Many common interview questions seem intentionally tricky to answer, and one of them is definitely "Why should we hire you over other candidates?" The thing to remember about this question is that all other candidates who get asked in for an interview are likely qualified for the position. At the very least, everyone else has the basic qualifications to succeed. The purpose of this question being asked is for the hiring manager to see what you bring to the table that no one else has.
You may also be asked, "Why would you be a good team member?"
Though you will not know anything about the other candidates for this position, you should prepare a comprehensive answer prior to going in for the interview. Prove you're a potentially strong team member by showing your enthusiasm for the company and the company mission, specific processes or tools that can improve company resources, or the skills you'll apply to the role.
This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from the pack, and you do not want to let it go to waste. And know this: It's always best to continue applying for other jobs, even after you've secured an interview for the job that would be perfect for you. Our Resume Builder lets you build or update a resume for other job applications in no time at all.
How to Answer the 'Why Should We Hire You Over Other Candidates?' Question
Determine Your Three or Four Most Desirable Attributes
You may not know what anyone else is bringing to the company, but you certainly know what you have to offer. Depending on what exactly the job is, you should come up with several traits you possess that make you well-qualified for the position. These traits can include any relevant experience you have in the industry; education, accomplishments or awards you have earned; and technical skills you have developed.
Spend some time before the interview to brainstorm to determine which areas you truly shine in. Preparing a response beforehand will really come in handy because you want to show the hiring manager you really do know what makes you special. You do not want to stumble on these kinds of interview questions.
Create a Sales Pitch
While you should have three or four traits to talk about, you still do not want to spend too much time answering the question "Why should we hire you over other candidates?"
Your response should be one to two minutes long. You do not necessarily need to write a script to memorize but you should have a ready list of your strengths.
Here are some examples of good strengths for a role:
- Leadership experience
- Customer service
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Computer experience
- Conflict resolution
Show Your Confidence
The interview is your chance to make a first impression on the hiring manager. Therefore, you want to exude confidence and enthusiasm for the type of work you will be doing. You may not actually be the most experienced or qualified individual for the job, but if you show you believe you are the most qualified, then it is going to impress the interviewer.
In many instances, hiring managers will be fine with hiring someone who may not actually be the most experienced candidate but shows an enthusiasm for the work that is not seen elsewhere. You do not actually know where you stand in terms of the other candidates, but the drive to succeed is something that will definitely make you stand out in the interviewer's mind.
Sample 'Why Should We Hire You Over Other Candidates' Interview Answers
- I believe I am the best fit for the job because I have the five years of secretary experience you are looking for. With that being said, I also have a proven track record of going above and beyond my normal job description when the opportunity arises. For instance, my last boss wanted everyone in the office — all 20 individuals — to attend a conference in San Francisco. This entailed a lot of planning, including acquiring airfare and hotel accommodations for the weekend. No one else wanted to do it, so I stepped up, and whenever I was not engaged in my normal duties, I was hard at work taking care of this project. I managed to handle everything, and I even managed to come in under budget of what my boss gave me.
- Even though I am a recent college graduate from UCLA, I still believe I have the experience and work ethic to be a true asset to your organization. For three years, I worked as a reporter at The Daily Bruin. While there, I had to work as part of a team to contribute story ideas and work independently. I sought out stories I thought would be interesting to the general student body and scheduled interviews with numerous professionals. I even broke ground on writing a story about why construction on new buildings was being delayed, and it ended up being one of our most popular stories that year.
Now that you have a basis for forming your answer, you are more than ready to answer "Why should we hire you over other candidates?"
Similar Career Questions
1. Why would you be interested in a job?
There are several reasons to be interested in a new position, including:
- Career growth
- New opportunities
- A career change
- Higher wages
- Change of pace
2. What are your salary expectations?
Salary is a difficult topic to discuss, especially with recently published articles on the race and gender gap disparity. The best way to arm yourself during salary negotiations is to research:
- Check your job's national wage average at the Bureau of Labor Statics
- Use a salary calculator at Glassdoor or LiveCareer to determine local pay averages.
- Come prepared with a higher salary request in order to negotiate a fair wage.