Do you set high goals for yourself, doubt our worth when you fail to reach those goals, and dwell on it?
Do you feel like you have to push yourself to work harder to measure up or prove your worth to others?
Do you judge your worth based on how easily or quickly you can get something done?
Do you refuse help because you feel it undermines your worth?
If you said yes to any of these questions, you may suffer from imposter syndrome. Those with imposter syndrome tend to believe that they are failures even with evidence that they're successful.
Job interviews are especially difficult for those suffering from imposter syndrome because they fear rejection. An interview can feel more like a test that they'll either pass or fail rather than a conversation, and one of the most common interview questions to stress out those with imposter syndrome is, "Why should we hire you?"
Let’s look at how you can prepare to answer this interview question.
Why This Question Is Asked
Your resume has already presented you as a great fit for the job compared to the others who applied and weren’t selected for an interview. The purpose of an interview is to solidify that you are THE best fit for the job and the company compared to the handful who are also interviewing. This is one of many questions asked to help narrow down the final candidates.
Wendy Willis Miller, President & Contract Recruiter for demiSourced, explains, “We want to hear that they understand the role and the company, and they've thought about how they can contribute.” No, this isn’t a trick question. This interview question is asked to evaluate how carefully you read the job description, how much you researched the company, and how well you can connect the dots that you’re the best fit.
The Best Answers To This Interview Question
The trick is to answer this interview question without summarizing your resume or talking-up your experience. Instead, it’s recommended that you either focus on the unique value you offer or further elaborating on your interest in contributing to company goals.
Describe The Value You Offer
“The best approach to answering this question is for candidates to talk about their value,” offers Jose Dominguez, Senior Recruiter for MultiCare Health System. “Describe what you bring to the table for that role.
Describe notable achievements, skills, and experiences and lead the interviewer on a journey of your first year on the job and what you expect to achieve. You should lay out the plan on how you will be proactive and gain knowledge and skill about your new role and how they hope to benefit the company.”
Don’t think of answering this question as though you have to out-perform the other candidates. You should be connecting the dots between 1-2 past achievements and their related skills that you could practically achieve again in pursuit of this company’s goals. Remember, you shouldn’t be repeating the same information they’ve seen in your resume; focus on the needs of the company and department.
Elaborate On Your Interest
You could also elaborate on your unique interest in the role itself or the company. “When we ask this question we are looking for a candidate to relay both their interest and their qualifying skill sets,” Miller continues. So, what interests you in the job or the company?
You could share how the job itself interests you because it’s an advancement in your career and you’re looking forward to a new challenge. You could indicate that it’s a completely new role for you and you’re eager to learn more about the field. Another area of focus could be on the function of the role matching your strengths and ideal work style more than your previous or current role.
What is it about the company that interests you the most? Maybe the company is a progressive leader in its industry, and you want to work for a company that is breaking-ground and on the cutting-edge of technology. The company’s mission may speak to you on a personal level because of your passions and values. You could also focus on the philanthropic or sustainability initiatives that have piqued your interest.
The Worst Answer To This Interview Question
Answering with, “I just really want/need this job,” isn’t going to give you an advantage over the other highly qualified candidates. Though it seems counter-intuitive, the worst way to answer this question is by focusing on you. Even the value you offer will be unique to the specific company, its goals, and its needs.
When answered well, this interview question can help employers get to know and connect with you on a human level that isn’t often achieved with a resume or application. They know your background and skills thanks to your resume or application, but they don’t necessarily know that your motivators and values align with the company’s mission, vision, and values.
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How To Prepare For This Interview Question
Don’t walk into a job interview under-prepared. One of the top mistakes you could make in a job interview is to not remember or have a clear understanding of the job you’re interviewing for. Always save a copy of the job posting before you apply. Keep track of your job applications and interviews using a tool like this Follow-up Planner. Give yourself plenty of time to read through the job description before the interview.
Do some quick (or thorough) research using good ol’ Google, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. Find the company’s website to read through their About and News pages to get up-to-date on their mission, vision, values, and company updates. Use LinkedIn and Glassdoor to take a sneak peek at the employee experience. These are details that will help you answer this question and connect the dots that you’re the best fit for the job and company.
Another Perspective On This Interview Question
Dominguez’ perspective on this common interview question reflects the changing attitude of interviewers and hiring managers.
“The question ‘Why should we hire you?’ in a time of record low unemployment is the wrong question asked by the wrong party. Now candidates have more bargaining power and should be the ones asking, ‘Why should I work here?’ Hopefully, employers have a clue about how to answer that one.
The best answer to that question really means nothing except that someone is good on their feet. Why do interviewers still ask it? Likely because they saw the question in some book or article, and it looked good and safe to ask. My point is, the interview process is flawed and it's time for something different like a real conversation with candidates instead of an inquisition or interrogation.”
I challenge you to spend more time preparing for your next interview by researching the company’s mission, vision, values, and news to have a direct and advantageous answer to this interview question.
What other tools do you use to prepare for job interviews?