All job interview questions ultimately boil down to this one: “Why should we hire you?” For some, this is a tough question to answer. You don’t want to come across as bragging or conceited, yet you need to explain why they should hire you over the other presumably qualified candidates. You can answer this in a positive way that sets you apart and tells them why they need you.
Related: How To Answer 5 Tricky Job Interview Questions
Below are two winning ways to answer this question, one for if you have experience and another for if you don’t have experience (or enough experience).
If You Have The Experience To Do The Job
The ideal answer tells them that you have what they want, PLUS something extra. You’ll need to know what the job requirements are for this role and how your skill set matches up, but it’s the something extra that really sets you apart from your competition. You need to point out what that is and how it can help you not just meet, but exceed
their expectations for the role.
Things To mention
- 1-2 specific accomplishments that highlight you as someone who would be great in this role
- Your cultural fit with the company (and how your references will back that up)
“I have the skills that meet the qualifications you’ve asked for, and I’ve done this work successfully in the past. I am a great fit culturally, and you’ll see that when you speak with my references. Everything in my past demonstrates that I’ve done this before, and I will do it again. That’s what you want in a candidate—do you agree?”
Ending by asking “do you agree?” helps you communicate clearly with the interviewer because it confirms that you’ve answered their question to their satisfaction.
If You Don’t Have Experience (Or Only Limited Experience)
This is a common question for new graduates or for those who are pursuing a new career path. They have legitimate concerns about you, but they are interested or they wouldn’t be speaking with you now. All you need to do is help them think about this issue a little differently. Everyone has to start somewhere, and now is a good time to remind them of that.
Option 1 – Turn the Tables
You can remind them that at one time, they didn’t have any experience either:
“Well, when you first started, you didn’t have any experience and it’s obviously turned out well. Would you hire you again?”
They should be nodding along with you (always a great thing), acknowledging your logic and reducing the impact of your lack of experience.
Option 2 – Ask About Others They’ve Hired
Chances are that they have hired others with no experience, or very little experience. So, you can ask, “Have you ever hired anyone who didn’t have specific experience in this field? There may have been a few times that it didn’t work out, but there must have been times where it worked out wonderfully.”
They’ll probably say yes, and begin telling you about what happened. Then you can say, “That’s great. I can be that person because I can take those same skill sets and deliver those same kinds of results.”
The Ultimate Solution
The perfect way to address any question of your experience is to say, “I’m glad you asked that. I’ve put a lot of thought into how I can be especially successful in this role and I’d like to talk it over with you.”
Then you bring out your 30-60-90-Day Plan
for how you will approach this job in the first three months, and eliminate any experience objection right then and there.
Anything you can do to show them how you can be successful, or a reason why you can be successful, will connect the dots for them and help them see why they should hire you.
Find out more about my 30-60-90-Day Action Plan Template and Coaching, get it and start developing your plan today.
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About the author
Career Coach - Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner.
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