How do you choose who to hire?

Job seekers and applicants should be familiar with the following situation: During an interview, you are sitting across from a person or a small group who, of course, wants to get to know you better through numerous questions and to find out whether you are suitable for the position. Sometimes this can lead to supposedly curious questions such as: "Why should we hire you?

In this article, you will find out exactly what this is all about and how this question is usually to be understood in an interview.

Why do companies ask this question in job interviews?

The question "Why should we hire you?“At first glance, it may seem disturbing to one or the other applicant. That certainly has to do with when exactly the employees who lead the interview and who are sitting across from you bring this question into play. Often they either choose to start the interview right away - this can then be rather confusing for the candidate. Or it forms the end of the interview - the question is supposedly appropriate here, but still regularly makes applicants sweat.

As an applicant, there is one thing you should internalize directly in order not to panic: The question is no provocation nor is it consciously applied to annoy you. Rather, the company or HR department, which is normally responsible for job interviews, would like to know more about you and Your motivation find out for the advertised position.

In addition, this question should clarify why you are exactly the right person for the job and what qualifies you for this position in contrast to others, i.e. what added value and benefit you for the company would bring in the position.

If several applicants are tied in terms of qualifications, such a question can make all the small but important difference. Therefore, you should answer the question carefully.

By the way, there are others similarly worded questions. These include:

  • Why are you the right candidate for the position? "
  • Why does the advertised job suit you ideally? "
  • What added value do you offer us that others may not offer us? "

What to avoid when answering

If you are asked this type of question during an interview, there are a few things you should definitely not say or do:

Added value ≠ qualifications

Do not just list at this point which qualifications and which training you have or what distinguishes you. This first-person perspective certainly does not convince the HR managers at the other end of the table, as the added value with regard to the company counts for them.

Quality ≠ quantity

Also, your answer shouldn't be too long or too long. A few concise sentences are sufficient to describe why you are a good choice - long monologues are not required!

Integrity ≠ Palaver

Also, don't digress and avoid long explanations and justifications. This could rather lead to the fact that you are implausible with the other person or as if you are looking for answers in order to put yourself in a better light.

Rather, speak out about your weaknesses when it is appropriate. That speaks more for your real competence than any "glossing over".

Here are some negative examples that are either fairly general answers that say nothing about yourself, or are simply a prerequisite for the position you applied for:
  • I am suitable for the position because I am resilient / able to work in a team / excellently trained. "
  • I know the industry well and that's why you're looking for me. "
  • My language skills go well with the international nature of the position. "

How should you answer

In order to be able to successfully answer the question of "why", the right one is required first of all preparation. This could look like this, for example, that you take the job advertisement and take a close look at which knowledge, strengths, etc. are required. You then relate those requirements to yourself from the company's point of view. After all, you should always argue from the company's point of view and offer real solutions.

You should also concentrate on a maximum of four meaningful reasons, which you consider to be so-called Key criteria present:

  • professional "lighthouse successes"
  • experience
  • prizes won
  • Leadership qualities or soft skills
  • Solution competence for problems
  • Contacts & social skills
  • or skills that are relevant to the job

You can already do the corresponding presentation exercise before the interviewto be as prepared as possible. Examples of possible answers would be:

  • I already know numerous requirements and challenges of the position from more than XY years of experience in a comparable position. I also have relevant contacts. This saves us time and money. "
  • You are looking for someone with management experience and know-how in process optimization for this position. That's exactly what I'm doing in my current job, which is why you can be sure that processes will be simplified and optimized in a timely manner. "

In conclusion, it can be stated that the question "Why should we hire you?“Is still up to date today. Recruiters hire them to see if you can add value to the company. So be aware that this question may come up and prepare carefully for it. Make sure you relate your answer to the company and realize that both sides have to make a choice. This increases your self-confidence in order to be able to answer not only these, but all questions in the interview as well as possible.

Header image: Deagreez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Originally published January 17, 2020, updated 25 November 2020

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