How to answer the dreaded interview question: ‘Why should we hire you?’

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Almost every time you have an interview you’ll be asked why that company should hire you.

It’s a great way to leave a positive tone with the employers so it’s something you should prepare well, according to career consultant and interview coach, Paul Mullen.

Whilst this question might be a dreaded one, it’s a great way to sell yourself. You’re given the opportunity to talk about something that perhaps the employer didn’t ask you about already, so enjoy it. Give the employer the information they want to give you the job.  

Recruit Ireland spoke with Paul Cullen to find out the no-nonsense way to answer the interview question, ‘Why should we hire you?’.

Why do we struggle with this question?

A lot of us might put it down to our Irish culture of modesty but let’s face it, employers want confident, self-assured employees working for them- so you’ll have to prove that and such a question will give you that chance.

Job seekers struggle with this question for a number of reasons according to Paul. One way to fail at it, is failing to prepare at all. “It’s a no brainer, this question will be asked at most interviews so prepare your answer in advance.”

Another reason people struggle with the answer is poor preparation. “[People] prepare bland answers, full of cliches. Steer clear of answers you find on the internet,” Paul warned.

Lastly, “They copy and paste – use the exact same answer for every interview”- remember just like a cv, prepare your answer tailored for the company you’re interviewing for, be concise. Being too general won’t set you apart and it might also mean delivering a response longer than the average interview answer which is 1-2 minutes.

How to structure the answer

Paul gives three main pointers on how to structure it.

  • “Less is more – pick three reasons they should hire you”.
  • Paul advises to think outside the box, “Be smart – pick points related to the role and the answers are in the job spec.” 
  • “Be succinct – State each of the points with a little slice of evidence to back it up, this creates more impact”.

The answer you give is a great way to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants so be original. Remember, according to Legal Jobs US, on average 118 people apply for a single job, so highlight the qualities that you think will make you stand out from the crowd.

What do employers want to hear when they ask this question?

“Very simply, employers want to hear how you’ll add value, fix their problems, and make their lives easier,” Paul said.

“It’s not just the words – it’s the tone and body languages. Deliver your answer with energy,” he concluded. 

For more on latest news in the hiring space, make sure you checkout our recruitment news section.

If you are a recent graduate or just someone seeking to explore the job market, make sure to check out the different recruitment opportunities with Recruit Ireland:


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