Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why Should I Hire You? How to Answer One of the Most Important Interview Questions

This popular interview question is often one of the last questions asked by your interviewer. It is often your last chance to make your sales pitch and to the employer. It is you opportunity to demonstrate that you have done your research, you know the company's need and goals, and that you have a solid idea of how you can be of assistance to the organization.

There is really no one right way to answer this question. However, I would like to give you some do's and don'ts as you prepare yourself for what just may be one of the most important questions you will face.

  • DON'T ever try to be flippant or funny with your answer. By saying something to the effect of "Because I am the best chocolate chip cookie baker you will meet, so potlucks will be amazing." is not how you will best take advantage of this opportunity to sell yourself.
  • DO your research in advance. Find out what the company needs, what is going on in their "world," and discover the reasons or motivation behind why they are hiring for this position. Formulate your answer based on this research to give one final pitch that you are the solution to their problems.
  • DON'T sound desperate. Probably the worst answer to this question is "Because I need a job!" The employer is not looking for the employee with the greatest need. Instead they are looking for the one who brings the most value.
  • DO have a solid idea of what skills and abilities make you a cost-effective employee. Sell the benefits you can bring to the employer and offer a few solid examples in your answer.
  • DON'T be vague or speak using platitudes or generalities. You will not stand out from the crowd by offering the employer the same generic answer as most people: "I am a hard worker and a team player." Set yourself apart from the crowd by stating your skills and clarifying how those skills will benefit your potential employer.
  • DO tie together your entire interview with your response to this question. Refer back to previous answers where you offered examples and told stories that demonstrated how you have used these skills to benefit previous employers. Telling stores and offering evidence makes the statements much more believable. 

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