How to Answer ‘Why Should We Hire You?’

It’s a question that’s often asked during a job interview: Why should we hire you?

It’s a perfectly reasonable question, and yet, it can feel impossible to answer. After all, the entire reason you’re doing the job interview is to answer that question. And if you try to answer the question without really thinking about what you’re going to say, you can easily sound off-putting.

Like stammering and offering up a lot of awkward pauses would probably not be a convincing argument. But if you go the other way and say, “Well, I’m the best person for the job,” you could end up sounding arrogant. Or, sure, you might sound confident and sincere. It’s a tricky balance.

So if you want to be prepared for the “Why should we hire you?” question, here are some types of answers you might want to start preparing to give.

[Phone Interview Questions to Prepare For]

1. The ‘I Am a Problem Solver’ Answer

“The best answer to ‘Why should we hire you?’ should first address the employer’s primary concerns,” says Gena Cox, an organizational psychologist, executive coach and founder of Feels Human, LLC, a business consultancy in Tampa, Florida.

Because you want to answer the employer’s main concerns, Cox says, “the applicant should address what the candidate can do to help the employer solve a problem the employer has not articulated, but the applicant has perceived. Then, the applicant can talk about the benefit they will derive from being hired.”

Granted, this is hard to pull off if you don’t see an obvious problem that you can help solve, and you don’t want to invent some issue. But if you do see something you can help the company fix, then you could really make a strong, positive impression.

“A response like this makes the applicant’s value explicit, demonstrates thoughtfulness, and suggests that the applicant is interested in the organization beyond the immediate job opportunity,” Cox says.

Example of a good answer: “You mentioned that your customer service is lacking. Back at my old company, we had a similar problem. Here’s how I solved it. …”

Or you could always bring up a problem that your old company had unrelated to the business you’re interviewing with, and talk about how you solved it, if you want to sell yourself as a problem solver.

2. The Sales Pitch

Jennifer Preston is an HR consultant with Flex HR, a human resources consultancy in Johns Creek, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.

She argues that you might want to answer the “Why should we hire you?” question with a sales pitch. You are, after all, selling yourself in a job interview.

“A candidate should have a well-articulated, unique and structured 30 to 45 second elevator pitch with a brief introduction of self, work conducted, work desired and a selling point as to how to deliver results,” Preston says. So if you get that question, “Why should we hire you,” that would be the time to deliver your elevator pitch — unless, of course, you’ve already delivered it, in which case you’ll need to wing it.

Still, as Preston says, “An interview is a sales pitch. While not selling a product, a candidate needs to confidently — not arrogantly — sell themselves and how being hired will make a difference for the company and for those around them.”

Example of a good answer: “I think I’d be great at this job. Here’s why. …” And then do that elevator pitch. Starting off with something like, “I think I’d be great at this job” is a true statement and not arrogant. You think you’d be great; you’re not saying that you absolutely know you would be great. You’re also not saying that you’re the best person for the job, just that you think you would be great. It’s a confident statement without being arrogant. Whatever you say, though, have an answer ready. The moment you overthink how to answer the question, you’re going to be lost.

[SEE: 20 Careers With the Most Job Security Right Now.]

3. Tell a Story

Preston also likes this strategy.

“A strong response should include an example of a past performance situation, as this often predicts future performance and how one’s experience will address a primary facet of the role being filled,” Preston says.

So whether you offer up an elevator pitch on why you should be hired, or whether you don’t, she suggests citing a specific example or two of prior work you’ve done and the results, to demonstrate what you can do for your future employer.

Example of a good answer: “I think you should hire me because I’ve been searching for this job for as long as I can remember. I have an interesting story about that, in fact. … ” And then launch into your interesting story.

If you think about it, nobody expects you to answer the question so brilliantly that they’re going to stop the interview and hire you on the spot. They just want something to think about. So entertain your interviewer with an insightful story that tells you something about why you’d be such a good fit for this job.

4. The ‘Heavy on Specifics’ Strategy

You could do an information dump. Why should we hire you? Well, let’s lay out the facts, shall we? Travis Lindemoen, founder of jobs marketplace Enjoy Mondays and managing director at staffing agency Nexus IT Group, likes that approach. Here are a few areas where you could highlight some specifics to explain exactly why you should be hired:

Know the specifics about the company you’re interviewing with — and how you would fit in. “Make sure you have thoroughly researched the organization prior to your interview so that you can explain how your background aligns with their mission, values and goals. You should also be able to name specific areas of expertise that would enable you to succeed in the role,” Lindemoen says.

Offer up some specific, preferably unique, skills. “Be sure to highlight experiences or skills which make you stand out from other candidates for the job, such as fluency in another language or technological expertise related to the job duties at hand. It’s okay if these skills aren’t strictly job-related. Any advantage that sets you apart is something employers will take into consideration,” Lindemoen says.

Offer up specific accomplishments. “Provide examples of past successes which demonstrate an understanding of what it takes for a business to progress efficiently,” Lindemoen says. For instance, if you can say that you reduced costs in your department by 15% or improved customer satisfaction ratings by 20%, you’d want to highlight that, Lindemoen says.

Example of a good answer: “I think I have a strong track record of doing well at my job, and I think I can bring the same success to this position. Back at my old position … ” And then you would start offering up statistics, similar to what Lindemoen suggested, that make the argument that you know what you’re doing.

And there is a bonus to actually being able to offer statistics or specific examples of what you’ve accomplished. It should make you seem very prepared for the interview.

5. The ‘Because This Is Such a Good Fit for Me’ Answer

Making it all about you may not sound like a great way to answer the “Why should we hire you?” question at first. After all, your employer needs a problem solved or somebody really competent to join the team. They’re looking to be fixed, rather than looking to fix somebody else’s life.

But don’t discount good old-fashioned enthusiasm.

“Companies want their candidates to want their job,” says Kathleen Quinn Votaw, the CEO of TalenTrust, a staffing solutions and recruitment agency in Golden, Colorado.

However you comport your enthusiasm and whatever you say, Votaw says, “”Above all, make it memorable and personal.” For instance, she says that you could say something like: “I have dreamed of working in this (specific industry).”

If you position this job as your dream job, assuming that it actually is, your employer will know that you have the enthusiasm, at least, to take on the role. Hopefully your resume and background will help make the case that you also have the skills to take it on.

Example of a good answer: Votaw suggests saying something like: “You should hire me because I want to make a difference in your company. I have the necessary skills to be successful. I want to learn and grow with this company, and your job is the one that fits me best.”

It’s hard to imagine an employer not responding positively to that.

[READ: Why Software Developer Is the No. 1 Job of 2023.]

Final Thoughts on the ‘Why Should We Hire You’ Question

Obviously, a combination of all of the above is probably the way to go. You should give some specifics about why you’d be great at this job. You obviously want to offer up some passion and enthusiasm for it. You certainly do want to sell yourself. Well, you get the idea. You can mix your strategies up and probably should.

And, of course, you’ll want to distill the perfect answer to “Why should we hire you?” in a minute or two, so you can move onto answering the next question. No pressure.

It’s a good question for all interviewees to try and craft the perfect answer to. If you can’t think of a good answer to “Why should we hire you?” and find yourself really struggling to come up with something intelligent to say, that may be a sign that you should start asking your own questions, like — “Why am I applying to this job?”

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How to Answer ‘Why Should We Hire You?’ originally appeared on

Update 05/22/23: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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