QUESTION #8: – “Why Should I Hire You Over My Other Applicants?”
This is one of those questions that you truly can’t answer because you typically don’t know who else they are interviewing. What the employer really wants to know is: WHY YOU?
Tips to Answer this Interview Question:
This question usually comes up towards the end of the interview but sometimes it is one of the first questions asked. The key to answering this question is to sell yourself based on your understanding of the problems/pain that the employer is encountering by not having the position filled.
For example, if you are interviewing for a Senior Account Manager role, and you know that the job is open because someone who had been there for several years moved away, you know that the pain the employer is trying to avoid is losing loyal customers to their competitors.
You also know that just because the position is vacant doesn’t mean that the work has moved away too. The work load has been dispersed amongst the remaining team members and rest assured, they are probably not too happy about it. The employer has also lost a key relationship with underwriters. Now the trick is to answer the question by making the employer aware that you understand the problems they are facing with the vacancy.
You want to hire me because I understand what it’s like to work in a short staffed office due to a key employee leaving. The producer is lost without his account manager, the work load has been dumped on the rest of the staff who don’t know the accounts very well, and you are at risk of losing the account to your competitors once word gets out that your key account manager left. I was hired into this very same situation in my last position.
I was able to quickly work with the remaining account managers to understand the inner workings of the computer system and office procedures because I am a quick learner and good with computers. I was able to review the files with the Underwriters and make contact with the clients who were up for renewal so that they felt loved and cared for. I’m proud to say that we didn’t lose any business with the transition and I have been able to maintain at least a 93% retention rate on my book since then. I know firsthand, Mr. Employer, what it’s like to be in your situation right now, and that’s why I feel that I am your strongest candidate for the role.
The key to answering a comparison question like this one is to make sure the employer understands that regardless of who else he is interviewing, you “get it”; you understand the problems he is facing, the upset in the office due to the vacancy, the competition internally for the role, and most importantly, you show that you have the confidence to tackle the job head on.
I would follow up your answer with a simple question especially if you are in the wrap up phase of the interview: Mr. Employer, do you see any reason why I wouldn’t be a great fit for the position? Remain silent, and if the employer is truly seeing you in the role, you should hear and see very positive results that get you one step closer to the offer.