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How to Answer the Most Important Interview Question of All

Published on April 25, 2016 12:00 AM EST
How to Answer the Most Important Interview Question of All

You’re in the middle of an interview for your dream job, the interview has been spectacular and you know that you’ve done an amazing job, but suddenly your hit with the question: why should we hire you?

This is the most important question of the entire interview, and it’s difficult to answer.

How to Answer the Most Important Interview Question of All

And you don’t want to start bragging and stating that you’re better than everyone in the company. Instead, you want to take a more tactical approach to the question depending on whether you have experience or not.

Why Should We Hire You?

How to Answer If You Have Experience

Great. You have experience in the field, and now you can forge an answer that resonates with the company’s current needs. The key is to:

  • Answer the question in such a way that it fills the need of the company
  • Add in an extra that boosts your chances of landing the job

If you’re applying for a managerial position and have 10 years of experience in the field, this would help fill the void of the company. But the extras that you add are more important and really sweeten the deal. A few ideas are:

  • Highlight one or two accomplishments that you have in the field. “I managed my former employer’s finances, reducing costs by 10% and increasing sales by 20%.” This is a great answer that would pique the interest of the interviewer. But you need to be honest.
  • References should be mentioned to prove that you’ll be a cultural fit for the company. If you can integrate into a company easily, it’ll boost your chances of landing the job.
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Be confident with your answer, and don’t be afraid to ask “do you agree?” to the interviewer. Demonstrate how your past experience and accomplishments can help the company you’re applying with.


How to Answer If You Don’t Have Experience

You’ve just graduated or changed careers. You don’t have experience, and you’ve applied for a lower position to get your foot in the door. Interviewers will be reluctant to hire you, naturally, so you’ll have a harder time when trying to find job opportunities and employment.

But your job search is just the first step to success.

You can land a job if you perform well during an interview. When the dreaded question of “why should we hire you” pops up, you’ll want to:

  • Be ambitious. Tell the hiring manager that you’re passionate, hard working and dedicated. Reaffirm that everyone starts at the bottom. You can also state, “would you hire yourself when you didn’t have experience?” By asking this question, you’ll relate with the interviewer.

You also have the option to ask about others that have been hired. A question that may work in your favor is:

  • “Have you hired others in the past that don’t have experience?” Follow up by stating, “I know some of the inexperienced employees probably didn’t work in your company’s favor, but there are surely times it worked out great.”

If you can show you have the knowledge to start with the company, you’ll have answered the question appropriately.

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