How To Answer "Why Should We Hire You?" + Examples

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

You'll be asked many different questions during a job interview. In fact, you'll probably have several interviews with just one company. Each interview is a chance for you to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job. And there's one question you should anticipate being asked at the conclusion of an interview — "Why should we hire you?" It may sound like a tough question to answer, but not if you follow the steps and review the examples we've prepared below. What Interviewers Are Looking For "Why should we hire you?", is usually asked as a wrap up question near the end of a job interview. The interviewer isn't asking why you are better than all the other people they've interviewed...... Read more

How to make the most of our interview questions and your answers

By VAntage Point Contributor | VAntage Point Contributor © 2021, Reprinted with permission

So, you've made it through the paperwork process and secured an interview with VA. Congratulations! As you prepare for your interview with us, you may be considering how you would respond to questions we may ask. As you prep, though, keep in mind that how you respond to a question is just as significant as the answer you provide. VA uses a performance-based interview (PBI) process, which asks applicants to describe what they would have done in a specific situation. This differs from the more traditional interview model you may be accustomed to — we're not asking you to describe what you would do in a situation but to pull your answer from a particular moment in your career that best illustrates your success. Recognizing your...... Read more

Free Tools For A Better Online Presence

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

In order to create a better online presence, one of the best things you can do is become more active on social media and create visually interesting updates. I've compiled this list of tools I use (and recommend) to help you incorporate visuals into your social media updates to build awareness of your online personal brand- all without spending an enormous amount of time. I spend about 15 minutes a day scheduling social media updates across different platforms. You can do this too! Social Media Stats & Data. But before I dive in, here are some marketing stats to convince you that you should embrace using visuals in your social media updates. Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other...... Read more

Veterans needed to serve as youth mentors

By VAntage Point Contributor | VAntage Point Contributor © 2021, Reprinted with permission

The Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) is seeking Veterans to serve as youth mentors and help develop character and leadership skills in young adults. Veterans can become a Veteran Mentor through TMF"s Character Does Matter youth mentorship program and help lead positive change in their communities. TMF is dedicated to empowering Veterans to share their stories — stories of real people — exemplifying strong character and leadership, and can demonstrate what it means to live TMF"s "If Not Me, Then Who..." ethos, challenging youth to do the same. According to TMF, nearly 84% of Veterans report a sense of community as a result of being involved with the program, as well as a significant increase in their sense of thriving as their involvement increases. "The impact TMF has had on me has been tremendous. It"s given me the courage... Read more

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How To Answer "Why Should We Hire You?" + Examples

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

You'll be asked many different questions during a job interview. In fact, you'll probably have several interviews with just one company. Each interview is a chance for you to convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job.

And there's one question you should anticipate being asked at the conclusion of an interview — "Why should we hire you?"

It may sound like a tough question to answer, but not if you follow the steps and review the examples we've prepared below.

What Interviewers Are Looking For

"Why should we hire you?", is usually asked as a wrap up question near the end of a job interview.

The interviewer isn't asking why you are better than all the other people they've interviewed (although that may be what you are thinking).

What they're really asking is:

"Now that we've had this conversation and I've explained the role and what we need you to do, why do you believe you are qualified and interested in this job?"

Often there's a question within the question. In this case, the interviewer wants you to demonstrate that you understand the role and present your qualifications.

There are variations to the classic "why should we hire you" question. You may be asked:

  • Why would you be a good fit for this position?
  • Why should we hire you instead of one of the many other well-qualified applicants?
  • Why are you the best person for this job?
  • Explain why your background and experience would be a good fit for this job.

No matter which version of the question you get, the answer you give will be the same.

You see, hiring the right person is risky. A manager doesn't really know who they've hired until they have been in the role for awhile.

The interview process is one way to eliminate risk. It's used by employers to evaluate whether you will be able to do the job.

And each person conducting an interview has a slightly different perspective about how you may fit within the role. You can tell by the questions they ask what's important in their decision making process.

