How to Answer: “Why Should We Hire You Over the Other Candidates?”

interview candidate

There are a few classic questions that have a tendency to pop up frequently in job interviews.

One of the most open-ended – and arguably one of the most important – usually comes up last, and can be a doozy:

“So, why should we hire you?”

What they mean to discern is why they should pick you out of all the other candidates who have applied and been interviewed. This question is really common in interviews, and can play a large role in the hiring manager’s decision.

As trite as the question can seem out of context, it’s actually a great opportunity for you, as the candidate, to neatly summarize what makes you the best fit for the job.

Also read: 3 Simple Ways to Find Cultural Fit During an Interview

So here are a few ways to make your answer to this question stand out from the crowd:

  • Show Them What’s in It for Everyone

This is the perfect time to bring mutual benefits to the table. If you prove that your potential employer is getting a hardworking, enthusiastic team member, and you’ll get to work for a company or manager you’ve admired, you’ll be in good shape.

Listing what the company gets by hiring you may be an obvious call, but don’t forget to talk about what’s in it for you. This will let your potential new manager know what inspires and motivates you. By taking the intersection of their interests and yours, you’ll demonstrate real interest in this job as the next step in your career.

  • Highlight Your Unique Qualities

The interviewer is looking for a candidate to stand out from the others. So why would you list the same skillset and qualities as everyone else?

Also read: Why You Need to Keep Your Professional Skills Up

Focus on what makes you unique. Maybe you’ve had experience working abroad, or helped to launch a nonprofit organization. If there’s something that makes you stand out, even if it isn’t directly related to the job description, you should highlight it. Make sure you’re conveying your uniqueness in a way that positions you well for the job.

Your interviewer will be sure to remember you, and that makes you stand out.

  • Give Them Your Elevator Pitch

This is the perfect opportunity to break out your well-rehearsed elevator pitch. Whatever your answer ends up being, make it clear, quick and concise.

Your elevator pitch is one of the most important aspects of a job interview. It’s your chance to summarize who you are, what makes you unique and what you’re looking for in a position.

Be sure to keep your answer brief, no more than a minute long. Start by explaining what you think your interviewer needs in an employee, and then pick just a couple aspects of your resume or personal experiences to explain how you’re the best person to fill the need of your potential employer.

Also read: How to Craft a Career Transition Elevator Pitch

  • Avoid Clichés

Whatever you say, say it creatively.

A lot of people fall into the trap of rehearsing answers to interview questions that are filled with uninspired language, talking points and clichés. Avoid trite phrases that will make your answers sound canned and generic.

Clichéd phrases drive interviewers crazy, because it doesn’t show them you’re willing to go above and beyond to demonstrate your interest in the job:

  • “If I have one weakness, it’s that I’m a perfectionist.”
  • “I’m a perfect fit for the position.”
  • “I’m a natural leader.”
  • “I’m a team player.”
  • Be a Problem Solver

Think about the reason that your potential employer posted the position that you’re now interviewing for. It’s usually because there’s a problem that needs to be solved or a hole that needs to be filled. Whether it’s that someone left a position or that a new position has been created, the situation is generally the same.

Use this opportunity to be the solution to the problem at hand. Chances are, your interviewer has given you some insight into what their pain points are, and you can use that to cater your response to their problems. Choose the aspects of your work history that best address their needs.

The truth is that a ton of candidates can stand out from the crowd. The trick to the perfect answer to “Why should we hire you?” is knowing your interviewer and tailoring your existing skills and experience to the situation at hand.

The difference between those who get hired and those who don’t is often the small details. Use these tips, and you’ll stand out from the crowd.

About the Author

After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and Economics, Sarah Landrum moved to Harrisburg to begin her career as a marketing specialist. In addition to her marketing career, Sarah is the founder of Punched Clocks, a career site for young professionals about creating a happier, more successful career. Be sure to check out her site, subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on social media for more great tips!