Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Interview questions are not always meant to stump the candidate. There are times, however, when seemingly innocent questions can leave you at a loss for an adequate response, in fact, any response. Why should I hire you is one of those questions you want to do your best to be prepared to answer. If you cannot sing your own praises or toot your own horn, no one is going to do it for you.
Prior to the interview
The best time to contemplate the answer to this question is before the interview. The answer should actually be formulating in your mind while you are applying for the job. It all goes back to researching the company. What are they looking for in a candidate? Once you have determined what they are looking for, consider your knowledge, skills, abilities and experience in relation to the position and the company.
Visit at least two pages on their website – the job vacancy and the “about us” page. The job vacancy advertisement page will provide detailed information on the job requirements. The “about us” page will provide essential information about the company. Look for the big picture. How does the position tie into the company overall? The job vacancy page will provide position requirements.
Prepare a base story on why any company should hire you. Your story may need to be modified on details depending on the position you’re interviewing for. For example, focusing on your sales skills will not necessarily help you if you’re applying for a job as an administrative assistant.
Your story should consist of three major focal points. The first is your understanding of the company’s needs. Second, your accomplishments related to the position. Share your success stories. Were you the top seller three months straight? Have you been instrumental to the successful promotion of a subordinate? Finally, talk about how you can add value to the organization.
Prepare your rebuttals. Perhaps you’re over qualified or you don’t have as much experience as other candidates. You need to brainstorm possible arguments regarding why you may not be a good fit for the organization. This will help prepare your answers. For example, if you’re over qualified, perhaps it is the opportunity for you to mentor people just entering the profession. If you do not possess as much experience as other candidates, emphasize the experience you do have and how it can still add value to the organization.
During the interview
Once the moment has arrived and the question has been asked, take comfort in your preparations. Why should I hire you? Do not jump into a long practiced monologue. Keep timing and appropriateness in mind during your response. If you notice the interviewer losing interest, stop and regroup. You may have over replied or drifted off topic. Remember, this is not to be a long answer. Be brief, be detailed but sell yourself.