For example, your potential boss wants to understand what it will be like to manage you. They're wondering if you'll ask a lot of questions, if you'll follow protocol, and if you'll make their life easier or harder. A peer interviewer may assess your skills to do the job and how you'll fit with the other people on the team.

In every interview, employers are evaluating three basic things:

  • Can you do the job (do you have the skills and experience)
  • Will you do the job (will you be motivated to do the work here)
  • Will they like working with you (are you easy to manage)

This means the interviewer is evaluating your skills, motivation and personality. And when they ask "why should we hire you" it's the perfect opportunity for you to include those three areas in your answer.

Your goal is to craft an answer that will get you to the next round of interviews. That's why you want to formulate a concise, convincing answer.

How To Answer This Question

This is your chance to connect the dots and mention the most important qualifications that meet their requirements, based on the answers the interviewer provided. It's also the time to express your interest in the role, team and company.

Use Their Language/Words

When you mirror someone's language or words, it shows you've been paying attention. Mirroring is also a good way of establishing rapport. Pay attention to the terminology they use and include that in your answer.

Show Interest and Excitement

Use words and your body language to show your enthusiasm for the job, company, and/or industry. For example you can use words like "love," "excited," or "passionate" in your answer. You can also lean forward, closer to the interviewer or camera, and speak slightly faster or louder. Let your enthusiasm come through.

Display Confidence

Without sounding cocky, you want to provide examples of times you've faced similar challenges or been successful. Just state the facts. All you need to do is believe in your own capabilities. And if you can't muster the confidence, try to fake it.

Pick Three Reasons

Based on the questions and answers provided during the interviews, pick their top three requirements or the best three reasons to hire you.

There's something about the number three that will make it easy for you and the interviewer to remember. We're not sure why it works, but it does!

Even before the interview, you should review the job posting and look for areas where you know you'll be a strong match. These are some potential areas for you to focus on:

  • Experience performing specific work-related tasks
  • Industry knowledge
  • Technical skills
  • Soft skills
  • Relevant accomplishments
  • Awards/accolades
  • Education/training
Reference The Pain Points

You'll have to listen carefully during your conversation to identify the company's top pain points or the problems this role is being asked to fix. For example, if the interviewer mentions that the last person in the role had weak Excel skills, this would be a perfect opportunity to share how you used Excel in your past job.

Use Quantifiable Data

Instead of saying you have strong communication skills, back it up with a story and real data. For example, you may choose to include a mini example of a time you have to send an email to the 260 employees at your company notifying them about changes in an HR policy or that you resolved a billing issue with a client worth $5 million. Numbers speak volumes and help paint a fuller picture of the situation.

Note: If you are applying to a larger or smaller organization, be aware that percentages may be a better way to convey your impact. A smaller company may feel you are overqualified if you've solved big-dollar problems.

Highlight What You Offer That's Unique

One of your goals when answering "why should we hire you?" should be to set yourself apart. You can do this by including in your answer a unique qualification or characteristic that adds value to hiring you. For example, almost all accounting candidates will have experience with data entry and financial calculations. However, if you have strong PowerPoint and data visualization skills, this may be valuable in creating presentations or executive summaries.

This seemingly small differentiator could set you apart from the other candidates and put you ahead in the selection process.

60 Seconds

That's all the time you have. Humans have very short attention spans so you want to concisely provide the interviewer with something they'll remember and something that will help you stick out in their memory as they evaluate other candidates.

Practice, practice, practice so you concisely explain why they should consider hiring you.

Best Answer Examples

Seeing examples of answers helps you finesse your own answer to the daunting "why should we hire you?" question. Feel free to mix and match sentences from the answers below to find one that feels right.

Why Should We Hire You Answer #1 — Nonprofit

I am passionate about helping increase reading literacy to those in need in my community, which keeps me motivated and excited about doing my best work. I understand you need a candidate who can be consistently available for weekend events. I have a 100% attendance record from my previous retail job working a fluctuating schedule. I also bring leadership experience, having trained over 15 new hires on the day-to-day operations and to feel comfortable in their new roles. What excites me most about this job is that it offers the fulfillment of doing meaningful work while also allowing me to use my educational background in psychology.

