When an employer asks you, “Why should we hire you?” she is really asking, “What makes you the best fit for this position?” Your answer to this question should be a concise “sales pitch” that explains what you have to offer the employer.
The best way to respond is to give concrete examples of why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position. Here's how to prepare your response.
Think of the Job Listing
To prepare an answer to this question, look at the job listing. Make a list of the requirements for the position, including personality traits, skills, and qualifications. Then, make a list of the qualities you have that fit these requirements. For each quality, think of a specific time that you used that trait to achieve something at work. For example, if you list that you are a “team player,” think of a time in which your ability to work well on a team resulted in a successfully completed project.
Keep it Concise
You want your answer to be brief – no more than a minute or two long. Therefore, select one or two specific qualities from the list you created to emphasize in your “sales pitch.” Begin by explaining what you believe the employer is looking for, and how you fulfill that need.
Focus on your Uniqueness
The interviewer wants to know how you stand out amongst the other applicants. Therefore, focus on one or two qualities you possess that might be unique, or more difficult to find, in other interviewees. For example, if you are very experienced with a certain skill that the job requires, say so. This is your chance to tell the interviewer why you would be an invaluable employee.
Examples of Answers
You have explained that you are looking for a sales executive who is able to effectively manage over a dozen employees. In my fifteen years of experience as a sales manager, I have developed strong motivational and team-building skills. I was twice awarded manager-of-the-year for my innovative strategies for motivating employees to meet and surpass quarterly deadlines. If hired, I will bring my leadership abilities and strategies for achieving profit gains to this position.
You describe in the job listing that you are looking for a special education assistant teacher with an abundance of patience and compassion. Having served as a tutor at a summer school for dyslexic children for the past two years, I have developed my ability to be extremely patient while still achieving academic gains with my students. My experience teaching phonics to children ages 6 to 18 has taught me strategies for working with children of all ages and abilities, always with a smile. My previous employer often placed me with the students with the most severe learning disabilities because of my history of success. I will bring not only experience, but patience and creative problem-solving, to this position.
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