Why should we hire you?

So, its interview time!  (Just like game time, only less enjoyable for most.)  You are prepped and ready to go!  Now what?

Typically during the interview process, you will get asked a series of typical interview questions relating to you job history, your experience and why you left various positions when you did.  More sophisticated interviewers often ask several behavioral/situational interview questions in order to gauge your personality and how well you will fit into the company culture.  These interview questions may consist of things like; “Give me an example of a mistake you made and how you were able to fix it.”, OR “Can you describe a time you were really stressed at work and how you handled that stress”, OR “If you are given three projects simultaneously by 3 different managers, how would you handle that?”  And, so the interview goes…

Over the years, I have found that one of the most difficult questions for someone to answer is “Why should we hire you?”  You know you can all remember a time when you were asked this very same question, you stared blankly, and all you could think of was “Lady, because I need a job.”   However, instead of saying that and horrifying the interviewer, you come up with something like “I feel that that I have a lot to offer and would be a great match to your team.”  As a recruiter with many years of experience, I think to myself…OH REALLY, Says “who”?  If you are going to make a statement like that, you should have collateral to back up what you are saying.  A great thing at this point would be to show the interviewer some sample letters of recommendation that reference your work and what you do bring to the table.

One of the most significant things I tell everyone prior to interviewing with a client is to research the company that they are interviewing with.  And, when I say “research” I don’t just mean glancing at the website for 5 minutes.  To really set yourself apart, you need to STUDY the website, the company’s history, the executives listed, any stock information, etc.  Also, when you are interviewing it is important to gather information along the way by asking intelligent questions.  Examples, “Mr. Smith, what are some of the biggest challenges you are facing in your department.  What do you think will help alleviate some of those challenges?  What characteristics will make someone successful within your department?”  If you are able to gather information from the hiring manager, you will be able to answer that dreaded “Why should we hire you?” question, thoughtfully.  You can set yourself apart by using those challenges that the hiring manager is facing and offering solutions on how you can help alleviate some of those pains.  Now, THAT is why you should be hired!  Good luck!

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