The #1 question on your interviewer’s mind

Audrey Glasgow

Why should I hire you?

Do you remember being asked this question?  For some crazy reason, answering this question really messes up a lot of people.  Probably because there is a lot riding on how well you answer this question.  Let’s face it: this question will determine whether or not you get an offer or more importantly, how high you negotiate your next salary. “Why should I hire you?” is the #1 question on your interviewer’s mind.


Answer sooner rather than later

The best time to answer this question is when you have your interviewer’s full attention. Try something like this:


“Ed, I just want to say thank you for inviting me to interview for this position.  When I first heard about this position I knew instantly it was a great match.”


Right away you’ve peaked Ed’s interest and he wants to know more.  Don’t think you are being too forward or aggressive.  What you’re actually doing is making the interview much easier for Ed and yourself.


Don’t blow your chances

Most people in an interview find it difficult to say why they should be hired.  Some of my clients say things like, “I’m not going to be too up front because I don’t want to come across as being too pushy or desperate.”  Here's a word of caution: don’t blow your chances by taking a "wait and see" approach to the interview.  If you do, you run the risk of missing an opportunity to impress your interviewer.   Why do you think most interviews start off with, “so, tell me about yourself”

Check out Richard’s Example

Interviewer: “So, Richard, tell me more about you.” Richard: "Over the last 10 years I spent my career exceeding sales quotas.  I remember when I first started in sales, I really didn’t know what I was doing.  But I quickly understood that my success as sales professional depended on me aligning myself with a great mentor. I now know that the best way to be successful in sales is to build a great relationship with the customer.   When I received the President’s Award for consistently exceeding sales quotas by 30%, my success was due to the rapport I built with my customers.  Once the client realized I understood their business, it was easy for me to match products and services to solve their problems.  In my research, I understood that the markets you are trying to reach is the high tech start-ups.  I was responsible for creating the high tech start-up territory at my last company and I can do the same for this company.”


Right off the bat Richard focused his response on two of his key accomplishments.  He also told a great story.  People love a great story, especially when it relates back to something that will help them.


Here’s How to Impress Your Interviewer

Step 1:

Start with your personal brand statement.  Right away tell your interviewer about the overall value you have consistently delivered throughout your career.  Then, back it up with a great example.


Step 2:

Know your accomplishments in detail and how to tell a great story.  Focus your stories on the following:

  • The Challenge you faced
  • The Actions you took
  • What Results you achieved.

Step 3: Know the challenges the company or your interviewer is facing and be ready to give examples of how you can contribute to solving those problems.


Final Words

Don’t throw away a job that is right for you.  Be prepared to answer the #1 question on your interviewer’s mind.  Fail to do this and you’ve lost your chances.

This post is written by Audrey Glasgow. Audrey is a Career Coach who helps professionals market their expertise for the next interview, job or career move.  You can follow her on her blog at www.guruassistant.com.



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