to have a vibrant, creative community building all kinds of cool things with Notion. They host online and offline events, make videos, share advice and templates, translate marketing into other languages, and so much more. This global community plays a huge part in inspiring users in ways we never thought possible. We’re looking for a natural community leader to join us to grow this movement worldwide and scale out our programming.
What You’ll Do
- Scale. You’ll help us plan and execute ways for us to scale our customer community program and collaborate closely with other stakeholders on our team. This requires a lot of detail-oriented logistics.
- Build. Devoted members of our community have created an enormous amount of resources for all kinds of Notion use cases, levels of experience, and different languages. You’ll collaborate with creators around the world to surface the best content on our platforms and build out our Template Gallery and Community Hub.
- Test. The faster we can figure out what works, the sooner we can provide more value to the community. You’ll identify metrics that actually map to our goals, use them to figure out what programs we should invest in, and relentlessly iterate.
What We’re Looking For
- You’ve built significant communities. You’ve helped create or moderate a vibrant community for yourself or a company before for at least 2 years. You come with a toolkit of tactics to do this again for us. You love connecting people and helping others when the opportunity arises.
- You’re a Notion power user. You’re comfortable building relational databases and sharing your own templates. You’ve watched dozens of the advanced tutorials on YouTube and been to Notion events online or in person.
- Experience with event coordination. You’ve organized events before, ranging from small dinners to larger meetups, and can provide insight and support to others looking to do the same.
- Experience managing web projects. You’ve collaborated with designers, engineers, and other cross-functional stakeholders to move projects forward.
- You’re already an evangelist. You enjoy helping people set up their Notion workspaces and spend time teaching folks how to use the product or answering questions.
- You’re analytical. You know how to conduct experiments, understand metrics in a tool like Amplitude, and create reports.
Nice to Haves
- Aesthetics are important to you. You like what Notion has done with the brand so far, but you have your own creative convictions too — most of us are artists in some respect 😉
I’ve highlighted the critical things in my opinion.
Obviously, you need relevant experience in building and managing vibrant communities. Duh! 😛 This person must also be able to demonstrate community growth, engagement, and the percentage of active members, as this will also showcase their analytical capabilities.
If they haven’t mastered Notion, they should get right on that. But if they have, the objective is to show their knowledge of it in a practical way. For example, a smart way to play this is to show how they used Notion to collaborate with their current team and external collaborators. Because teamwork skills are more than just highlighted in the job description.
Events… another channel this person needs to have experience. They could showcase the top 2-3 events they’ve organized and the impact they were able to make.
A combination of the above would be 80% of the answer to the ‘why should they hire me’ question. The final part is to close it in style. Keep reading as we’ll talk about this in the next chapter.
Step 2: Do In-Depth Research
What makes you different from a typical candidate? Your desire to go the extra mile.
Outworking competitors is always a good idea. One of the ways you can accomplish that is through research.
If we stay focused on Notion’s job ad, we can investigate deeper into:
- Social Media activity from their team. Is there anything relevant that their VP of Marketing posted on LinkedIn recently?
- Did someone from Notion go on a podcast or do a keynote around a connected topic or anything related to the company’s future growth?
- Does Notion have a community right now? If yes, what are some interesting things to test and how can it go to the next level?
- What’s their user-generated content about and what does it look like today? What’s missing?
- Any press releases, or big announcements to leverage?
One of these bullet points will be the final 20% of our answer. You just have to connect the dots and match what you’re going to say with what they’re looking for in their next Community Manager.
Step 3: Structure Your Answer
Now that you have the core for your perfect answer, it is time to give it a body and make it beautiful.
- Emphasize skills that they are looking for. Go through the highlighted list and circle the ones that are your strongest skills. Then review the rest of the list, and circle the strengths that you are very good at, but aren’t on the highlighted list of company-preferred skills.
- Be specific with your experience and back it up with results. Focus on your most impressive accomplishments, instances where you showcased the skills required for the job.
- Don’t repeat what they already know. Don’t recycle stuff from your CV or what may have been said earlier in the interview. The fact that you’re already in the interview means you’re qualified. No need to prove the basics again. Your mission is to convince them you’re best suited for this job.
- You don’t want to write a script to memorize. Simply capture the bullet points that you want to convey. Each bullet will describe the selling point with a brief explanation and/or example for context.
Feel free to use one of the answer samples from the previous section as your framework. Then simply tailor it to your needs.
Step 4: Practice Your Delivery
Once you feel confident about the points you want to make, it’s time to practice. Your primary goal is to:
- Make sure the strengths you outline are aligned with the requirements of the role
- Project confidence both in speech and body language
- Showcase your drive: most companies would rather hire someone who has a little less experience but who is driven and motivated to learn and succeed
All these things can be practiced and mastered. Kobe Bryant once said: “I was ice-cold during clutch times because I’ve done it thousands of times before!” So, if you invest effort into practicing your answer to “why are you the best person for this job?”, you’ll be ready to deliver the right response when the time comes.
