Why should I hire you? In an interview.

One of the most common questions asked in an interview is “Why should I hire you?”. These questions can also appear as  follows:

  1. Why should I hire you?
  2. What makes you think you’re the person for this job?
  3. Out of all the candidates, what’s special about you?
  4. What do you bring?
  5. Why do you think you’re the right fit?
  6. What skills do you think are important for this role?
  7. Knowing, what you know about our organisation, why are you the right person?

These are some of the responses I have heard from interviewees:

  1. I’m the best. (with no follow-up)
  2. Why wouldn’t you choose me, I’m most qualified.
  3. Seriously,….We’ve covered this already.
  4. I represent the most value for money. (with no follow-up)
  5. I’ll turn up to work on time.
  6. I really need this job.
  7. I won’t take sick days.
  8. Mmmm…ahhh well I’ve got the qualifications and I really want the job.
  9. I’m not one for being indirect. If something not right I will definitely speak up regardless of who is in the room.

If you don’t properly prepare your responses may create uncertainty, therefore, the hiring manager/HR may see you as a risk to the business and its people.  When a hiring/HR manager hears a risk answer like some of the above responses. They automatically start looking for the second then the third and at that point your chance of completing the interview successfully is unlikely.  Preparation is critical because you want to last as long as possible, enough so you’re the last person standing. You must represent value and really the only way to do that is understand the job, the organisation and the market the organisation works in. It’s competitive advantage.

Asking, Why should I hire you?reveals a few of things:

  1. Your career goals are aligned with the position and the organisation.
  2. Can you really deliver the results that the organisation needs and can you provide a real competitive advantage? Your competitive advantage is critical to understand.
  3. Do you fit in the team, the organisation and fill the gap in the team and or organisation?
  4. Do your unique combination of hard skills, soft skills and experience create a current/future competitive advantage for the organisation.
  5. Are you able to communicate in a way that influences and persuades? and
  6. Do you know anything about the organisation/market and its position.

Answering, Why should I hire you?

You definitely need a format to answer this question. Not being able to adequately influence and persuade the interviewer will lead to a no decision or a rejection letter.

This question is essentially a sales job. Think about it this way, we all are selling something. Whether or not you agree, we are constantly selling. We sell ideas, products, services and processes. Have you ever made a suggestion and tried to influence the outcome? Like, ”let’s have Thai food tonight” but your friend wants pizza. What reasons did you come up with to change their mind and see it your way.  How many reasons did you come up with 1, 2, 3, 4 -10? It’s sales right.

How do you influence and persuade? There are many ways to do this. Here are two methods but there are others. One way is using FBA. FBA, stands for features, benefits and advantages. The other method is using a form of the elevator pitch called the Gaddie pitch.

Strategy #1

Let’s look at FBA first.

It’s a simple formula,

Features, in other words, “My skills/capability…….”

Benefits, in other words, “which means to you/organisation…”

Advantages, in other words, “And that means…..”

Here are some examples below,

Example 1

Why should I hire you?

There are a number of reasons why I am the ideal candidate for the position.

My capability extends to conflict management and beyond, which means that I am able to effectively deliver resolutions and solutions both internally and externally, which really means that when you delegate to me I can deliver the right result both for your business and your customer. An example is when I solved a client issue that was going to cost the organisation over $1000 but because I was able to apply Gottman’s model of conflict, I not only saved the $1000 but saved our customer.

Example 2

Why should I hire you?

There are a number of reasons why I am the ideal candidate for this position.

My capability in commercial and residential sales goes beyond merely the transactional relationship, which means I actively increase the per sale revenue consistently, which really means that I can package sales(bundle), build relationships and manage the client.  I qualify and really listen to what the customer is attempting to solve. An example as provided earlier is my average sales has increased 10% over the last 4 quarters. Which I intend to keep doing for you when I’m hired.

Example 3

Why should I hire you?

There are a number of reasons why I am the ideal candidate/employee for this position.

My capabilities extend to managing and executing projects up to $5M, which means I can quickly walk into this position with minimal supervision, direction and begin delivering real results to your organisation and your customer, which really means I’ve created real value both short term and long term because:

a. I’m qualified,

b. I have the experience in large projects and

c. I have managed teams and consistently brought my projects in on time and on budget. You could provide an example here.

That’s the structure you could put your response into. Be sure to have 3 or 4 FBA’s and examples to support your statements.

Don’t walk into an interview without your stories/examples. Don’t think you’ll be Johnny on the spot when this question is asked. Be prepare with some good examples that demonstrated capability.

Strategy #2

The elevator pitch (I know it’s not traditional, but it’s still a valuable tool)

The traditional use of an elevator pitch is to begin a conversation. The definition;

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organisation does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name.

To formulate the pitch I like using the Gaddie Pitch, It contains 3 questions you must answer:

  1. Who is the target customer?
  2. What are their typical problems?
  3. What we/I do?(benefits/feelings)

Once you’ve collected that information put it together as follows.

  1. You know how target has these problems?
  2. What I do (benefits/feeling)?
  3. In fact, here is an example.(provide an example/story that demonstrates it)

For example, say it’s a retail job in a sporting goods store that you’re going for. You need to consider it from the employer’s perspective. They’re looking for someone who will ultimately create a positive customer experience that translates to sales, that will create a returning customer and positive word of mouth.

Let’s apply the Gaddie to the question of, “why do you want the job?”

Part 1

  1. Who is the target customer?

            Active people or new entrants to sports and exercise

  1. What are the typical problems that the customer?

           Customer browsing and walking out without making a purchase.

  1. What we/I do?(benefits/feeling)?

           I engage customers with my proven sales training and close 60% of walk-ins.

Part 2

  1. You know when a customer walks into the store most of the other candidates don’t know the products like I do. For example, the customer wants to buy a bike, I qualify/discover what the buyer needs are. Based on that, I show them 3 options and how they could own it now. Whilst other candidates are stuck at, “can I help you?” missing a critical opportunity to add value to the customer.
  2. What I bring to your business is several closing strategies like, “I need to think about”, or “it’s too expensive close” and “I need to think about close” to name a few. This enables me to consistently close customers and create urgency around the product purchase.
  3. In fact, in my current job I sold 5 bikes in one day with an average value of $700 but more importantly, I was able to bundle shoes, puncture repair kit at an additional value of $150 per bike sold.

The Take-Away

Being prepared and understanding the job role, the organisation and market it operates in are valuable. Understand the employer’s perspective is even more important. Next time you’re preparing for an interview consider using FBA’s and or the Gaddie. Not only will you find that the interview flows better but you will be hitting all the value points a hiring manager/HR are looking for. Remember, you always want to come across as a value decision, not a risk decision so practice, practice, practice.

Paint a picture for the employer that puts you in the frame.

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