Why Should We Hire You Answer #2 — Project Management

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to answer this question. As we've been talking, I noticed that you specifically mentioned you were looking for someone with project management experience. I have many years of experience as a project manager, but what I think really sets me apart and will make me a valuable addition to your team is the fact that I value lasting relationships and work hard to build those with developers, vendors and senior managers. I also enjoy communicating with customers to keep them updated and satisfied. I am truly passionate about this industry and am excited about the direction it's headed. This drives me to deliver high-quality work every day.

Why Should We Hire You Answer #3 — Sales

I'm confident that I would be a strong contributor to your sales team. In my past two sales roles, I was one of the top 5 producers in the company. My success in sales is due to my curiosity and problem solving skills — I love consultative selling and meeting new people. And I work well internally too. My teammates have recognized me as being someone they look forward to partnering with to close collaborative deals. I'm excited about the challenge of growing your business in new territories and can see how my previous experience building brand awareness for a new product will help me achieve your goals. I'm looking forward to our next conversation.

Why Should We Hire You Answer #4 — Tech

What sets me apart is my experience setting up IT teams. You mentioned that this was a top priority for you and in my last role I implemented project management systems that improved the team's productivity. I lead based on my first hand knowledge as an IT technician for numerous years and know that changes have to be bought into by the employees. This experience also gives me credibility with the team. Working with remote teams is also something I've enjoyed and had success with. In my last role we had people in three different time zones. I would love to use some of what I've done to help you fine-tune your IT group and take it to the next level.

Why Should We Hire You Answer #5 — Marketing

I believe that my experience with technology, specifically in the web design space, makes me a strong match for this position. In my previous job, I was responsible for maintaining and updating our company website. I also oversaw a digital media campaign that generated a 22% increase in awareness among our target demographic. I truly enjoyed what I was doing, which is what drew me to this position with your company. Meeting the team during the interview process has solidified my desire to work here within your marketing department.

Why Should We Hire You Answer #6 — New Graduate

I have the experience and the attitude to excel in this financial analyst role. I have close to two years of banking experience — including two summers interning at XYZ bank, where I provided research and support for high net worth clients. They were impressed with the quality of my work the first summer and invited me back for a second summer and gave me more responsibilities. During my final year at ABC University, I ran the Finance club with over 200 members. As President, I grew the club membership by 25% by coordinating work projects where students could acquire real-time skills. I have a reputation for getting things done and I'm not afraid of a challenge. I truly enjoy the world of finance and take every opportunity to learn and grow my knowledge. This role would be a fantastic opportunity to take my career to the next level.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

When giving your answer to "why should we hire you", you already know what you should do, but what kinds of things should you avoid? The short answer is anything that would take away from your qualifications or interest in the job, but here's a list of pitfalls to keep in mind.

Not Preparing Enough

Don't wing it. Take the time to prepare your points ahead of the interview but also listen for clues about what the company's challenges are or what they say their goals are. Before the interview, practice your answer out loud. This might cause you to realize that you need to adjust things slightly during the real interview.

Always practice your answers out loud, either in front of a mirror, camera or with someone you trust who won't hesitate to point out areas you could improve.

General or Trite Statements

An answer that is under a minute and filled with general or trite statements is not going to work. Stating that you're a hard worker or a quick learner won't win the interviewer over. Use a specific example of a time you worked hard or learned something quickly.

Sounding Desperate

You may really need a job, but It isn't the employer's obligation to hire you. Your focus should be on how you can help the company. Saying that you really need this job won't win the interviewer over.

Being Overly Confident

Telling the interviewer that you've done this job before and could do it in your sleep isn't exactly convincing. In fact, it sounds a bit arrogant and you may even sound over-qualified for the job. Stick to the facts of what you did and what the outcomes were.

And you don't know for sure if you're perfect for the role. That's ultimately up to the interviewer to decide. Avoid saying you are confident you can do the job or that you are the best candidate. Prove it by listing the reasons.

