How to answer the interview question: why should we hire you?

How to answer the interview question: why should we hire you?
SEEK content teamupdated on 05 September, 2023
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“Why should we hire you?” It’s one of the most commonly-asked questions in interviews across the globe. It’s an important question and can make – or break a recruiter’s impression.

Despite knowing that this question is likely to be asked, you might still find yourself struggling to come up with the right kind of answer. This guide is here to help with that.

Below, we’ll look at how to prepare for and answer this question effectively while also providing some example answers. By the end, you’ll have a much clearer and deeper understanding of not only how to answer “Why should we hire you?” but why this question is so significant in any interview. 

Understanding the question 

Before we look at some "Why should we hire you?" examples, it’s worth taking a moment to think about this question. Why is it common in many interviews? Why do many interviewers always include this question, or something similar, when speaking with job-seekers?  

Why employers ask this question 

There are several key reasons why an employer might ask "Why we should hire you?" 

  • Assessing your fit for the role: The most obvious reason why hirers ask why they should hire you is because they genuinely want to know what makes you the best person for the job. It’s not necessarily a trick question, nor is it designed to catch you out. The hirer wants to find out what you believe makes you special or different from other job seekers, and why they should employ you over other job seekers on their list. 
  • Evaluating your enthusiasm for the company: When thinking about how to answer "Why should we hire you?" it's also worth noting that employers use this question to see how enthusiastic you are about joining the team. If you give a bland or generic answer, it could give the impression that you’re not particularly excited by that role and company. But if you can demonstrate genuine enthusiasm in your response and eagerness to prove yourself, that can help you score big points with recruiters. 
  • Gauging your problem-solving skills: Another major reason the “Why should we hire you?” question comes up so often is that it gives hirers an idea of how well you think on your feet and deal with challenges. Often, they want to see how you react under pressure, and this question is perfect for helping you think outside the box. If you’re able to provide a strong response, it’s a great sign that you’re a dependable problem-solver and quick thinker. 

Identifying what interviewers want to hear 

So, by now we know why interviewers like asking this question, but what is it that they’re hoping to hear? Well, that’ll vary from company to company and hirer to hirer. But, in general, interviewers will want to find out the following: 

  • Your unique selling points: The "Why should we hire you for this position?" best answer will usually focus on what sets you apart from job seekers. Interviewers will want to hear about what makes you different, and what special skills or unique elements you can bring to both the job and the company in order to succeed. 
  • A demonstration of your value: Typically, interviewers will also be hoping to see some kind of demonstration of the value that you can bring to the company. They’ll want to hear about how you plan to not just fill the job in question but excel at it, giving the company a real return on their decision to hire you, rather than someone else. For example, you could talk about how your past experiences have shaped your skill set, making you the ideal fit for the role. 
  • How well your skills fit the role: This question is also an opportunity to explain why your background and experience make you the perfect fit for the role at hand. Interviewers will be hoping to hear about how your skills and past experiences put you in the right position to meet the role’s requirements and the company’s needs. It’s a chance to sell yourself and explain why you should be the company’s number one choice. 

Preparing your answer 

When it comes to how to answer "Why should we hire you?" there’s certainly room for improvisation. On the day of the interview, you can alter your answer to suit the mood and pattern of the interview up to that point.  

However, it’s still a very good idea to prepare your answer ahead of time so you have some key talking points to refer to when the moment comes. You don’t necessarily need to learn a whole speech off-by-heart, but it’s smart to have an answer ready before you get into that interview room. Not only will this help you answer confidently, but it can also ease those pre-interview nerves. 

Research the company and role 

The first step of preparing your "Why do you believe you are suitable for this role?" best answer is to research the company and role you’re applying for. The more you know about it, the more information you’ll have to prepare an appropriate and relevant answer that actually makes sense and meets the interviewer’s expectations.  

Company philosophy and culture

For example, you might be applying for a management role at a new company. By researching the company’s philosophy and approach to work, you might discover they have a specific kind of culture, like an innovative culture, with lots of focus on creativity and bold ideas. You can then factor that into your answer, explaining how you’re not afraid to think out of the box and push boundaries. 

Understand the job description

You should also take time to read the job description thoroughly for the role you’re applying for, learning as much as you can about the role in question. What kind of duties does it involve? What skills are required? You’ll be able to use all of that information later on to formulate an answer which is highly relevant to the role at hand. 

Assess your skills and experience 

As well as taking some time to learn all about the company and job you’re applying for, it’s also wise to carry out some introspection, considering your own key skills and experiences. Think back through your career so far. Or, if you’re young and new to the workplace, look back through your academic life and find key moments or experiences you can draw from. 

