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Why Should We Hire You Over Other Candidates?

Kellie Hanna by Kellie Hanna, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: October 03, 2022

One of the most common — and challenging — job interview questions is, “Why should I hire you?” Hiring managers ask this question to see if you’re the perfect fit for the job, so your “Why should we hire you” answer should highlight your top strengths and most relevant job qualifications. While it may be intimidating, you can answer this question easily with some thought and preparation. Don’t be nervous! We’re here to help.

In this article, we will

  • Offer guidance for answering the “Why should we hire you” interview question.
  • Show you 20 answer examples to help you craft a great response.
  • Provide mistakes to avoid when answering “Why should I hire you.”
  • Give you tips to help you through the interview.

How to answer “Why should we hire you”

To answer this question to your advantage, you have to show the hiring manager that you’re clear about what the position requires and detail what sets you apart from other candidates. Here’s how to prepare.

Start by thinking about your past experiences, then formulate a structured, concise and cohesive strategy to answer the “Why should we hire you” interview question confidently.

Here’s how to prepare: 

1. Point to a past achievement.

When a hiring manager says, “tell me why we should hire you,” answer by drawing on your accomplishments. Think about a past accomplishment or experience that showcases how you could benefit the company at hand. To do this, research the company and pick an achievement from your resume or cover letter that aligns with its needs.

For example, if you know that the company wants to grow its revenue, and you pointed out in the work section of your resume that you recently helped a past employer do precisely that, then make it a talking point. Use details like numbers and dates in your response and tell the hiring manager why you are confident you can do the same for them. 

2. Tell them how you can solve a problem for the company.

Another good “Why should I hire you” answer involves identifying a problem the company faces and telling the hiring manager how you can fix it. Explain how you would go about solving their problem, then back up your claim with an anecdote or two about how you’ve helped other companies in the past. The more detailed you are about what you can do for them, the better your chance of convincing the hiring manager you’re the best fit

3. Talk up your skills.

Another way you could answer the “Why should we hire you” interview question is to highlight your unique skills that match the job. First, review the job description thoroughly and write down all the required and “nice to have” skills. Next, match those skills to your own and tell a story about how you used them effectively in the past. Be descriptive and provide specific examples.

“Why should we hire you” answers

Prefer to learn by example? Here are 20 expert answers and explanations to help answer “why should we hire you?”

1. “Why should we hire you?” answer

“The job description states that you’re looking for a seasoned writer who can lead a content team and train them in SEO marketing best practices. In my previous experience as an editor, I approved pitches, reviewed all published content, continuously improved our web content, and managed a team of four freelance writers while training eight onsite editors in SEO marketing. By hiring me, you’re hiring a veteran editor with in-depth knowledge of SEO marketing and writing, and the ability to lead, train and mentor others — exactly what you’re looking for.”

This is a good answer because it:

  • Conveys confidence.
  • Points to the part of the job description that defines what the company needs.
  • Clearly expresses, in detail, that the applicant has the skills and experience required to perform the work.

2. “Why should we hire you over other candidates?” sample answer

“In this highly competitive market, I have been exposing myself to numerous learning opportunities during my IT career, both in the public sector at the Department of Defense and in private companies like Capital One. Although I have a diverse background in programming, I believe that proactivity is a key characteristic that sets me apart from other candidates. I took the liberty to research your company. It looks like you could benefit from a disaster recovery plan to prevent data loss from power outages, equipment malfunction and human error. To that end, I have created a sample data loss and recovery plan based on effective programs I’ve implemented in the past that I’d love to share with you.”

This is a good answer because it:

  • Highlights the job candidate’s diverse background in the field.
  • Emphasizes a differentiator (proactivity).
  • Shows that the job seeker took the time to research the company.
  • Identifies a potential need.
  • Demonstrates proactivity by having an example on hand of a possible answer to the company’s need.

3. “Why should we hire you with no experience?” example answer

“After receiving my nursing degree at Johns Hopkins University and my MBA in pharmaceutical and health care marketing at New York University, I interned for four months as a medical sales representative for Johnson & Johnson directly under the company’s marketing director, Charles J. Vernon. My rigorous education and sales work for one the world’s most successful pharmaceutical companies, makes me the perfect candidate for this job. My medical knowledge, sales skills and genuine desire to learn will show in every aspect of my work.”

