“Why should I hire you?”
“Why should I hire you?”
None but the boldest of interviewers will come right out and ask you that question but it’s the question behind every single question any interviewer is asking.
So why should an employer hire you?
It’s a question you should spend a lot of time developing an answer to.
Is it enough to tell them that you are a hard worker, trustworthy and you’ll do everything they want you to do? Is it enough to tell them what good grades you got while in school? Would those answers be enough to inspire them to want to hire you?
This is where the rubber meets the road. And it starts at the very beginning of an interview. From the beginning you want to be conveying to the employer that you are the person they should be hiring for their opening. So what do you say? How do you answer that question?
The answer starts with your strong awareness of yourself. You must have a strong grasp of why you wish to work for the company with which you are interviewing, a clear idea of what the responsibilities are of the job for which you are interviewing and clearly know how your strengths and skills match up with the expressed needs of the opening which can be found in the job description.
In essence you are preparing to sell a product. You are the product. In order to sell the product you have to know the buyer’s needs and how your product can meet the buyer’s needs…and even how much the buyer is willing to spend on the product s/he is buying.
As you prepare for the interview, first writing and then practicing out loud, over and over, ½ page responses to seven or eight commonly asked interview questions (http://www.newhaven.edu/149860/), is a great start. You will be infusing your newly-claimed self-knowledge into your being in ways never-before-considered. No matter what question actually comes out of the mouth of an interviewer, your preparation and focus will propel you to give them a heaping helping of exactly why you’re the right candidate for their job.
Lastly, your aim is not to memorize your responses but simply to become very familiar with these newfound ways of thinking about yourself so that they fairly easily roll off your tongue. Don’t forget: interviewing is a skill and like any skill, it can be perfected or at least improved upon.
Arleen Anderson is the University of New Haven’s Director of Employer Relations and Internships, directing the University’s centralized/decentralized internship initiative as well as developing and facilitating partnerships between employers, students and faculty.