Try to focus on skills and experiences that are relevant to the role at hand. If you’re applying for a management role, for instance, interviewers may want to hear a lot about your people skills, leadership abilities, and stories from your past that demonstrate your abilities of organisation and problem-solving. 

Think back to the job requirements you researched in the previous step. Try to go through the list of needed skills and abilities and think of examples in your own career to demonstrate those skills. You don’t need a story for every single item on the list but try to focus on the top skills and think of ways you can prove that you have them. 

Develop a unique selling proposition (USP) 

USP stands for unique selling point/proposition. It’s the one factor or element that makes a product or business stand out from all the rest. So, when companies are trying to seal a deal or market a product, they usually focus their marketing on that one particular factor to make people choose their product over all the other options. 

The same logic applies to selling yourself in interviews. You won’t be the only person applying for a role. There are other job seekers who may have similar skills and experiences. So, in order to get ahead of the competition, you need to tell interviewers what makes you special. In other words, you need to sell them on your USP. 

Try to focus on what you believe sets you apart from everyone else. Maybe you have an incredible level of drive and determination to succeed. Perhaps you’ve got a huge amount of relevant experience. Maybe you’re an exceptional communicator or leader. Whatever your USP is, be sure to bring it into your answer and make it memorable so that the interviewer knows exactly what it is that makes you special. 

“Why should we hire you?” is just one of many questions you might be asked in your interview. Learn about others here: Top 10 most-asked interview questions (and how to answer them) - SEEK Career Advice

Crafting your answer 

With the preparation and research out of the way, you can move on to actually crafting the framework of the answer you hope to give in the interview. Think back to the information you’ve learned and focus on the following three aspects to create an answer that will help you make the best possible impression on your prospective employer. 

Be specific and relevant 

As mentioned earliern, relevancy is key when it comes to thinking about "Why employers should hire me" or considering your "Why do you believe you are suitable for this role?" best answer. There’s no sense in wasting time talking about the skills or experiences that have no bearing or relevance to the job you’re applying for. 

Let’s continue with the management example - if you’re applying for a management position, hirers are primarily going to want to hear about skills  that make you a good manager. They’ll want to know about your leadership, organisation, and communication qualities. They’ll probably be less interested in things like your numeracy skills or experiences of working in totally different jobs. 

So, when crafting your answer, try to craft an answer that is tailored to both the company and the role you’re applying for. Refer to the job description as needed to find the key skills and most relevant points to talk about. 

Show enthusiasm and interest 

Prospective employers will love to see signs that you’re passionate, enthusiastic, and truly interested in their company. That’s why, in the previous section, we talked about how important it is to research the company you’re applying to work with, finding out about their culture, philosophy, history, and other aspects. 

You can then take everything that you’ve learned and use it in your answer. For example, if you find that the company has a big focus on environmentalism, you can share your enthusiasm for sustainable initiatives. Or, if you learn more about the company’s past successes, you can explain how you’re eager to play your part to uphold the brand’s high standards. 

It’s also wise to show your passion and interest in the industry in general. Explain how your career choices and skills have led you into the industry, why it matters to you, and how you hope to influence it in your own ways. 

Keep it concise 

When crafting your “Why should we hire you?” answers, it’s easy to wind up writing a long speech. You might have lots of different points you want to cover, many key skills you want to sell, and lots of stories and experiences to share with the interviewer. However, an answer that is too long or wordy could simply overwhelm the recruiter and leave them unsure of what aspects of your answer to focus on. 

It’s much more effective to keep your answer clear and concise. Cover the main points, but try not to ramble, and cut out any long stories or excessive details that aren’t really necessary. Ultimately, you want your answer to deliver a message about who you are and why the company should hire you, so avoid rambling on about anything that doesn’t support that message. 

Find more helpful preparation tips in our Practice Interview Builder – SEEK

Common mistakes to avoid 

When tpreparing your "Why should we hire you for this position?" best answer, there are some common mistakes that you might want to avoid. In this section, we’ll highlight some of the key pitfalls that you’ll want to try to avoid in your answer. 

Being too generic 

This is a common mistake that people make when they simply look for a “Why should we hire you?” best answer sample online and copy it without adjusting or enhancing it to suit the role they’re applying for. It’s really easy to make generic, blanket statements about “being a team player” or “being a good problem-solver” without actually backing them up. 

