Why Should We Hire You? 10 Example Answers By Job Type [2020 Updated]

why should we hire you

When an interviewer asks you "why should we hire you" or more commonly, "why should we hire you", you better be prepared to answer with a sales pitch for the hiring manager. This is an important interview question and one that might come up almost immediately in your interview sessions. If you mistake this question for a similar one, like "why do you want to work here" you will be answering incorrectly. In this guide we're going to show you how to answer the question "why should we hire you" in a brand new technique, that's never been told before. And hopefully, impress your hiring manager or interviewer.

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Table of Contents

Interview Questions That Sound Similar But Are Not

It’s important to recognize that when the interviewer asks you, “Why should we hire you” it’s a little different than the question “why do you want this job?” Though questions like this might seem similar, it’s imperative that you are paying close attention to which question the interviewer is asking so that you can target your answers to them. Most interview guides will tell you these questions are similar enough to answer in the same way. But that’s false. If you hear “why should we hire you” be sure you answer according to this guide. Any other variation of the question needs a more targeted response.

Those questions might be one of the following. Each one of the questions is a separate guide that we have to help you answer it most effectively:

What They Want To Know When Asking “Why Should We Hire You”

The interviewer asks this question because they want to know that you have the capacity to “upsell” yourself to them. That means they are looking for a confident answer with good reasoning. One that is going to potentially surprise them. The interviewer is putting themselves into a neutral position, meaning they are neglecting any prior conversations you’ve already had and hoping that your answer to this question sells them on the idea that you are the perfect candidate.

Pro tip: TalentNow reports that 40% of employees surveyed in 2018 mentioned that they plan on changing jobs in the next year. This means more employers are seeking employees who may be a more stable and long-term hire.

Because of this you want to ensure that when you put together the structure of your answer that it is always:

Your Body Language Is Important When Answering This Interview Question

When answering a question like this, it’s important that you focus on your delivery of the question. Meaning, your body language. The length of your answer is a core component to what makes you come off as prepared and confident vs. unprepared and lacking confidence. Your answer should always be between 60 - 90 seconds, or under 2 minutes. You should practice answering the question in advance so that you know you’re staying within this zone. Your hiring manager will pick up on all of these signals.

But when you answer the question, it’s important you think through what your body language is saying, too. That means, be sure you are in a comfortable position, your hands are folded, you are making eye contact with the employer and you are presenting yourself as comfortable. This will exude confidence in the interview and when you’re answering.

How To Answer "Why Should We Hire You?" (Target Your Answer)

What most guides will tell you is that it’s important to target your answer to the company. And while that is true, you should actually go one step beyond that and try to understand the requirements for the job at that particular company. That means, trying to do your diligence in understanding what the values are for the company AND that particular position. This will give you the upper hand in being able to answer with something great. Because you could start your answer off with, “I believe I understand the needs of the job and they are X, Y, Z” and that will reaffirm your reasoning for what you are about to present to the interviewer. Without that knowledge, you’ll essentially be “shooting into the dark” and your answer will lack sufficient evidence.

What If They Ask “Why Do You Want This Job?”

This is the most common similar interview question. If they ask you this, be sure that you recognize this is a different question. The reason is that “why should we hire you” is a question that asks you to sell them on the idea that you are a fitting candidate. But “why do you want this job” is more of a question asking for your reasoning behind your passion for the job function and the company. Those are two separate forms of delivery. Be sure you read our guide on answering “why do you want this job” so you can see how the subtle difference of a question can lead to a much different delivery and answer.

What If They Ask "Why Should We Hire You Over Other Candidates?"

If the interviewer asks you, "Why should we hire you over candidates?" the best way to respond is with the same qualities that answer "why should we hire you" but with a few minor adjustments. The first is that you want to make sure you aren't putting down the other candidates. And that you aren't using this as a platform to simply say, "because I'm the best."

Instead, begin your answer with something like, "Well, I haven't met those other candidates and I'm sure they're incredibly talented professionals. But I'm confident in my abilities and I'd be happy to go through them with you. Here's what I feel makes me unique." And then go into your actual answer.

The reason for this is that it makes you sound professional and courteous. Plus, it makes you seem like more of a team player. There's always a chance they could hire two candidates from the interview process and you don't want to be the one who was overly competitive and make that the deciding factor that turns them away.

What Qualities Make Up A Good Answer To This Interview Question

When you think about your own way of answering this interview question, there are a few factors you should consider. In short, you are creating a soft sales pitch. So when you do that be sure that you are thinking about:

Those will be some great starting points when you think about structuring and accentuating the sales pitch on yourself as the best candidate.

