It’s the moment of truth: You’re on the job hunt, have landed an interview and it’s going well. You’re making a great impression on the person you’re meeting with, and it really feels as if you have this locked up. Then all of a sudden, you’re hit with the big question: "Why should I hire you?"
On its face, it may seem like an easy question, but that can be deceptive. There’s a lot riding on your answer (namely a new job), and the way in which you answer the question may reveal a great deal to the person who’s making the hiring decision.
Don’t worry — there are some effective strategies for how to handle this question that can help turn a good interview into a great one, ensure that you leave a positive, lasting impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of getting hired. The Balance, a personal finance website, published an article highlighting proven strategies for handling the, "Why should I hire you?" question. Consider taking advantage of the following tips: Build your pitch
Your answer to the question should reflect a deep awareness of the requirements of the position that you’re interviewing for, the needs of the company and the personality traits, skills and experience that make you an ideal candidate.
This means that you should always do your homework before getting to the interview, and you should be ready to confidently connect the dots between you, the employer and their needs. It never hurts to take a look at the keywords in the job posting and incorporate some of them into your answer. Still, you should always be ready to tweak your answer to reflect any new information you get during the interview.
Keep it brief
A good answer to the question should not be an endless soliloquy. Keep it short, simple and to the point.
Your one goal is to succinctly encapsulate why you bridge the gap between the position you’re vying for and the needs of the company.
Think a minute or two, tops.
Anything longer may exhaust the listener.
What makes you stand out?
It’s always smart to keep in mind that for every good answer you have for every interview question that arises, there’ll be a pack of other qualified candidates who are prepared with good answers, too. Make sure your response separates you from the crowd. Anything that makes you unique and could be viewed as a potential check mark in the "pro" column when hiring personnel are deciding about you is fair game.
Perhaps the interviewer mentioned that the company is seeking to expand its business internationally and you speak the language of a country that they may be looking to do business in — that could be a potential game changer.
Try to have your own game changer in mind when facing this question. Not only will you seem well-suited for the job, but it will also show that you’ve done your homework and know what the company is all about.
"Why should I hire you?" is a question that has the potential to leave you rambling while not saying much of anything.
Don’t waste your opportunity to create a powerful, pointed answer. Your interviewer will be impressed with your ability to summarize all you have to offer in a focused soundbite — you’ll look prepared, confident and responsible, all traits that are key to getting the job.
Eric Titner has been an editor and content creator for more than a decade. His primary professional focus has been on education- and career-related topics. He currently lives in New York City.