There are some interview questions which are generic and commonly asked by most interviewers, but still leave the interviewee clueless about how to answer them. One of the most commonly asked confusing question is “why should we hire you?”
Let us take a look at some tips for answering this deceptively simple question.
Similar questions are:
- Why are you the best candidate for this job?
- What would you bring to this position?
- Are you the best fit for this job? Why?
It is a good idea to think of a response for these questions beforehand as a part of your interview prep.
As part of your interview prep, the obvious first step is to take a look at the job requirements. See which requirements you meet and which ones you fit just about and which ones you don’t really meet.
This gives you an idea about your own strengths and weakness. This, in turn, would let you construct a “script” where you can play up strong points and find a response to compensate for the weak points, if any.
That brings us to the next point.
Emphasize the Right Things:
It is necessary to emphasize your skills and knowledge when you are asked this question, because that’s what the employer wants to hear; in fact they want to know what you can contribute to the company. Putting emphasis just on your interests and requirements might not work.
Some do’s and don’ts would make this clear.
Do put emphasis on:
- Your skills
- Your knowledge
- How you can contribute to the company
- Your experience
Do not put emphasis on your personal reasons like:
- I have always been interested in xyz…
- I really need this job…
- I could really use a raise in my income..
- Your office is really close to my house and I wanted to reduce my commute time…
It is necessary to remember you are talking in a professional setting, and not casually talking with a couple of friends.
Keep it Concise:
As with most interview answers, this should also be clear and concise. It is a good idea to keep in mind four or five points about your:
- Technical skills and qualifications
- Industry experience
- Awards and remarkable accomplishments
- Education and training
- Soft skills
Imagine you are structuring a sales pitch…for yourself. This mental trick should help you to quickly think about what all you want to include. Keep the loose script in mind and then use it according to the situation.
Make sure the pitch is about how you can contribute to the company through your skills/education/experience. Remember, we aren’t answering “tell me about yourself”.
But what if we you have applied for a different industry?
Simply saying “I am interested in…” will not do, right? Worry not! Many skills are transferable and a lot of times, the interviewer could be looking for a certain positive and confident attitude. So, how do you talk about your interest, without making it just about you? Let us look at an example.
“Although I am an IT person, I feel this is a good opportunity for me to explore teaching. My previous job involved interacting with clients from all kinds of backgrounds, while delivering suitable IT solutions. I have interacted with people from small districts in the state who wanted to educate the denizens about IT, with teachers from international schools who were looking for a technological upgrade for their classrooms. I feel I have the necessary interpersonal, social and educating skills that would help me pay attention to the needs of each individual student.
I have always been interested in technology, and it would be nice to impart my skills to budding minds.”
This communicates the interest, the soft skills, and of course the motivation behind applying for a job in a different industry.
So the next time you are prepping for an interview, you know what to do!