2 Example Answers To “Why Should We Hire You” For The Sales Department

“Based on my knowledge of the company and the position, it appears there’s a requirement for all sales associates to be autonomous and to be focused on delivering results. Due to work experience and my career path, I’ve become comfortable in that type of environment. I was able to increase sales by nearly 4X last year at my prior position. I’d like to do that here.”

“If I understand the needs of the job correctly, it appears there’s a highly collaborative sales environment. I identify as a collaborative person who enjoys team-building. I also find myself a natural in terms of sales. If you were to ask me to sell you a pen, I could. Bottom line, I’d love to be part of this company.”

2 Example Answers To “Why Should We Hire You” For The Marketing Department

“It appears that the marketing department is focused heavily on growth. I’ve been part of countless growth efforts at both startups and mid-sized companies. Due to that experience, I feel like I could bring a lot of that knowledge to the team and collaborate in a way that’s highly quantitative. I have plenty of results I could show the team and have that be a driver for our work.”

“If I understand the needs of the job correctly, the marketing department is always focused on the management of active initiatives as well as the development of new ones. I’m a highly organized individual with a wealth of experience in all types of branding efforts. I feel like I’m a good fit for the job.”

2 Example Answers To “Why Should We Hire You” For The Creative Department

“If I understood the needs of the job correctly, the creative department is the internal consultants to a wide variety of teams. Because of my past, I’m comfortable working with many stages of projects as well as types of companies. And that’s a competitive advantage to being able to be an internal consultant here.”

“My background is pretty focused on one particular thing, using creative execution as a way to drive a business and a brand forward. It appears as though that’s the requirement you have for any designer or creative here at the company. I feel like I’m a perfect fit. Am I wrong on that assessment?”

2 Example Answers To “Why Should We Hire You” For The Operations Department

“Based on what I’ve read online and what you’ve told me in this interview, the company seems to value its ethics and the way it operates pretty heavily. I’m skilled in the people management side of operations and have been part of changing and nurturing culture in many of my previous positions. I’d like to do that here.”

“Operations to me is the idea that there are business requirements that must be met so that everyone who works here can do their best work. And I find myself being a better problem-solver than most. I’d like to ensure that this ship runs smoothly and that everyone can do the world-class work they were hired to do.”

Example Answer To "Why Should We Hire You" For Nurses

If you are going into the nursing field, here's a wonderful example of how you might be able to answer the "why should we hire you" interview question.

"From our conversation, it seems as though this hospital has a strict set of values that align with my personal morals. From the way that we treat patients to the duties that we take on as team members. If I'm correct in my assessment, it seems as though we can be slightly understaffed at times. Meaning I need to be comfortable with multi-tasking and taking initiative. My last job gave me plenty of experience doing both of those things. If you'd like I can tell you a few scenarios of which I was able to multi-task under pressure and take initiative."

Example Answer To "Why Should We Hire You" For Teachers

If you are going into the education field, particularly as a teacher, your answer will still contain our guidelines for structuring a proper response. Here's an example for teachers.

"Walking around the school/campus I can feel the importance of the ethics, morals, and values that you have as a principal/dean. It appears as though the teachers here are more than just educators but they are advisors and mentors. I pride myself on treating young adults with respect and educating them on both our studies as well as what life has to come. I'd be more than happy to share with you experiences from my last position which shows I'm comfortable providing guidance when the opportunity arises."

Examples Of Bad Answers To "Why Should We Hire You"

You would be surprised how many people respond to this interview question with some of the bad answers you're about to read. Use this as a tool to make sure that your answer doesn't fall into a similar vein of delivery as some of these bad example answers:

All of these would be examples of a bad answer to this common interview question.

Job Search FAQ

Common questions that each job seeker has regarding this common job interview question.

Should I highlight my skills with this interview question?

Some interviewers choose to highlight and answer using technical skills, analytical skills, and communication skills to their advantage. Though, using your soft skills to support your reasoning is not great. And it won't make you stand out to your potential employer. Instead, use a past achievement to support your fit for the position and your ability to execute.

Does this question come up when I apply for internship positions?

Yes. This is a fairly common interview question that you could expect to come up during an internship interview. Or a question that a recruiter might ask you in advance of your internship.

Is it a good idea to support my understanding of the job requirements?

Only when you are looking to bring up a prior work achievement or career accomplishment. Then you should phrase your answer in a way that says, "I know you are seeking this type of applicant and here are my accomplishments that support it." This is a way of building a great answer and can separate you from the other job candidates very quickly.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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