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How do you answer the question, “why should we hire you?”

This is a fairly common interview question, which I have often struggled with. Do you point to your specific accomplishments, try to guess their needs, keep it more general or what?


Ernie Humphrey CTP
Title: CEO & COO
Company: Treasury Webinars
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO & COO, Treasury Webinars) |

If they ask it early in the interview, you answer back with a question, "what are the most important issues and opportunities this position with encounter short term and long term?". Then you respond to the answer after getting that invaluable "intelligence".

Note that if you do your due diligence you should have a decent idea of the answer before the interview. Ask it in a phone interview if you are being screened for an in person interview.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

As Ernie mentions do your due diligence. Take it a step further and see if you align with their culture. You can learn things about a company's culture by looking on its website. I wouldn't stop there. Do an internet search for what others are saying about the company. Companies that are publically traded will have more information than private ones.

If you fit into the culture of the hiring company then when you're asked why you should be the one hired, point to their culture and explain why you, as an individual, would be the best fit. Don't forget to express your skills and experiences though.

Companies want to know you're competent, but they also want someone who'll be a contributor to the overall goals of the company.

Didier Jupillat
Title: CFO
(CFO, |

I can't help referring you to Liz Ryan's great answers to those "silly and pointless" interview questions in the Forbes article she contributed to back in February:

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

That was the best advice on finding an appropriate job that I have seen in a long, long time. It replaced the frequent platitudes about one's resume or creative answers to mundane and irrelevant questions with brutal honesty. In a round about way, it told all the "HR professionals" and "career" or "life" coaches who peddle their services like the spam email we get everyday promising the secrets to wealth, wait loss and happiness, where they could get off.

And, it did so with tact and aplomb, a rare approach in these days of rampant incivility.

Listen up all of you who hire: We come to you for an interview after submitting all kinds of personal information about ourselves so you can make judgements about us in person. We also judge a potential employer by how were treated when you follow up on that application we submitted and how we're treated when we come in for that interview. It's a two way street.

Full disclosure:

I have interviewed in the past where I was already employed elsewhere and expected the potential employer to be selling me on coming over to them as much as I was trying to sell them on hiring me in the first place. i.e. I wasn't a sheepie job seeker but an interested applicant.

I asked just as many questions about the company, the position, the future, the management, the culture as they asked about my education, experience, ability and even ridiculous items like family status! I worked hard at not coming across as arrogant or obnoxious but as someone interested enough in a future relationship to find out as much as I could about what I was getting into before I made the leap of faith.

More than once I remember being told as I queried the interviewer(s) , "You can hold your questions until a later date, should we wish to make you an offer. We're doing the hiring. We'll ask the questions."

I also recall answering that remark on one occasion with, "Not anymore. I'm no longer interested" as I stood up and walked out to the chagrin of the rude witch that was conducting the interview and expressing doubt about my abilities.

Thanks but no thanks.

In some cases, I was referred to those openings via networking connections. And, because of those inside contacts, I was able to get some feedback on the interviewer's opinion of how things went.

More than once I heard the word "arrogant" used to describe my interview. Which always made me laugh. Execs and HR types just don't like it when they don't hold all the power in the hiring process. They'll even say or do stupid things to try and assert that authority.

(Tax/Business Consultant) |

@Didier Jupillat

Thanks for the link for a good read.


"why should we hire you?”

It's more like.. job candidate to interviewer...
"[Give me reasons] Why should I want to work for you?"

Too many companies nowadays advertise for the "best" candidates with so-called skills in almost every area.

There's no such thing as the "best" candidate such as there's no such thing as the "best boss" or "best company".

IF there are such candidates, why would they waste their time/resources working for those companies instead of starting up their own companies and working for themselves?!

Companies should consider themselves lucky to find "competent" candidates and ones that are willing to work. Treat employees like valued assets instead of disposable assets and both parties will succeed!

Title: CFO
Company: CFO
(CFO, CFO) |

Why shouldn't you?

(Analyst - Finance) |

@ Didier Jupillat-Thanks for the article reference, I read it as well.
And @ Anonymous (Tax/Business Consultant), I completely agree with your comment: “…There's no such thing as the "best" candidate such as there's no such thing as the "best boss" or "best company". And “…Companies should consider themselves lucky to find "competent" candidates and ones that are willing to work. Treat employees like valued assets instead of disposable assets and both parties will succeed!”


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