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Glenford Smith | How to answer the question: Why should I hire you?

Published:Monday | May 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Q: Mr Smith, how should I deal with the question: "Why should I hire you?" I feel like job interviewers would want the answer to this question in order to hire you. It sounds like you should know the answer, but I don't. How do you propose I answer it?

A: Thank you for your email. This is arguably the most important question you need to answer at a job interview. After all, the job interviewer will need to answer favourably in his own mind before he can hire you.

This question floors many candidates because they rarely give it the time and attention that it deserves. As a result of this, many find they are unprepared for it. As a consequence, they stammer, ad-lib, or answer it off the cuff, and blow it. Don't let this happen to you.

In preparation for your job interview, there are certain critical things to do beforehand. You must find out the interviewer's likely questions, this one included. List and memorise them. You will see how this helps you in replying to this question. You must uncover that interviewer's unique needs before you attempt to answer his question. You must put the needs included in the ad.

If you discover your interviewer's greatest needs and desires, you will have a significant advantage over your competition. By better articulating it, you will give him sound reasons for hiring you over someone else. Those reasons will be more compelling because they are tied directly to his needs.

This question can be asked of you explicitly or some variation, such as why should they hire you and not someone else. Whatever, you should recognise it right away.


Think carefully


So you are in the interview. And you say to the interviewer, "I will gladly answer your question, but first I would like to understand your needs. I don't want to waste your time, so could you give me a list of the company's most pressing problem? All I know is what I see in the advertisement." Then you sit and wait until he gives you answer.

Go through your list mentally, and compare it with the list he is giving you. Then walk through the position's requirement, and follow each with a reason why you meet that requirement. Note the following example interviewing for security supervisor.

"As I understand your needs, you are primarily looking for someone to ensure the safety and security of staff, valuable materially and classified documents. You've said you need someone to train security personnel, conduct investigations and liaise with third parties, with a minimum of three years' experience.

"First, I have thirteen years of experience, where I was responsible for securing more than $100,000,000 on a weekly basis. I was responsible for the men and women who were tasked with the documents of various clients. There was an incident only last week with an officer, in which I conducted and filed the report.

"I routinely organise training for them, whether using on-site personnel or hiring someone who we figure can deliver. In all these instances, I have to interact with people inside and outside the organisation."

Grasp the opportunity to outsell your competition.

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.