An interview is a psychological assessment of you. From the moment you enter the room, the interviewer is assessing you for one thing: is this person the best for the job? One of the most common interview questions you will be asked is, “Why should we hire you?” Are you prepared to answer? Are you confident in delivering a resonating and memorable message? An executive recruiter recently shared with me a candidate’s reply to this question. “Because I need a job.” How unprofessional an answer! Yes, of course you need a job. You wouldn’t be in the interview if you didn’t.
In compiling an answer to this question, you need to provide a solution to the employer’s problem while outperforming the other candidates who may be just as good, or even better than you. Prior to the interview, research the potential employer. See if you can connect with other people in that company through LinkedIn to gain an understanding of their issues and culture. More importantly, use LinkedIn to connect with people who have left the company in the last six months and ask them about the company. They have no allegiance to their ex-employer and are often willing to spill the beans and tell the truth. You can use this as ammunition for an eloquent and engaging answer. Look at the job posting, if it is published, and use some of the words in your oral response.
Firstly, address the fit. There must be a fit in many ways, but especially, with the company culture. This is where networking with current and former employees can bring you value when answering. Avoid skirting around the problem or using clichés like, “I’m a good worker,” or “I’m reliable,” or “I’m ambitious.” Instead, highlight the attributes, skill sets and ambitions you WILL deliver on your appointment. If you have uncovered a problem with that company’s finances, operations, processes, or customer service, among other things, be sure to bring them up as a compelling reason why you should be considered as the number one candidate.
Secondly, don’t wallow or hold back. Be forthright, engaging and excite the interviewer through your delivery. Leave them with the impression that you are the best person for the job.
Finally, an interview is a two-way street. You are also there to ask probing questions and make the interviewer think. Happy interviewing!
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