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HR expert Liz Ryan has 4 tricks to nail your response when asked, ‘Why should we hire you?’

The key is to use concrete examples that show you love working in the industry.

Peter Cade/Getty Images

  • It can be hard to explain to a recruiter why they should hire you.
  • HR expert Liz Ryan gave Forbes four ways you can offer a compelling answer to this question.
  • Avoid being arrogant and use concrete examples that show your skills and dedication.

Often, one of the simplest questions in an interview can be the hardest to answer.

For example, many struggle to answer the question “why should we hire you?”

“Almost every candidate will answer the question by praising themselves. That’s not the best approach,” wrote former HR executive, Liz Ryan, in an article for Forbes.

The tricky bit is to find a middle ground. You don’t want to come across as arrogant. Equally, you don’t want to hide your good qualities.

Don’t say you’re the best — explain why you love the job

It’s not about telling the recruiter that you’re the smartest or the best. 

Ryan gave four answers you can use as a model when faced with the question, “Why should we hire you?”

1. “From what I understand about the job, it’s a position that requires a lot of fast activity during the day, and that’s the kind of job I thrive in. I love to stay busy and wear a lot of hats. Is my assessment of the environment on target?”

2. “What if I share my impression of the role and see if I’ve got a good handle on it — is that okay? Great! Well, it seems that this job is very connected to the inventory system and your part-number database.”

“It sounds like your new hire will go to weekly production meetings and make sure that every part you require for the next week’s production schedule is on hand, or if it isn’t, to fix that problem! When suppliers switch out parts or re-number them, this person will make sure the database gets updated. Did I cover the most important points?”

3. “Honestly I’d have a hard time saying truthfully “You should hire me!” because you are going to meet or have already met the other candidates, and of course, I haven’t met them.”

“I would only say that I’m excited about your company and its prospects. I’ve been working in inventory control and production planning very successfully and I love it, and if I seem like the right person for the job I’d be very excited to continue the conversation.”

4. “Earlier in our conversation you mentioned that it’s a challenge keeping parts on hand for products that you only build in small quantities. In my last job I set up a system with the suppliers for our low-quantity parts, because it would be very easy for us to slip off those suppliers’ radar screens.”

“I maintained a dashboard that showed us when we were running low on any of those low-quantity parts because we needed more lead time to get those orders turned around and delivered to us. As a result of the dashboard, we were seldom if ever out of stock on those products. I love to spot the most time-consuming and irritating production problem in any company and solve it first.”

The key is to use concrete examples that show you love working in the industry. Only a concrete example will convince the recruiter and show them that you have the skills and dedication required for the job.

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