Ultimately, the only difference between candidates who get the job and those who don’t is preparation.
You can practice in front of the mirror or with a friend. You can also record yourself with a phone or laptop and then rewatch it. Both will work just fine.
A good thing about watching recordings is that it allows me to see my verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as what I can improve. For example…
The game film tells me that my hands are moving non-stop and that I’m saying “uuuuuum” way too much. I can work on eliminating both these flaws and try again. On the flip side, my pace of speech and vocabulary are flying high, which is obviously great.
Btw, to record practice videos and get these kind of reports, I’m using Big Interview.
Once I feel comfortable with my answer, I’ll add it to my library. Again, it’s not a good idea to memorize a script — you can end up sounding like a robot. The better approach is to capture your bullet points, study them, and then practice until you feel comfortable about the delivery.
Depending on what tools you prefer to use, you can save your answers in Notes, Google Doc, Notion… basically, anywhere you want. I’ll do it in Big Interview’s Answer Builder.
Boom! I’m ready to slice the ‘why we should hire you’ question like I’m slicing bread.
The last step is to connect the dots and practice the interview as a whole. I can craft answers to a few other questions I expect to get, such as:
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your strengths?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Tell us about your last job
- What are your greatest accomplishments?
With the ability to see my feedback reports, I can make every answer clean and convincing.
I could also fire up practice sessions in Big Interview. This will allow me to go through a mock interview and see how I’d perform overall. Analyze my answers to various questions, including behavioral ones, around teamwork or simply about my past experiences. This can also be useful so I can train myself not to repeat things and have a wider portfolio of strong points I can make.
After this, it’s official. I’m ready to compete!
Common Mistakes When Answering the “Why Should We Hire You?” Question
Ask any salesperson. It’s tough to close a deal in a buyer’s market. It’s the same thing in interviews – many candidates sabotage themselves with avoidable mistakes.
Answering Mistake #1: Lack of preparation
Don’t try to wing it. You should take the time to prepare your 3-4 bullet points and look for opportunities to customize for any new opportunity. Then, you must PRACTICE delivering your sales pitch until it feels comfortable.
You can even send your recordings to others for review to give you helpful feedback on your interview performance.
Imagine if I don’t have a lot of practical interview experience and I’m applying for an entry-level marketing role, I could reach out to my friend John and ask him to give me some notes. And if he says yes, I can share my answers in two clicks in Big Interview.
Answering Mistake #2: Modesty
This is not the time to be modest or self-deprecating. You must know how to answer what makes you unique.
You don’t have to be super-confident like the candidate in the video example above. You can use your own style. If you’re not comfortable making value statements about yourself (i.e. “I am the perfect candidate.”), you can stick to facts (“I have ten years of experience, got promoted, broke the sales record, won the award, delivered on time and on budget, received kudos from my manager/client, etc.”)
Another way to “sell” yourself with facts is to quote other people’s opinions. Quote your manger, “My manager told me that he’s never seen anyone with more advanced Excel skills.” You can also reference your general reputation: “I have a reputation for always closing the deal” or “I have a history of always completing my projects ahead of schedule.”
Answering Mistake #3: Being too general
Do your best to add some personality to your answer. Don’t simply rattle off the bullet points listed in the job description. Really think about what makes you unique and express it in your own voice.
Answering Mistake #4: Talking too much
Remember the law of answering interview questions: You should limit each answer to 1-2 minutes in length (not counting any follow-up questions or requests for additional detail).
If you try to walk through your entire resume when answering this question, the interviewer is likely to tune out.
Focus on your most compelling selling points. Keep in mind that you’ll be more believable if you focus on a few strengths and don’t try to claim that you are a master of every business skill imaginable.
Before we close the topic, let’s quickly go over the most important takeaways from the article.
To really ace the “why should we hire you” question, you should always prepare in advance by focusing on your strongest skills and how they can benefit the company.
You can do this by:
- Researching the company. Understanding the company and its struggles can help you showcase how your skills can help them overcome the challenges they have.
- Evaluating the job description. The better you understand what the role is about, the better you will know how your skills fit.
- Writing down your strengths (and weaknesses). Evaluate how your strengths can help them reach their goals and be prepared to speak about your weaknesses in a way that does not raise any red flags.
- Practicing your answer. Practice is the only thing that will build your confidence and make you better at interviewing, so don’t skip this step!
You have everything you need to build a powerful answer to this question. And should you ever need ‘why are you a good fit for this position’ examples, you can always use the ones from this article.
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