Why You Should Be Hired Instead of Other Applicants

Learn How to Answer This Interview Questions

waiting for a job interview
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Employers often ask a question like, "Why should we hire you instead of the other candidates for this position?" as a way to discover the strengths of an interviewee. Since you will rarely know the strengths and weaknesses of the other candidates, this question is really just an opportunity for you to convey what qualifies you most for the job. That’s good news because it means that you can concentrate on showing off your strengths and making a case for why you’re the best possible hire.

Remember: Interviewers Are Hiring to Solve a Problem

There’s a lot going on during job interviews. You’re trying to figure out whether the job will provide you with what you need, in terms of career development, sense of purpose and financial requirements. The hiring manager, on the other hand, is trying to hire someone who will solve a problem for his or her company.

That’s right: the ultimate goal of a job interview, from HR’s perspective, is to make a hire that solves a problem. That problem might be relatively simple – keep the company on track to hit its financial goals, for example. If the organization is restructuring, attempting to grow, or trying to hold their place in a crowded marketplace, the problem might be more complex. In any case, your mission is to figure out what that problem is, and show that you can solve it better than any other candidate.

Compare Your Resume to the Job Requirements

The first step in preparing an effective response to this type of question is to carefully analyze the qualifications for your target job.

Review the job advertisement and look for keywords that describe the role. Check the job section of the employer website where there might be a longer job description, and integrate that information into your approach.

If you’ve made it to the interview stage, there’s a good chance that you’ve gotten started on this already.

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the complete job description before you apply for a job. That way you can tailor your resume and cover letter so they are as close a match as possible to what the company says they’re looking for. Here’s how to match your resume with the job requirements.

List the Employer’s Job Requirements

If the employer has provided a detailed list of their requirements and preferences in the job description, then you are ready to proceed to the next step. If not, then search job sites like Indeed.com, Monster or Dice with similar titles and look for ads which clearly delineate what employers are looking for in candidates for those kinds of jobs.

LinkedIn can also be helpful, here. Look at profiles for current employees to get a sense of what skills and accomplishments are valuable to the organization. Then, search for profiles of members with similar job titles at other employers, to see what applies to the role generally, across the industry.

Another way to gain a clear sense of employer preferences is to conduct informational interviews with professionals in the field to get their view of what it takes to be successful in that type of role. Also, check the skills required for the job.

Here’s a list of skills that employers seek for a variety of types of jobs.

List Your Qualifications for the Job

Make a list of the key qualifications for the job which you have uncovered through your research. For each item on your list, review your own work, volunteer, and academic history to determine how you can show evidence of that qualification. Write down an example which shows how you have employed that strength to your advantage. When you’re preparing for the interview, practice answering interview questions so that you can display your strengths.

Share Why You Should Get the Job

Be prepared to describe each situation, project or challenge, plus the actions you took that showcase the asset and positive results. Your assets can be skills, areas of knowledge or expertise, personal qualities or relevant areas of experience.

Select five to seven of your strengths that correspond most closely to the job requirements, and use these as the core for your answer regarding what distinguishes you as a candidate. You can add a couple of your other special qualities which have generally helped you to be successful in productive endeavors and you will be ready to impress your interviewer.