Why this is a common question?
Attending interviews isn’t something you do often, they can be daunting experiences especially if you don’t prepare. ‘Why should we hire you?’ may initially seem like an easy question but it is actually a challenging question that requires thought and preparation, and it is a common question an interviewer will ask. This is one of many questions the interviewer will ask to see what sets you apart from other candidates.
Interviewers will ask this question to see how well you can sell yourself and to see if your responses and personality fit the role and company. A clear, concise answer will not only give the interviewer a good view of your experience and your fit for the role, but it will also show them that you have prepared for the interview by reviewing the job description and the company operations. Your response to this question will show the employer your enthusiasm for the role, along with your experience and skill set, it can also demonstrate that you want to do well and have a good work ethic to carry out the duties of the role.
How to answer well.
Think about what you have accomplished in your current and past roles by carrying out a brainstorm – projects completed, record sales, qualifications, relationships that you have built up over the years which otherwise (without you) may not have been successful.
Once you have completed a brainstorm, think about each point and think about the challenges and how these challenges created a risk for the business or you reaching your end goal, how did you overcome these, what was your specific involvement and what you’ve learnt and what would you do differently next time.
Look at what the company does and how the job role fits into that, do you have any specific experience that relates to the job description or what the company does, could the company be implementing new systems – do you have experience of this?
Remember this is your opportunity to sell your skills, experience, knowledge and personality to the company – yes personality – don’t forget to show this in your answers, employers need to know that you will fit in with the company culture. Your responses should always be positive, in how you discuss them and the content of what you say, how did you turn a negative into a positive, if the outcome wasn’t positive – how did you make it work in a positive light rather than focus on the negative.
Look at what qualifications you have or don’t have, is there anything you are willing to undertake in terms of studying or training or have you completed anything you think will be related to the role?
Overall, you need to prepare clear, concise answers, practice talking about your experiences/answers from the brainstorm so you are confident talking about the points and your answers are well structured. Think about why you applied for the role – key skills, ensure you don’t give generic responses that are short but also don’t talk for too long!
Examples of answers that work and why.
Based on the job description and what you said at the beginning of the interview, you need someone to come in and hit the ground running. My experience and knowledge in HR over the last 10 years will give you confidence in me carrying out the role from day 1, I know about the risks posed to a business, how to handle ER cases effectively so they are handled in a timely manner and with the best outcome, I’m confident communicating and approachable and therefore building relationships within the business and externally will not be an issue.
This works like the example mentions a specific number of years experience in the role and advises the employer that the candidate has the ability to perform in the role effectively. The direct impact of employing this candidate is also seen by how confident they are in their ability to build positive relationships and work to the needs of the role with little supervision and training.
As well as having experience in marketing I would also like to point out that I have successfully line managed a team 15-20 staff over the last 8 years. I do believe that due to my management skills the team worked well together. There have been some challenges between the team members but we have worked on those to ensure the continued positive, vibrant team ethic. It’s a compliment when others ask to join my team. Turnover in my team is very low and at times I have had to encourage staff to move to other roles for their development because I don’t want them to stay and hinder their career development just because we get on so well as a team.
This example works because the role may not necessarily require management skills but is an additional skill they could acquire if they employ the candidate. Mentioning the low turnover and how others have acknowledged the good working relationships amongst the team, highlights the candidate’s success at managing the team and overcoming challenges to work together and be a successful team. It also shows that the candidate acknowledges their employee’s capabilities and will encourage growth and development, even if this means losing team members.
I don’t have experience working in a classroom in the UK, however last year I went to volunteer for 6 months in Europe and Asia for a charity. I volunteered in schools 5 days a week and taught children English, these children were from the age of 8 years to 11 years and English was not spoken in the local communities. I also helped teachers with their English pronunciation’s, writing and reading so they could help the children. This was a great experience for me to be in the classroom, learn about other cultures and how educational institutions differ from one country to another.
This is a great example if you don’t have the specific experience requested by the employer, you can use experience where you have volunteered if not in paid employment. It shows the applicant is confident in unfamiliar settings but willing to learn and help others. It also shows the depth and motivation an individual has to learn in their career and development and gives you some insight into their personality.