But, in order to make a real impact on your interviewer, you’ll need to provide more than a copy-and-paste answer. Cut out the clichés and generic statements and focus on actual skills and experiences from your working life to tell your story. And remember to tailor your answer to suit the role you’re applying for, with details that are relevant to the company and job description. 

Neglecting to mention accomplishments 

Remember, when it comes to how to answer, “Why should we hire you?” you really need to focus on selling yourself. That means highlighting and showcasing all of your proudest moments and most relevant skills and accomplishments so far. A common mistake that many people make is to actually overlook certain relevant accomplishments or fail to mention them. 

The interview is your opportunity to impress your prospective employer, so try to ensure you’ve told them abour what you’ve achieved in other roles that would be relevant or important in the job you’re interviewing for right now. Share your biggest accomplishments with data, insgights and stories to explain why those achievements are so special. 

Focusing solely on yourself 

This is another mistake that’s easy to make. After all, if you hear someone ask, “Why should we hire you?” it’s natural to focus on yourself in the answer, talking about the skills, abilities, and unique benefits you can bring to the table. However, you also need to link all of that to the actual company and role you’re applying for. 

Remember, the interviewer wants to know not only what makes you special but why you’re a good fit for the company. So, in your answer, feel free to mention your skills and achievements, but tie that together with how you hope to use those skills to help the company, contributing to their success and fulfilling the role to the best of your abilities. 

Practising your answer 

It’s always a good idea to do a little practise before an interview. You can rehearse on your own or ask a friend or family member to test you. This should help you to feel more confident going into the interview and more prepared to deliver your “Why we should hire you?” answer when the moment arrives. 

Rehearse your response 

Be sure to rehearse your response with the help of family or friends. Ask them to give you some questions or cues and then deliver your answer. Repeat the process several times to make it easier for you to remember. Most importantly, ask for feedback at the end to see if there’s anything you can work on or any part of the answer that you forgot to mention. 

Be prepared for follow-up questions 

You should also practice for any potential follow-ups that might come after the “Why employers should hire me?” question. Usually, interviewers might follow up by asking to learn more about something you mentioned in your answer, like a key skill or an experience from the past. They might ask you to elaborate or explain why that makes you the best job seeker for the role. 

Write down some potential follow-up questions that an interviewer might ask. Again, friends and family members or even trusted colleagues can help out with this, especially those who have experience of running interviews themselves. Then, work through what you might say if those questions come up. 

Take a look through our interview practice guide to learn more: How to prepare for your interview: The ultimate guide - SEEK Career Advice

Delivering your answer 

On the day of the interview, this is the moment to take all of your preparation and put it into action! If you’re prepared properly, it should pay off with an answer that is powerful, impactful, and effective. However, simply reciting your answer off-by-heart may not be enough to impress an interviewer. The delivery needs to be clear and confident, and you may have to adapt along the way. 

Stay confident and authentic 

Confidence isn’t always easy in an interview situation, as you may feel nervous or worried. However, having a confident manner is one of the best ways to make a great first impression. First it’s helpful to take a deep breath and try to stay calm when you walk into the interview room. Then,  try to keep eye contact with the interviewer as you speak, sit up straight with good posture, and speak with clarity and conviction. 

Adapt to the interviewer’s reaction 

It’s also important to pay close attention to your interviewer as you answer their questions. Listen closely to what they’ve asked up to that point and which skills or aspects of your character they seem most interested in. You can then adjust or tailor your answer accordingly to suit the situation. 

Similarly, if it seems like your answer is a bit too rambling, or you’re beginning to lose your interviewer’s attention, make sure to adapt. Cut out some of the longer sections and try to make your answer snappier and more impactful to regain their attention. 

Example questions & answers 

Next, let’s take a look at some of the other questions an interviewer might ask, either before “Why should we hire you?” or as a form of follow-up. 

How does your background and experience prepare you for this role? 

For a question like this, you want to focus purely on your past experiences that are most relevant to the role in question. Think about moments in your career up to that point and roles you’ve had in the past that have given you valuable skills that will help you in the position you’re currently applying for.  

A why should we hire you best answer sample for this question could be: “I’ve spent over 10 years working for various marketing agencies in a range of roles, from junior positions all the way up to team leader. This experience has given me a thorough understanding of how marketing agencies work and the diverse skills needed to help them succeed.” 

What can you bring to this role?  

Here, you’ll want to focus primarily on your unique selling proposition and most valuable, relevant skills. It also helps to show enthusiasm, so you could say something like “My recent experience leading a team of 30 has helped me strengthen my leadership and managerial skills, which I feel would be of great use in bringing out the best in the people I work with.” 

