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“I believe I have the skills you are looking for as well as the relevant qualifications, meaning I can do the job well.” This was an answer Mary gave in an interview she attended recently.

When she didn’t get the job, she couldn’t understand why. To her, she had answered the questions well and was a great fit for the position.

Mary was being interviewed for a Communication Officer position at a manufacturing company. Her answer, though it would seem sufficient, did not really sell her as a candidate to the interviewers.

An interviewer will ask this question to see if you have what it takes to do the job, they want you to sell your skills and qualifications.

They already know that you have the qualifications otherwise you wouldn’t be at the interview, however, they are looking to see if you can convince them that you are a right fit for the position.

This means that your answer needs to be convincing, it needs to show that you know what you have to offer and how you will be of benefit to the organization.

So how do you answer this question?

Here are 3 ways to answer the question ‘Why Should We Hire You?’

1. You can emphasize that you have the skills required for the position

When answering this question it’s important to show how you are qualified for that specific position. Your answer should show how well you meet the requirements they had set out in the job description.

The best way to do this is to pick the most important requirements that you know you meet, for example, if a position wants someone with graphic design skills and you possess these skills, you can use this as a talking point.

Meaning, your answer could focus on a specific skill that was emphasized in the job description. For example in Mary’s case her answer should have been something like;

 “As I was going through the job description, I saw that you are looking for someone with corporate communication experience. I have over 3 years’ experience working in company BGE which is one of the biggest communication firms in the country. While at the company I handled three different accounts where I was in charge of the organization’s internal and external communication, from organizing press conferences to ensuring that employees are well informed on what is happening within the organization.

This equipped me with skills that will enable me to help grow your company’s brand as well as prevent any communication issues within the organization. ”

The point here is to try and convince them that you can offer them a solution to their problems.

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2. You can show that you have relevant experience

Some employers are very strict when it comes to hiring someone who possesses relevant experience. This is because employers don’t want to waste any time and money training new employees because they don’t have the required experience.

For example, if you are interviewing for a sales position in the FMCG industry you can say;

“From my CV, you can see that I have 5 years sales experience working in Company X, which is in the FMCG industry as well this means that I already have great knowledge on the products you offer as well as practical experience selling such products. My experience also means that I have knowledge of where to look for clients as well as contacts that could help boost sales.”

3. For new graduates, focus on your interest in the job

Answering this question can be tricky for you as a fresh graduate because you don’t have any real work experience to speak of. This means that you can only use your soft skills to sell yourself as the best candidate.

So if you are interviewing for a customer care position, you can give an answer such as;

“The job description is very particular about you wanting someone with great communication skills. While I may be new to the job market, I worked as a receptionist and customer service representative during my industrial attachment at GHC Limited where I was able to successfully interact with customers and clients.

I also tactfully responded to customer complaints, earning me congratulatory messages from my direct supervisor. I believe that this experience, my passion for customer service and attitude to excel in whatever I set my mind to makes me a great asset to your company.”

In Conclusion,

How you answer this question is very important, this is the time for you to really sell yourself as the best candidate for the position.

You want to make them see that hiring you will benefit them greatly; after all, employers are looking for people who will add value to the organization. Failure to do this will likely cost you the position.

For more on how to answer this question from Perminus Wainaina Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, this short video guide here gives you a guideline on what to remember when answering this question.

Having a hard time selling your expertise in a job interview? Talk to an Interview Coaching Manager today. Email to make an appointment.

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