Never Lie or Exaggerate

There's no need to embellish or exaggerate or take credit for things you didn't actually do. You'll eventually be found out. Always be truthful.

Being Too Humble

No one likes selling themselves. But all you need to do is take credit for the work you've done. Avoid using words like "sometimes," "maybe" or "just." If you are uncomfortable taking credit, try using what others have said about you. "My past manager said I..."

Comparing Yourself To The Unknown

You really have no idea what the competition for this job looks like. Don't make assumptions about the other candidates. There may be internal candidates with less experience but who have a better understanding of the company. Or there may be external candidates with lots more experience.

The best you can do is focus on what makes you a strong candidate based on the research you've done and what's been shared during the interview process.

Missing The Opportunity

While you may not be asked this question or a version of it in every interview, you should listen for the opportunity to provide the reasons why the company should hire you before the interview concludes. At the end of the interview you could say: "Before we end, I want to let you know that I'm very interested in the position and I think I would be an asset in the role because..."

Conclusion

When answering the question "why should we hire you?", the best answers summarize your greatest assets and why you are a fit for the role. State the facts in a concise, confident way. Your answer serves as a reminder of why you are qualified and interested in the role and the value of your unique blend of skills and talents. Keep in mind, the company will benefit from having you on their team.

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How to make the most of our interview questions and your answers

By VAntage Point Contributor | VAntage Point Contributor © 2021, Reprinted with permission

So, you've made it through the paperwork process and secured an interview with VA. Congratulations!

As you prepare for your interview with us, you may be considering how you would respond to questions we may ask. As you prep, though, keep in mind that how you respond to a question is just as significant as the answer you provide.

VA uses a performance-based interview (PBI) process, which asks applicants to describe what they would have done in a specific situation. This differs from the more traditional interview model you may be accustomed to — we're not asking you to describe what you would do in a situation but to pull your answer from a particular moment in your career that best illustrates your success.

Recognizing your emotional intelligence

To make the best impression in a PBI, it helps to have in-depth, complete responses that offer insight into not only your accomplishments or your shortcomings but how you achieved your successes and responded to your failures.

These kinds of answers rely on your emotional intelligence, or your ability to recognize motivations for your behavior and imbue your responses with a sense of self-awareness and empathy that PBIs are designed to elicit.

As you consider your potential responses, take time to pay attention to interactions around you. Listen to what others are telling you through their words, body language and facial expressions. Observing the way people use and react to emotion can help you fine-tune your own emotional intelligence.

Up to PAR

While you're preparing for your PBI, let's introduce another acronym to the mix: PAR. PAR is a device to help you remember how you want to respond to a performance-based question. It stands for:

  • Problem
  • Action
  • Results

As we mentioned above, PBI questions hinge on a storytelling component to effectively judge a response. Remember, you're not talking about a hypothetical situation. Rather, you're pulling from your vast wealth of experience to answer the question.

However, as you answer, you may find yourself tempted to go into greater depth than is warranted as you try to explain a situation. Using the PAR acronym reminds you to focus your answer on the "problem" you encountered, the "action" you took and the "results" you experienced.

If you can get your answers "up to PAR," you're well on your way to a successful interview.

Not modest, but honest

When approaching your interview, combining the emotional intelligence with your PAR responses will help you structure your answers and present your best self to your interviewer. You'll be able to tell your story in a clear, concise way that speaks volumes about who you are as a candidate and why you're the best person for the job.

As you answer your questions, don't be modest. This is your interview, and you have earned the chance to brag about your skills and accomplishments. But remember to be honest in your responses, too. Don't embellish your answers; be up front about your mistakes even as you promote your successes.

Work at VA

When you interview with us, tell your story and give your interviewer a clear picture of what you bring to the table.

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Free Tools For A Better Online Presence

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - Reprinted with permission

In order to create a better online presence, one of the best things you can do is become more active on social media and create visually interesting updates.

I've compiled this list of tools I use (and recommend) to help you incorporate visuals into your social media updates to build awareness of your online personal brand- all without spending an enormous amount of time.