How do you believe you can add value to our organisation?  

For this question, interviewers will want to know how you feel your skills and experiences will help the company itself. Talk about a key skill, and then explain how it will benefit the company, like “I believe my leadership experience will help me provide a significant boost to the firm’s productivity. I’ve led a team of over 30, where I’ve empowered everyone to achieve a big milestone of launching our company wide app, which now has over 3million downloads.  

Why are you a good fit for this role?  

Again, with a question like this, it’s important not to make the mistake of focusing purely on your skills. Instead, you need to tie them into the role, explaining how and why they make you the right person for the job. Think back to the job description and the list of relevant skills, explaining how your experiences and abilities match perfectly with the role.  

For instance, a graduate applying for an accounting job could try this why do you believe you are suitable for this role best answer: “I think my accounting qualifications, coupled with my organised, attentive nature makes me the ideal fit for this accountancy position.” 

Why are you the ideal person for this position?  

This is another common twist on the “Why should we hire you?” formula. With a question like this, the interviewer essentially wants to know what it is about you that makes you better than other people applying for the same job. It’s your chance to sell yourself, focusing on your most relevant skills, impressive accomplishments, or key features that set you apart. 

Here’s an example why should we hire you for this position best answer: “I believe I have all the necessary skills and experiences to succeed here, and I’m also very determined to prove myself with at one of Australia’s leading companies. I can bring the passion, motivation, and energy to not only fill this role, but excel in it.” 

How will your skills and experience benefit our team? 

The word “team” is the key part of this question. Here, an interviewer will want to hear all about what you can bring to their existing team. They’ll likely already have people with all the relevant skills and experiences, but they want to know how you can improve the vibe, make the workplace a better place to be, inspire others, and provide leadership or organisation. 

An example of this might be, “I believe my strong communication and team-oriented approach should help me settle in with the team and bring out the best in my colleagues. I also have history in conflict resolution, and I like to keep my colleagues happy and on the same page so we can all work well together.” 

Find out more answers to common interview questions here: Common interview questions and how to answer them - SEEK Career Advice

Conclusion 

A well-prepared answer to “Why should we hire you?” is important to help you succeed in your next interview. It can help you make a much better first impression, clearly and efficiently explaining what makes you special and why a company should choose you over everyone else. And, since this question is so common, there’s a very high chance of it appearing in your next interview!  

So, keep these tips in mind and take the time to craft a smart, impactful answer, giving yourself the best chance of getting the job you want. 

FAQs

How long should my answer be?  

In general, it’s best to avoid long, rambling answers, but you may still have quite a lot to say. Try to keep it concise, while covering all the main points. Your answer should take about two minutes to say. 

What if I don't have much experience in the field?  

In that case, focus on other aspects that make you a good job seeker, in spite of your lack of experience, such as your key skills and your motivation to succeed and impress. 

How can I showcase my soft skills in the answer?  

Having a confident approach, keeping eye contact, and speaking clearly are all effective ways to convey key soft skills like communication and confidence. 

Should I focus more on my past achievements or future potential?  

It depends on your level of experience and the role in question. Some jobs demand high levels of experience, so it’s important to focus on that, but other companies will be more forward-thinking. Adjust your answer based on the role and company culture. 

What if the interviewer doesn't ask this question directly?  

They may ask a variation of it, like “What can you bring to the company?” or “What makes you the best person for the job?” If no variation is asked, you may still be able to squeeze parts of your answer into other answers. 

How do I address gaps in my work history or skill set?  

Try to turn negatives into positives. If you don’t have much experience, you can say that it simply makes you even more motivated to show what you can do. Or, if you feel a certain skill is lacking, you can talk about how you’re eager to learn and grow with the company in the future. 

Is it appropriate to discuss salary expectations in this answer?  

For a question like this, salary expectations don’t really need to come into play. The focus should be purely on your skills and how they relate to the role you’re applying for. You can ask about the salary later on. 

How can I remain confident if I'm nervous during the interview?  

A good way to build up confidence is to prepare your answer ahead of time and practise it repeatedly.  

What if I'm overqualified for the position?  

In that case, the interviewer may want to hear more about your motivations. They already know you’ve got the skills, but they’ll want to know why you’re applying for the role and how eager you are to have it. 

How should I approach the question?  

In general, the main approach is to focus on what it is that makes you special and better than other prospective job seekers. It’s a question for selling yourself to the interviewer. 

How can I effectively research a company's culture and values before the interview? 

The internet is usually the best resource. You can find out a lot about a company on their official website or by looking at testimonials and reviews from current or former employees. 

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