This is a good answer because it:

  • Mentions degrees the job seeker received at prestigious schools.
  • Points out that the candidate has relevant experience in the form of an internship for a well-known, successful company.
  • Emphasizes that the applicant’s knowledge and experience will make them successful in the role.
  • Highlights practical skills and expresses a genuine desire to grow.

4. “Why should we hire you” sample answers by top job titles

Marketing manager interview example answer

“If you want your brand to be competitive in a highly saturated beauty market, you need a marketing manager with solid experience spearheading marketing and development campaigns for big brands. As a marketing professional who began her career in boutique advertising agencies and moved on to work for multinational retail companies, I’m currently on the latest beauty trends. In the last year, I’ve created more than a dozen successful TikTok and Instagram campaigns for new product launches while helping my current employer increase sales by 49%.”

This “Why should we hire you” answer works because it:

  • Shows confidence and determination without seeming arrogant.
  • Defines the job applicant’s experience in the industry.
  • Highlights the candidate’s accomplishments.
  • Uses numbers for impact.

Sales representative interview answer example

“As your job description states, you’re looking for someone who can generate new sales leads. I have 15 years of experience in lead generation, and I’m excited to use what I know to help your company generate more sales leads. I would use my communication and people skills to help ensure an efficient transition from prospect to customer. This position is a smart step in my career because it builds on what I have done in the past yet requires me to step out of my comfort zone and take on even more responsibilities. You should hire me because I’m ready for new challenges and have a solid track record of getting new leads and turning them into long-term customers.”

This answer works because it:

  • Matches the job candidate’s skills to the job description clearly and concisely.
  • Expresses excitement for the job and motivation to take on new challenges.
  • Wraps up by confidently telling the hiring manager what the candidate can do for them.

How to answer “Why should we hire you” for a project manager job

“I have more than five years of experience managing multiple projects effectively. For example, I managed five overlapping projects at my last job daily. To perform at my best, I created a workflow that enabled the teams I interacted with to work more proficiently, increasing overall production output by 20% in two months. Earlier in our conversation, you mentioned that you want someone in the role who can delegate and manage tasks while building relationships with cross-functional stakeholders, and I have done all three successfully throughout my career.”

This answer works because it:

  • Is descriptive and detailed.
  • Focuses on the job candidate’s experience as a project manager.
  • Highlights a measurable achievement.
  • Emphasizes that the applicant is highly adept at three skills critical to the job.

Teacher answer example

“I’ve been a teacher for 20 years, and despite challenges with public funding for our school district, I’ve managed to be resourceful and continue to provide integrated and relevant education to my students. I coordinate fundraising and events for the school to give my students the proper tools to learn essential academic and practical skills. The most recent program I led was the creation of a school vegetable garden, which my students helped to install and maintain. It was such a success with students, faculty and parents that the principal asked me to create a curriculum around sustainable gardening for future generations of students. I’d love to use my innovative ideas and creative spirit to help your students grow and motivate them to learn.”

This answer works because it:

  • Spotlights the job applicant’s creativity and resourcefulness — two vital traits for teachers.
  • Demonstrates that the candidate can lead projects that yield positive results for students, families and school staff.
  • Highlights a successful project that led to the creation of a new curriculum.

“Why should we hire you” sample answer for a cashier job

“My knowledge of POS systems like Clover, Toast and TouchBistro, and my experience handling up to $15,000 in cash make me confident that I would be a valuable addition to your team. Moreover, I excelled at customer service and was named Employee of the Month for five consecutive months at my last job. I’m also experienced at training and mentoring new staff in food service and balancing a cash drawer.”

This answer works because it:

  • Expresses confidence.
  • Uses details like the names of specific POS systems and the amount of money the job candidate has handled.
  • Mentions a recent award that the applicant has won because of a crucial skill.

Medical receptionist example answer

“In my previous job, when the dermatologist who owned the clinic retired, I took the initiative to transition the entire practice to a new system. The process entailed reorganizing, digitalizing, migrating and updating more than 200 patient records, installing a new digital record system, and training five nurses and three medical assistants on how to use the new software. The entire process took one month and I managed to complete it under budget. As a medical receptionist for the last 10 years, I became well-versed in all the major health care plans and policies, and I have a long reputation for building friendly rapport and loyalty with patients.”

