Why should we hire you?

Career & Education

Why should we hire you?

Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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Dear Career Advisor:

During a recent interview, although I felt very prepared, I was bowled over by the question, “With all the talented candidates we have interviewed today, why should we hire you?” I said something about making a difference in the company, but I could tell the interviewers were not impressed. Needless to say, I did not get the job. What suggestions can you give for answering this or similar questions?





Dear Randy:

This interview question provides the opportunity for you to further convince the interviewer that you are the best fit by demonstrating a clear understanding of the job requirements and how you perceive that you are an excellent match for the position. Whatever you do don't grovel or give a run of the mill clichéd response such as, “I'm a hard worker, I need this job badly plus I've always wanted to work for this company.”

To ace this question or its counterpart 'why do you want this job?' you must prepare. In your preparation you should visualise how your competences match the job requirements for this specific position and how well you – the person and the worker – will fit into the organisation. This is your opportunity to use your personalised sales pitch. Be sure to highlight specific skills and relevant experience, and anything that will give you that competitive edge in meeting any unwritten requirements of the job (for eg your expertise in the use of a job-related specialised software). If you are new to the job market and lacking in experience, be sure to throw in something that indicates your growth potential by citing how you have applied learned principles in solving a problem or an outstanding academic or relevant achievement. It is important that you understand not only the technical requirements of the job, but also the culture and strategic direction of the organisation. This will enable you to speak to your being the right fit in a holistic sense and demonstrate your having a genuine interest that is much more than just getting a job.

The clincher to your response will be that you are not just well-suited but you are a cut above the rest.

All the best for your next interview.


Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at careeradvisor@ncu.edu.jm

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