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How to Answer ‘Why Should I Hire You?’ In A Job Interview

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Why should I hire you?” is one of the most common job interview questions, yet so many candidates blow their chances of success with either a weak answer or an arrogant statement. When I speak with candidates, they almost always tell me that this is one of the hardest questions to answer and they find it tricky to strike a balance between confidence and cocky.

So how do you pitch your answer perfectly, so that the hiring manager is attracted to your skills, expertise and personal attributes. How do you do this without waffling, being overcome with a lack of self-confidence, or either way, talking yourself out of the job?

Take the time to prepare and practise your answer. You will probably find it uncomfortable to start with, but that’s okay. Not many people are used to talking about themselves in such a self-promotional way. Just remember that a job interview is not the time to be shy and retiring – the interviewer will expect you to blow your own trumpet!

Have fun with it! Find a room where nobody can hear you and go for it! Start by saying aloud all the things that are amazing about you and how much your skills and expertise will benefit the company. What is your unique selling point? What makes you stand out from the crowd? Go wild! Just get to the point where you don’t feel stupid speaking out loud then start to scale it back so you sound sincere.

Why not record your voice with a dictaphone or your cellphone? Play it back to give yourself feedback on the tone of your voice, and of course the quality of the content you have vocalised.

Take it one step further and speak while in front of a mirror. Look at your gestures and smile!

30 Second Elevator Pitch

Have you heard of a 30-second elevator pitch? It’s a term often used in the business world and simply means, what would you say in 30 seconds to promote a product or service? You can use this idea for your answer in a job interview, only this time, it’s you that is the product. What can you say in 30 seconds that will allow the hiring manager to visualise you in the new job role and convince them that you are the right person to hire for the job?

During a job interview, the trick is to summarise your skills, experience and qualifications that are relevant to the role in a succinct way with confidence.

Many candidates feel uncomfortable with this, but this is your chance to really ‘sell’ yourself and stand out from the competition. It’s your way to be memorable and ensure that whoever has interviewed you will be talking about you to others within the organisation even after you have left the building for all the right reasons. You don’t want to be remembered for being the nervous, shy or twitchy candidate, do you?

What Does The Interviewer Really Want?

A great salesperson will keep a close eye on their potential customer to look and listen for buying signals. They will also listen intently to establish the customer’s needs then sell a product or service based on what the customer actually wants. It’s an easier sell than trying to push something onto the customer that they don’t require.

You can use this as a technique in a job interview if you imagine the interviewer is the customer – in other words, the interviewer is the buyer (hirer). During your previous answers, look out for positive buying or hiring signals, such as smiling, nodding, agreeing and enthusiastic responses. If they are responding positively to what you say, try to remember these as you can then use the information when asked, “Why should I hire you?” because you have already established the things they like to hear.

You can also prepare further in advance by looking for clues based on the information detailed in the job description. Use this to your advantage by reading all the details to discover what the employer is looking for. What are the top three things they are requesting as essential requirements of the role? If you meet these, then that’s what you should include in your answer.

The most important part of answering is to highlight your strengths and prior experience in relation to the job role and how these will benefit the company in both the short and long term. You are the product so think about what the buyer (the company/ interviewer) needs.

Research the company and its competitors to see if you can come up with any golden nugget of information that you can use to add detail to your answer, not only for this question but others as well, as part of the interview process.

Comparisons

Sometimes, you will be asked to compare yourself to competing candidates, which is a roundabout way of asking “Why should I hire you?”

Comparison questions are a gift as they are your chance to really sell yourself by telling the interviewer why they should choose you above all the other candidates. Comparison questions are without a doubt decision making questions and if you are asked these, then there is a high probability that you are doing well!

What new skills or ideas do you bring to the job that our internal candidates don’t offer?”

Internal candidates can often be your biggest competitor as many employers look upon sideways moves or promotions as more seamless and cost-effective. No matter how amazing an external hire is; it still takes commitment, money and time to train and induct the new employee. Internal candidates can, therefore, be viewed as less of a risk.

Now is your chance to invite the interviewer to visualise how your external commercial experience can benefit the company and even if the internal candidate has more qualifications or hands-on experience, you can add more value particularly if you have worked for one of their competitors or have transferable skills which the other candidate may not have.

Back to the job description, company research and commercial awareness again. What can you bring from the outside and turn into action immediately? Can you see any gaps in the role or weaknesses of the company that you can use your expertise to positively change?

Be bold! What can you offer that they can’t?

We’re considering two other candidates for this position. Why should we hire you rather than someone else?”

Two, five, ten, a thousand candidates. The number is irrelevant here, so only focus on why they should hire YOU. Regardless of how many candidates are competing, it is ultimately only one person who will be hired for the position, so if you want that person to be you, you have to be the best.

If you are asked this towards the end of the interview, use the information you have gained during your conversation and stress any points where you have seen positive buying signals from the interviewer.

What To Avoid Saying

Unless you have been specifically asked a comparison question, steer clear of saying you are the best candidate for the job. Use your skills and experience to highlight this rather than claiming something you can’t substantiate. Never say you know you will be an asset to the current team unless you have actually met them and spent time with them. You can’t claim you will be an asset, just because you ‘think’ you will be. The hiring manager will just assume you are big-headed, verging on the side of arrogance and that could undo all the great work you have delivered in your previous answers.

Remove from your vocabulary overused words and clichés, such as hard-working, reliable, nice, punctual, target driven, loyal, team player, and so forth, as it is an assumption that you will be all of these as an employee. These are simple abilities that are a basic requirement of all job roles and won’t make you stand out from your competitors.

Keep your answers factual and avoid adding emotional or personal attributes that are subjective. Keep your answer down to 30 seconds or less and don’t forget to smile!

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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