Every interviewer has his or her own unique style, but certain questions are universal. Other than the must-ask “tell me about yourself”, the question “why should we hire you” is probably the most common one you’ll face in more than one of your interviews.

Your answer to this question should be a concise sales pitch that explains what you can bring to the table to benefit the employer. Remember, companies hire talent to solve problems and grow their business. Therefore, you need to make yourself the solution to their specific problems. You need to know the needs of the company, and present yourself in a way that proves your countless value and possibilities for the betterment of their company. Here are some key points you should look at when answering this question:

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What the Interviewer Is Really Asking

You may be asked this question in different forms, such as, “why we should hire you?” “why are you the best candidate for the position?” or “why do you think you are a good fit for this role?” When an interviewer asks this question, they are assessing how well you understand the job and how confident you are with your abilities.

By asking this questions, the interviewers are actually asking what you can do for their company that makes you the best fit for this position.  Your answer to the variations of the question should remain the same: you must prove that you understand the role and the company, and that you are able to help them succeed in the area in need.

Match Your Top Skills with Job Requirements

Review the job description and look for the key requirements and responsibilities listed. Look for what the employer is addressing as requirements of the job and what it takes to get the job done. Make a list of those requirements.

Next, match your own skills with the top 3 – 5 job responsibilities, experience requirements, or characteristics requested, and explain how they match to the role. Don’t underestimate personal traits that can make you stand out: your energy, personality, working style and people skills are all very important to any job.

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Know What the Company Wants

The more you know about the company, the stronger the impression you’ll make with your answer. Other than the job posting itself, look for clues about the company’s goals and visions on their website and social media channels, and further discover the current issues they face.

But don’t stop there. You can also research their employees on LinkedIn, and build your connection with the company. Set up informational meetings with people who currently work at the company to learn more about their challenges and the role. 

Explain What Makes You Unique

Only demonstrating how useful you are to the company is not enough. You need to show that you have something to offer that no one else can. Like snowflakes, no two people are alike. Take the time to figure out what makes you special.

Pick a valuable yet unique skill or experience that will set you apart from the other candidates. You want the interviewer to remember you as a qualified and stand-out candidate. For example, if the company is looking for someone to help with new business development, and you happen to have worked at a startup company who expanded recently, then boom, you’ve got your unique selling point.

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The sales pitch: You are the solution

From the list of requirements, match what you have to offer and merge 3-5 into a summary statement. This is your sales pitch. It should be no more than three minutes long and should express the traits that make you unique and a good match for the job.

Here’s an example answer provided by Monster.com: “From our conversations, it sounds as if you’re looking for someone to come in and take charge immediately. It also sounds like you are experiencing problems with some of your database systems. With my seven years of experience working with financial databases, I have saved companies thousands of dollars by streamlining systems. My high energy and quick learning style enable me to hit the ground and size up problems rapidly. My colleagues would tell you I’m a team player who maintains a positive attitude and outlook. I have the ability to stay focused in stressful situations and can be counted on when the going gets tough. I’m confident I would be a great addition to your team.”

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