We’ve all been there — feeling like we’ve nailed an interview and then comes the question: “Why should we hire you?” Thought you’d already answered that during the interview? Wrong. Or maybe you did, but you’ve been requested to go over it once again.
Although your nerves might be tingling, this question is something you can take advantage of to market yourself and highlight some of the things that might have been overlooked during the interview.
Answering it doesn’t need to be tedious or awkward. We’ll analyse this stereotypical question, determine what they want to hear, and give you some key advice to ace it like an expert.
What does the recruiter want to hear?
First off, let’s have a look at what recruiters wish to hear you say when asking this question. If you’ve already demonstrated your hard skills, this is the time to mention your soft skills that can’t easily be taught. It’s a great moment to sell yourself as a great teammate and hard worker but also show that you understand your weaknesses. You’ll want to show that you’re not a complete know-it-all after selling yourself throughout the hour of the interview.
Explain what makes you different. Don't just say you’re reliable or committed — show them. Extrapolate on why you want the job. Interviewers will want to see some passion and enthusiasm for the role.
What not to say: finding the balance between confidence and arrogance.
Although answering this question can be profitable, things can go the wrong way. Before diving into the ideal answers, you should be warned about what to avoid.
Here’s a brief review of what NOT to say:
1. Avoid sounding overly confident
The pipeline goes like this:🚨 Perceived arrogance → Application going straight to the bin 🗑️. If you’re not cautious enough, you may come out as arrogant, and that’s the number one thing we want to avoid. No one wants to work with someone that is full of themselves. Remember, you’re supposed to make it out like how you will benefit the company and not about how great you’re about being you.
2. Don't answer with a cliché
You’ll want to sound truthful and authentic when answering. Everyone knows you can be adaptable and have great leadership potential. Be creative and avoid common and dull answers. A contemporary word of advice: if you’re relying on AI to snatch your answer up, you might wound up being even more cliché than a counterpart that relies on Google. Watch out for these alluring technologies: Though convincing at first, their siren call can earn you eye rolls.
3. Answering with “I don't know”
Remember that the recruiter wanted to hear what makes you stand out from others. Well, answering like this will make them think that you don’t value the abilities you discussed earlier during the process.
4. Don’t lie or stretch the truth
The interviewer will surely notice that you’re not saying the truth. Being honest is much more valuable than anything you could say that is far from real. Instead, try reframing a weakness. This will be better by far and shows you’re committed to growth.
5. Don’t assume they’ll make connections
Connect every aspect that you mention to why this will be beneficial for the role you’re applying to and the company in general. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are present in the interview where you could mention this. So be explicit.
What to mention when asked “Why should we hire you”
Now that we’ve gone through what not to say, let's highlight what you should be mentioning. Take in mind that this question is highly specific to you, so take advantage of this moment to emphasise your qualifications and skills. If you’re a problem solver, discuss hypotheticals where you’re the person who handles them and show how you do it. If you’re great at Excel, talk about how every company needs people who are and why. If you're highly organised, elaborate on how great it is to walk in somewhere and know exactly how things should be. Most places don’t need you to excel at everything but value peace of mind. Explain how you will bring that to the table.
Highlight aspects that cannot be taught, such as a positive attitude and passion for a job. Show how there will be no other candidate who will work harder or invest more heart and soul into this particular position. Connect this passion with what’s in for you and why it's important — the reason you'll be driven and motivated.
If you’ve had experience in the same industry as the role you’re applying for, mention it. This indicates that you’re committed to the field and will show you’re reliable and have previous knowledge. Also, take advantage of this moment to talk about your main accomplishments. These can be projects, clients, or specific crises that you managed in your previous jobs.
If you can, show your dedication to the company itself. Here’s when you’ll put into practise all that you’ve researched about the company and the role — and connect it to how you might add to the organisation if hired. Associating with the company in this way will show that you’ve prepared to handle something you’re already invested in. If you know about a specific issue that the company is facing, then address how you’ll be able to offer relief. This will also show that you’re a forward-thinking person who’s ready to begin.
Examples of good answers to “Why should we hire you”
Let us look at some great examples of how to answer this question. If these examples sound too cocky, tone them down, but never apologise from the start for being confident. Also, a question at the end is an intelligent touch, since you’re handing over the baton to them. Some good answers are:
Example 1: The team worker
“I know I've shared a lot about my experience, and a lot about my accomplishments in previous roles. But I don’t want to focus on that, because it just shows what I did and every line of that resume was actually teamwork. I value working with other people and getting things done, and learning meanwhile. I understand from what we’ve talked about so far and from what colleagues say about your company online that you value the same thing. We’re so aligned, and that's why you should hire me. What do you think?”
This message will work if they're curious why a freelancer would switch to full-time employment. You also demonstrate you've researched the company well, and you’re asking them what’s their stance. Immediate feedback.
Example 2: The learner
“I see myself as a student more than anything else. I will be a student for the rest of my life. I got the unpretentiousness it takes to learn from scratch. I do not know everything, but I am willing to learn anything and learn it quickly.”
You’re telling them that it doesn’t matter if the task involves a tech stack or an accounting method you haven’t used before — you’ll get it sorted out, and that’s why you’re their candidate.
Example 3: The quality candidate
“I may not bring the number of years that others may bring to this role, but I do bring the quality of experience within the four years I have been in the market. My previous roles as a tech salesperson taught me to learn quickly and adapt. I’m curious to know how my unconventional background and your business objectives will work out together to get the edge over the competition.”
Some candidates will bring in more resume pages and more achievements, but the stuff you’ve done so far is more valuable than all that combined. That’s why they should get you on their payroll.
Example 4: The impossible match
“Your job description is very clear, and my experience is well aligned with what you explain we’ll need to make it work. I actually think you’re underselling the position, and I’ll help max out its potential in the company when we work together and start expanding the team.”
You’re telling them you’re just a perfect fit and that you believe they have more to give than what they’ve convinced themselves they could. It’s a wake-up call to their unfounded modesty. And everyone loves a compliment.
Example 5: The problem-solver
“I’m not the most technically savvy analytics professional, but I bring a can-do attitude and am the happiest person you will ever work with. When I get stuck, I don’t stop until I find the answer and I act like a playmaker (point guard if your interviewer is from the U.S.) on my team trying to make those around me better at their job.”
A new angle that combines elements from previous answers. When you’re positioning yourself as a problem-solver, you might strike a good impression on project managers who’ve been stuck with a client deliverable for months due to an allegedly easy-to-solve programming issue.
Admit it: You’re the right candidate
You got to convince yourself first, so you should start by admitting it: They should hire you. This is the opportunity to set yourself apart. Be ready to use all the search you’ve done on the company during your job-hunting process, as well as anything you’ve gained from previous interviews.
Answering the “Why should we hire you” interview question might make you a bit uncomfortable, but remember this is a moment where you’ll be able to sell yourself once more. The chance to leave a great last impression. Whether you’re an experienced pro or a beginner, being prepared is fundamental. Next time you face this question, look delighted and show you’ve got all the bases covered. At WeAreDevelopers we are constantly vetting and featuring the greatest positions in Europe. Check out our job board to check it out yourself. Good luck on your job hunt! You'll nail that interview.