Nearly everyone who has applied for a job – on-line, by application form, or in person – in the last two decades will have had this question asked. Then they have stumbled through some awkward answer. Now we can help them to field it more effectively next time. Lets put this question in the mouth of the suit behind the desk:
Q: ” Why should we hire you? “
Before we answer, we should realise that this may be a ploy designed for several results; to see if we fluster easily, to see if we have a ready turn of flannel to answer with, or simply to gain time for the interviewer to think up a meaningful question. We can react with fluster, flannel, or just make noise until the real thinking starts. Or we can hit the target from another angle.
A: ” You must answer that question for yourself. And for your company. “
” Your first concern must be to find an employee who is honest – posing a question that will draw forth a blatant self-sales pitch can hardly be the way to find honesty. Even worse – if a person presents a humble act hoping for pity, they may be a worse choice.
If you are at once satisfied with my honesty, you must satisfy yourself with my competence. Can I do the job? Look at the previous ones I have undertaken.
Am I the best of the applicants? Again this is your judgement – I do not know the other people.
Am I keen on the job? I am here at my own expense, unpaid as yet. This would seem to make me eager to enter into work.
And I have had the courage to present these answers. The rest will really be up to you “
You will not get every job you apply for with this approach. The worst sort of interviewer will feel threatened by the honesty of it, and the disinterested employer will not want to take the time to converse on a level past the conventions. But if you do strike someone willing to carry through they are likely to be a good person to work for.