Check out our article where we explain how to answer, “Why should we hire you?”
Preparing for interviews is an important part of your job search. But, people often forget to prepare for their behavioral interviews or they feel like they don’t need to spend time on it. This can lead them to freezing up when responding to a question or rambling on for too long.
At Pathrise, we do the same amount of work with our fellows on their behavioral interviews as their technical interviews. We know that these sessions are sometimes even more important because companies deciding between 2 technically similar candidates will look at their behavioral interviews as tiebreakers.
Success during these sessions starts with researching the company to learn about their mission, values, history, goals, and culture. With this knowledge at hand, you can practice common questions, like these behavioral interview questions from top tech companies. It is important because you should be personalizing your answers to relate to the company
In addition, your responses should always include why you are a good candidate. This means talking about why you are a good fit for the company culture as well as how you have been successful in the past as well. Even if you are answering a “negative” question like, “what is your biggest weakness?”, you should connect your response to their mission and show your strengths.
One of the most common questions asked is also the most direct (but open-ended at the same time). Use our tips so you can learn how to answer, “Why should we hire you?”
How to answer, “Why should we hire you?”
A good way to respond to this question is by showing the interviewer why you are a good fit for the company, team, and role. You can think about this response as a combination of your answers to “why this company?” and “what is your greatest strength?”
To start, emphasize what you can do for the organization. Be sure to focus on the impact you can create by highlighting your successes in previous positions. Use numbers to quantify and context to qualify your expertise in the industry. You should also spend some time on why you are excited about working there – what can you learn, how can you grow, and what are you hoping to accomplish in the position at that company?
Then, transition your response into how your strengths will lead the company to reaching their goals. This is where you research comes in: talk about their mission and how you can help make it a reality. You should also explain why their mission is important to you. Spend a little time talking about their values and how you fit in with those as well.
Here is an example of this type of response for a software engineering position at Google:
“That’s a great question. You should hire me because I know that I can make an impact as a software engineer at Google. In my previous work as a software engineer on the community standards team at Twitter, I created frameworks that helped prevent thousands of inappropriate tweets from being published. The work I did with my team helped contribute to a 75% decrease in reported tweets. I know that “keeping users safe” is one of Google’s commitments and I believe I am uniquely qualified to continue this aspect of your mission and expand upon it.”
If you feel like you have already spent a lot of time outlining your expertise, you can answer this question in a different way. This is likely not applicable for everyone, but, if you are interviewing at a company that has pain points you have noticed as a user, you can answer as specifically as possible.
Talk about what issues you have with the product, but make sure you come with actionable solutions that you can lead if they hire you. You do not want to come off as negative or like you are whining about the product. Instead, you need to explain how much you love their product and how excited you are to potentially work on making it even better. It is a very fine line to walk and it is extremely dependent on the role and team for which you are interviewing.
Here is an example of this type of response for a product manager position at Slack:
“I believe I am a great fit for this role for many reasons. We have spoken a lot about my past experience as a product manager at Discord and Facebook, where I worked with cross-functional teams to successfully launch vast redesigns and frequent feature updates.
But, even more than my past experience is my love for Slack and interest in helping the product move forward. I have been using Slack every day for the past 5 years at various jobs and with volunteering organizations and I am excited to help you solve certain issues that I have noticed. For example, creating a new threading system that allows for multiple threads to be viewed at once can help people find their place more easily. In addition, Slackbot reminders are great, but they are often hard to set up and change. Working with the development team, I believe I can help facilitate an update to the Slackbot system that will make them indispensable to everyday use.
I’m really excited about the opportunity to work on a product that I know and love so that I can make it better for the many people like me who rely on it everyday.”
With the above tips and templates, you should be well on your way to preparing a customized response so you can answer “Why should we hire you?” with ease. In fact, with our guidance fellows in our program have doubled their interview scores. We hope these tips help you succeed as well!
If you are looking for more guidance and mentors to work with you on each stage of the job search, Pathrise is an online program that can help you land your dream job through workshops and 1-on-1 mentorship.