Why Should We Hire You?

Despite their suitability, job candidates are not always good at promoting themselves.

Inevitably, in the course of a job interview, most candidates are asked this question: Why Should We Hire You? You should already be responding to this question before the interview with your resume, cover letter, and job application, indicating your interest and clearly matching education and experience for the position.

Employers are beset with many applications for their open positions, and from the moment their computers and HR staff start sorting candidates, they are weeding out the inappropriate, unqualified, incomplete, and lackluster, expecting that the best candidate will rise to the top, to be the final, chosen candidate. Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens.

Despite their suitability, job candidates are not always good at promoting themselves. When we know we’d be the best person for the job, it is our responsibility to show that, not the interviewers’ responsibility to discover it.

What makes you stand out from your competition? What makes you unique and interesting? Do you have experiences that pertain to the job which others are not likely to have? Have you recognized you have attributes few others in your field seem to have, but which you think an employer would appreciate? Share these!

Even before the interview, cover letters are a great place to show enthusiasm and a personal touch, a hint at a fascinating story, which would make them want to talk to you and learn more. Tell them, if it’s true;

• This is exactly the kind of job I’ve been looking for, with my new degree/credentials/etc. …

• My experiences in the fields of x and y, make me an excellent candidate for this position, as I have the cross-disciplines I believe this kind of work needs…

• I am passionate about x. I have recently received y training, and am willing to learn whatever you have to teach me…

• I grew up doing x and y, and I appreciate the opportunity to bring my experience in z and new training to an old love…

• I have traveled x, y, and z extensively. Because of this, combined with my skills and experience in a and b, I believe I am just the person you are looking for to develop and grow your business/program…

Employers want to be interested in and confident in the candidate they choose. They want someone who will appreciate the opportunity, not merely someone hoping to smugly snag a well-paying, influential position, with great benefits, then relax and be lazy. They’ll choose someone with less experience, if they believe that person will work hard and fit in with the team.

Show your enthusiasm at every point of the process. Make sure they see why they should choose you, over your competition. Get them to smile, and nod in those interviews, showing they are connecting with you. Be excited. Enjoy your interview. Enjoy the process. Or, move on to another opportunity that fits you better.