This “why should I hire you” answer is good because it:

  • Tells a detailed story about when the job applicant took initiative.
  • Shows that the applicant can handle tasks outside of their usual job duties successfully.
  • Emphasizes valuable skills for a medical receptionist.
  • Uses metrics to underscore the candidate’s accomplishments.

How to answer “Why should we hire you?” for a line cook job.

“Over the last eight years, I’ve worked my way up from dishwasher to line cook in fast-food restaurants, diners and family chain restaurants. In that time, I have honed the ability to focus while adapting quickly, paying attention to safety and cleanliness, and working with others in a fast-paced environment. I’m adept at preparation of meats, fish and vegetables, I can plate meals quickly, and I can cook an array of dishes, including burritos, hamburgers, steak dinners, pasta, pizza and grilled sandwiches. I prioritize safety and cleanliness and am OSHA Safety certified. I can multitask efficiently and delegate when necessary, but I am the first one to help other staff when needed. I just completed my Certified Kitchen Cook (CKC) certificate, and I would like to learn new techniques from a master chef such as yourself.”

This answer is good because it:

  • Highlights the job candidate’s career progression in the restaurant industry.
  • Emphasizes attention to detail, safety and cleanliness — mandatory skills for a line cook.
  • Mentions that the applicant has two certifications.
  • Wraps up with a nod to the hiring manager’s mastery of the field.

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What not to do when answering “why should we hire you during a job interview

By now, you should be well-prepared to answer this classic interview question, but before you start to write down your answers, take note of the most common pitfalls people make when answering “why should we hire you?” so you can avoid them.

1. Giving generic answers.

When answering the “Why should we hire you” interview question, avoid giving a generic response, such as “I’m a hardworking individual that will be committed to my job and bring the desired results.”

Generic statements are always bad practice in job interviews because they have no relevance to potential employers, do not speak to job candidates’ qualifications and don’t explain why the applicant wants to work for the company. Customizing your answer is imperative if you want to stand out from other job applicants for the same position.

2. Putting the focus on you.

Although you may want to change jobs for better career opportunities, networking or gaining new skills, this isn’t the best way to respond to “Why should we hire you.” Instead, talk about yourself but present your qualifications in a way that tells hiring managers what you can do for them and why you’re a great fit for their team.

3. Talking about salary or benefits.

Employers know everyone wants a comfortable salary and good benefits, so there’s no reason to bring up those topics in your answer. Wait until you get the job offer and discuss it with human resources.

4. Seeming desperate.

Being unemployed and being rejected when looking for work can feel scary. Still, confidence is key when you’re on the job hunt, so never let a hiring see you sweat when they ask, “Why should I hire you?”

5 Tips for answering the “Why should we hire you” interview question

  1. Be honest. If you are, you will come across as genuine, self-assured and interested in the job.
  2. Don’t ramble. Have one or two good short answers ready. If you know why you’re the best fit for the role, then it’s easy to remember them without getting sidetracked and you can ace the interview.
  3. Show enthusiasm. Telling hiring managers you want the job is excellent, but you must show them without coming across as desperate. The best way to do this is with action words, body language (smile!) and (confident) tone of voice.
  4. Practice! After you’ve prepared a few answers to “Why should we hire you,” ask a friend or a family member to perform a mock interview with you. It’s an essential part of preparing for the real thing!
  5. Don’t come across as arrogant. When you practice your interview, ask your friend or family member to review your words, tone of voice and body language, and make tweaks until you perfect your response.

Key takeaways

As you prepare for your job interview, go over this checklist of points from this article to ensure you are ready to answer “Why should I hire you?”

  • When employers ask why they should hire you, they want to know what you consider your greatest strengths and if your values match those of the company.
  • Confidence is key. You’ve gotten as far as an interview, so you know you’ve got the required qualifications and that you’re the best fit for the job. Don’t let nerves get in your way.
  • You can answer why you’re the ideal candidate by sharing a career achievement from the past or by providing solutions to a company problem.
  • Tie your skills, experience and achievements to the job.
  • Never offer a generic answer; create a story around the specific role you are applying for.
  • Research before you answer. It’s essential to ensure you are current on the company’s goals, people, and values, so don’t just revisit your research notes from when you wrote your resume and cover letter. Start a new search and dig a bit deeper.
  • Avoid answering why you should get the position by discussing money or benefits, focusing on what you can gain, or pleading for the job.

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