I spend about 15 minutes a day scheduling social media updates across different platforms. You can do this too!

Social Media Stats & Data

But before I dive in, here are some marketing stats to convince you that you should embrace using visuals in your social media updates.

  • Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (Source)
  • Tweets with photos are retweeted 35% more than those without (Source)
  • Facebook updates with visuals get 2.3x more engagement (Source)
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. (Source)

And specifically for job seekers, here's why being active on social media can help your job search. You can read more about the data from CareerBuilder's research here.

Everything you share on social media helps convey who you are and what's important to you. Sharing on-brand updates makes it easier for recruiters to find or discover you. It also provides recruiters with some insight as to whether you are a fit for their role/organization.

Status Update Ideas

If you are befuddled by what to share on social media, here are some ideas:

  • Industry insights
  • News about target companies (or people inside target companies)
  • Job-related tips/hacks
  • Ask questions
  • Quotes
  • Memes
  • Infographics, photos, videos
  • Upcoming events you will be attending
  • Live updates during an event
  • Re-share updates posted by people in your network

To get more details, read this post 10 LinkedIn Status Updates for Job Seekers. It is written to help you figure out what to share on LinkedIn, but the same ideas would work across all the other networks too!

Free Tools For A Better Online Presence

Tools To Schedule Social Media Updates

When you post on social media, you want to spread your updates out over time. By dripping content out, you improve the chances that what you share will be viewed by a wider audience. So rather than sharing something when you find it, spread your updates out over time. I use both Buffer and Hootsuite from my desktop and mobile device. (FYI: I also use the free versions)


Buffer

You can share any page you're reading to almost any social network, either immediately or in the future.

Step 1: sign up for free and link your social media accounts so you can share to them.

Step 2: download the app to your phone/mobile device

Step 3: download the extension to your web browser.

Step 4: find an article, picture or anything on the web and click on the Buffer option (either from your browser or if the post has sharing icons, you can use the Buffer option).

As a free user, you have a limited number of updates you can make. This is why I also use Hootsuite in addition to Buffer.

If you want to dive in deeper and learn more about how to use Buffer, start with their Introduction to Buffer.


Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a social media dashboard. From their dashboard, which you download to your computer, you can share status updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. In short, Hootsuite allows you to schedule when and where you want to share your updates on social media.

Step 1: Create a free Hootsuite account.

Step 2: Add social networks.

Step 3: Download Hootlet for your Chrome browser & Hootsuite mobile app

Step 4: Publish/share updates

To learn more about how to use Hootsuite, you can start by reading their Quick Start Guide.


Later

An invaluable tool for scheduling posts on Instagram, I use this to share my new blog posts. The "linkin.bio" feature makes this simple to share a link to my article.

The free version has limitations. You can't share videos or carousels (more than one photo per post). But Later is a great time saver for scheduling regular posts to Instagram. You can also use Later to schedule to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and LinkedIn.

Tool To Save Articles for Later

Sometimes you just want to save an article. Maybe you want to read it before you share it or maybe it's too good to forget. You can use Pocket to easily save articles and even better, easily find them from any device. Bookmarking is so 1990s.


Pocket

Sometimes you want an easy way to save an article to read later. Pocket let's you do this. Just click on the bookmarklet/extension from your desktop or from your phone, click on the three dots and select share and scroll down until you see Pocket.

You can add a tag to help you categorize/file/search for the article.

Tools to Create Visuals for Social Media

Canva

If you want more design options, then check out this easy-to-use tool. Just pick the type of image you want to create, add an image (or background) and text and download! Canva is very easy to use and there are templates for almost everything you need and ensures you use the best image size for the social media platform you are creating an image for.

For more help using Canva, you can view their Graphic Design Tutorials.


Pablo by Buffer

Do you want to create a graphic in an instant? Type in text, use find an image from their library and share to your favorite social network! (Or you can download it to your computer). And yes, you can use Buffer to schedule it to post at another time! This is probably the fastest tool for creating and sharing directly to social networks. It does have limitations. But if you are looking for fast and easy, Pablo is for you.

