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What is one thing an employer wants to hear from a candidate when they ask the question, Why should we hire you? 

To help you know what employers expect from prospective employees, we asked hiring managers and CEOs this question for their best insights. From your confidence to convincing examples of your worth, there are several qualities that employers may seek to hear about when they interview you as the right fit for their company. 

Here are 10 things employers want to hear from candidates:

  • Your Confidence
  • Great Team Player
  • Willingness To Learn
  • You Are Responsible
  • You’ve Researched The Company
  • Your Value and Your Reason
  • Clear Confident Response
  • You Know Their Mission Statement
  • What Makes You Unique
  • Convincing Examples of Your Worth

Your Confidence

Hiring is an expensive investment. The most important thing that employers want out of this question is not necessarily to *hear* something in particular, but to *feel* that the candidate has the confidence to carry out their responsibilities well. Even if the candidate lacks the level of experience that employers desire for the role, employers want to determine whether the new hire has the drive and willingness to find the means to make it work. At the end of the day, a growth mindset and positive attitude is what can make even less-experienced candidates more desirable over those who are better qualified on paper.

Trendy Tan, QuickHR

Great Team Player

Mentioning “teamwork” or a candidate’s ability to perform as a “team player” is a winning strategy to answer the question “Why should we hire you?” Though work ethic and commitment are both great ideas for a response, there should be plenty of other opportunities in the interview to focus on those concepts.

Focusing on the teamwork concept to answer this question is a nice pivot that highlights personal strengths and how they will fit into the context of the collective. Everyone wants to make their job easier and more manageable. Quality support from dependable team members is a trait that translates to any type of work environment.

Christopher Ager, HomeBreeze

Willingness To Learn

I want to hear from a candidate that they are willing to learn. All jobs today require continuous learning, whether a new system implementation, a restructuring of jobs, or a new business/product launch. There is always change and somebody who wants the status-quo will not be effective in most organizations that are changing rapidly to better position themselves in the market and grow.

Scott Baker, Stage 3 Leadership

You Are Responsible

“You will never have to tell me what to do twice”. This line will inspire confidence within hiring managers when they hear it come from a candidate. Getting objectives right on the first time is a major sign of competence and that is about the best attribute an employer could ask for. Employees who do not need to be reminded of their task repeatedly show more than just competence, they show an efficiency which will have a positive impact on the organization as a whole. When an employee does not need to be reminded about their responsibilities, time and resources can be focused on achieving the real task at hand. This is a major facet of successful companies. Employers will be looking for candidates who don’t need to be told twice.

Liza Kirsh, DYMAPAK

You’ve Researched The Company

If you did any research on the company and its culture, and hopefully you did, your answer to this question would be the right time to weave in some of the information that you gained during year research. “Your company has an excellent reputation for X.” Then explain why you can help it attain new heights based on your skills and background. Or, you could explain how the company could move into new realms or improve in other areas based on the knowledge and experience you bring to the table. Either way, show them that you know the ins and outs of the company. They’ll notice and appreciate that.

Alan Ahdoot, Adamson Ahdoot Law

Your Value and Your Reason

Anytime I have asked the question, “Why should we hire you?”, during an interview, I am hoping to hear a 2-part answer in no particular order. One part should address what value they will be bringing to the company (and even better if they can point out how that value is beyond what others will bring to the company), and one part should address why they want to join our company. 

First, by pointing out their value it shows self-awareness and confidence in their abilities. It should also show they fit a need that has been communicated and how they fit that need. Second, we want people who sincerely want to work with us. We want to know what makes us appealing so that we can build from that and learn from it to always be getting better. 

If a candidate only gives one part, or even no parts, it doesn’t necessarily disqualify them. However, those are the basis of what I’m wanting to hear so I can make an informed decision.

Devin Schumacher, SERP

Clear Confident Response

The employer wants to hear an answer that is clear and confident. Even if the candidate has a valid answer, but they say it in a way that sounds unsure, the employer may not know what to think of this. On the other hand, if the candidate knows exactly what they want to say, this will give the employer a preview of how confident this person would be as an employee if hired.

Drew Sherman, Carvaygo

You Know Their Mission Statement

As the founder of a mission-driven company, I use this question to see whether candidates align with our mission. Most applicants point to abstract qualities such as ‘detail-oriented’ or ‘good communicator.’ These statements might be valid, but there’s no way to know out of context. 

Many candidates also answer by specifying some unique skills they have. However, when you are looking at a large pool of candidates, there’s always someone better in X and worse in Y. If the candidate expresses a true passion for your mission, they will work on their skills and surpass many outstanding professionals thanks to their high motivation.

Georgi Todorov, ThriveMyWay

What Makes You Unique

Ultimately, employers want to hire people that bring something to the table. One way to showcase your value is to develop a personal value proposition, to highlight what unique skills and experience you bring to a role. Then, expand upon this throughout your interview. 

For example: when interviewing for a role, I don’t refer to myself simply as a “senior recruiter with X years of experience,” but rather “a senior talent partner with X years of experience building and leading bar-raising recruiting functions”. See how the second example better highlights the value I might offer? Take a look at your own strengths and try to create your own value proposition!

Preston Sharpston, Parallel

Convincing Examples of Your Worth

“Why should we hire you?” is often the scariest question for candidates. But it stops being one if you realize what the employers want to hear. And the employers want to hear something like, “I’m the perfect fit, and you won’t find a better one.” But what’s important is that you can’t say it just like this. But saying that one sentence is not enough. You need to prove it with examples. So… Show that you have significant experience and skills to perform the job well and meet all the company’s objectives. Give a measure of your previous accomplishments. Show enthusiasm for the company and the position you applied for, and prove that you understand the company and your role there. Highlight the advantages for the company when they hire you and how you can make their life easier.

Nina Paczka, MyPerfectResume

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