If you have ever been in an interview, chances are you've been asked the question 'Why should we hire you?' This is one of the most popular interview questions, and it is crucial that any prospective candidate research this question and prepare adequately beforehand. After all, research and rehearsal are the keys to a successful job interview. This article seeks to inform prospective candidates on what employers seek to find out about a candidate from this question and tips on answering this question, possible responses, and things not to say or do when answering this question.
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Before onboarding a person in an organisation, any employer wants to ensure that the person they are taking on is suitable for the position they are applying for as well as the culture of the organisation. The question of why should we hire you gives the employer a general picture of whether the candidate is the best fit.
Cultural fit is a measure of the suitability of an individual in a particular organisation. It primarily focuses on assessing an individual's attributes such as their beliefs, values, preferred works styles, and preferred work environment against the organisation's values, beliefs, and practices. The employer seeks to find out if the candidate's personality will align with the values of the organisation. An example would be a candidate applying for a position in a conservative and traditional organisation, yet their personality exudes a liberal and progressive character. Chances are, such an individual will always conflict with the demands of the organisation. The question 'Why should we hire you" enables the employer to understand the candidate better. Through this question, an employer can determine if this candidate will fit into the organisation's culture. Therefore, candidates must ensure that they understand the organisation's culture before the interview without putting off the interviewer.
Suitability for the positions
Through this question, the employer wants to understand if the candidate can handle the demands of the positions. The employer would also like to see if the candidate has taken the initiative in researching what the job requires and if the candidate is indeed qualified for the position. Above all, employers would like to know what sets this candidate apart from other candidates in terms of suitability for the position.
Tips on smashing this question in an interview
For a candidate, this is your pitch, a make it or break it, and an opportunity for the employer to see if you have what it takes to be part of their organisation. Frankly, this is your time to shine and convince the employer that you are the best they'll ever have. A list of things that you can say or do to convince the recruiter that you are the best candidate for the position include:
1. Emphasising your skills
The skills that you mention should be relevant to the position you are applying for as well as the activities of the organisation. Saying irrelevant information will work against you, as it portrays a picture of someone who has not researched the demands of the position and the functions of the organisation.
2. Talk about your previous experience
Having experience that is pertinent to the organisation you are applying to goes a long way in setting you apart from the other candidates. The employer will know that training an individual who has some experience will make their job easier.
3. Talk about your attributes and how they can directly benefit the organisation.
Again, these personal attributes have to be relevant to the culture of the organisation. In an organisation that values collaboration, it would be good to mention that you enjoy teamwork, networking, and interacting with people. This shows the employer that you will quickly adapt to the culture of the organisation.
4. Mention your academic achievements, community engagement, and awards
Mentioning these sets you apart from the rest of the candidates, and they will impress the employer.
Sample candidate responses
Here is a sample response to the question Why should we hire you?
I am a dedicated and hard-working individual. I have 15 years of experience working in women empowerment for several NGOs, including the United Nations and the World Health Organisation. I have worked tirelessly in the emancipation of women in the corporate world. I served as the Head of Women Empowerment and Development for the UNDP from 2015 to 2020. I am relentless and firm in my desire to empower women. I have had to grow a thick skin in the past years as I have faced a lot of discrimination and undermining in my climb up the corporate ladder. I have received many accolades from my work with women, Most notably is my Noble Peace Price in Women Empowerment from the work I did with the women in the Shabhani Mines. I believe that the skills and experience that I have and my dedication to the female empowerment cause are why you should select me as the Chairman of the Professional Women of Zimbabwe's Committee.
What not to do
It would be in your best interest to adequately prepare for this question like any other interview question. Winging it could prove to be disastrous. Below is a list of things not to do when being asked this question.
1. Being cocky
Whilst being confident about your abilities is a good sign, it is essential to be aware of when to stop. There is a thin line between confidence and cockiness. Cockiness can easily irritate the interviewer and make them pass you off.
2. Talk about irrelevant skills and experience
Emphasising things that have no direct link to the position or the organisation reflects ignorance and lack of preparedness for the interview. Avoid by all means mentioning irrelevant skills and experience no matter how good they are.
3. Have negative body language
Slouching, folding your arms, or frowning will most definitely be read as a negative sign. It indicates a lack of professionalism and seriousness for the interview
This article was written by Mutsawashe Musvaire, a consultant at the Industrial Psychology Consultants, a management and Human Resources consultants company.