To learn more about using Pablo, read: Engaging Social Media Images in 30 Seconds Flat: Introducing Pablo by Buffer.


Visme

A robust tool to create ANY type of graphic from social media posts, to presentations to marketing material, this one tool can do it all.

Templates are available to make it simple to design whatever you want. You'll also find great tutorials to improve your design skills and how to use this product.

Stock Photos (free/no attribution required)

If you are looking for stock photos and images you can modify and use without attribution, check out these free resources.

Tools For Screenshots

Don't forget about using screenshots! Using your phone's camera or taking a screenshot with your phone works too. If you are looking for a tool to capture an image from your computer try these.


Snip and Sketch

This basic screenshot tool comes with Windows. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles, but it does allow you to easily grab what's on your screen!

It allows you to snip, add text, blur, and more. Plus, you can save your screenshot to Evernote or your computer.


Nimbus Screen capture

This Chrome extension allows you to capture a screenshot and edit! If you want to add text, underline or even blur, you have all these options once you've captured your screenshot. You can screengrab videos too.


Loom

If you are looking for an easy way to record yourself showing how to do something on screen, Loom is the tool for you. It's a great way to create short instructional videos. Here's a 3 minute tutorial I created on how to find people to follow on Twitter

Choosing the Correct Size Image to Share

Every social network has a different size image that works best for a status update. It can be frustrating to keep track. (I've put the image below on my bulletin board). Buffer keeps an up-to-date list of the image sizes to use for status updates across different social media. All the tools to create images (listed above) have templates to help you get the right-sized image.

The Ideal Image Sizes for Your Social Media Posts: Guidelines for All Major Social Networks

How Often To Share

If you are someone who is ready to create a strong online presence, then these are my recommendations for how often to share status updates on the most popular social networks. Note: you may not be active on all of these social networks. Pick the top 2 and focus on those first.

  • Twitter: 5-8 posts a day
  • Facebook: 1-2 posts a day
  • LinkedIn: 1 post a day
  • Instagram: 1-2 posts a day
  • Pinterest: 3-5 posts a day

In order to do this, you are going to need to use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite and you will have to find good quality content to share. Read this to help: Build Your Brand By Sharing Content

Don't Forget About Your Profile and Banner Images

You also want to make your social media profile images the right size. You can learn how to do that by reading this guest post by Venngage here:

How to Create A Cohesive Social Branding Kit

And creating infographics is another great visual content strategy. Want to learn how to create an infographic resume? Check out my book: "The Infographic Resume"

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Veterans needed to serve as youth mentors

By VAntage Point Contributor | VAntage Point Contributor © 2021, Reprinted with permission

The Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) is seeking Veterans to serve as youth mentors and help develop character and leadership skills in young adults.

Veterans can become a Veteran Mentor through TMF's Character Does Matter youth mentorship program and help lead positive change in their communities. TMF is dedicated to empowering Veterans to share their stories — stories of real people — exemplifying strong character and leadership, and can demonstrate what it means to live TMF's "If Not Me, Then Who..." ethos, challenging youth to do the same.

According to TMF, nearly 84% of Veterans report a sense of community as a result of being involved with the program, as well as a significant increase in their sense of thriving as their involvement increases.

"The impact TMF has had on me has been tremendous. It's given me the courage to do things I never pictured myself doing — including public speaking to youth and motivation to tell my story," said one Veteran Mentor. "I've gotten a lot of peace being able to inspire others and having TMF and the Veterans in this community as an outlet."

Veterans will receive virtual Veteran Mentor Training and walk away fully prepared to deliver TMF's character development curriculum to students in the community. TMF equips Veterans with all the resources needed to deploy the Character Does Matter program and continue a legacy of selfless service.

Learn more and register to become a Veteran Mentor through Travis Manion Foundation's Spartan Development Center, a 24/7 portal where participants can access Travis Manion Foundation training courses and an extensive resource library to help make a difference in the lives of the youth in the community.

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