You’re on a job interview, and things are going well. You and the hiring manager are having a nice conversation, when all of a sudden, he or she drops this bomb: “So, why should we hire you?”
It’s not an easy question to answer, and as Career Valet president and blogger Marcelle Yeager writes for Forbes, it “can feel like a smack in the face.” Fortunately, once you recover from the blow, there are ways to tackle this tough query, and in her post “4 Ways to Answer ‘Why Should We Hire You?’” Yeager outlines some excellent strategies.
The first one is to think about a problem you imagine the company is facing and talk about how you’d solve it. Yeager says the key here is to be realistic and focus only on issues you might actually be able to address if you’re brought on . For instance, if the firm is looking to expand into a new industry, and it’s one you have experience with, discuss ways in which you could leverage your contacts to grow the business. You can also be more general, Yeager says, and explain how you’ve devised creative solutions to problems at past jobs.
“Don’t make them infer that you’d do that at their office too — tell them they would benefit from this skill!” Yeager writes.
Her next strategy: “Describe what makes you unique.” Is there a type of work that’s become your speciality? Maybe you’re the go-to spreadsheet guy or girl or a real expert when it comes to coordinating schedules and launching big projects. Whatever you’re great at, now’s the time to talk about it.
“When you give them an example, you’re showing employers how you could apply this characteristic to a similar situation in their firms,” Yeager writes.
Being vague with any of these responses is no good, and that’s what makes Yeager’s third approach, “discuss your track record,” such a good one. Here, you don’t want to brag, but you do want to discuss previous accomplishments with some degree of detail, highlighting the ways in which your efforts led to, say, greater sales or higher productivity for your past employers.
One final way to answer the question is to “showcase your qualifications.” Yeager uses the example of a company seeking candidates with master’s degrees. Don’t simply mention that you have one and leave it at that; talk about how knowledge you picked up in the classroom has informed your work — and how it will help you transition into this new role you’re trying to land.
This, Yeager says, “shows you are forward thinking and focused on contributing your knowledge to improve the company’s operations.”