Why should we hire you? Know exactly what to say

Visa Interview The labour market supply of graduates has outgrown the labour demand

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 Source: Daniel Adjei

According to statistics, about 48 percent of youth in the country are unemployed.

The African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) has indicated that the greatest challenge facing Ghana is rising youth unemployment. Chief Economist at ACET, Dr Yaw Ansu called on the state sometime back to make youth employment a top priority.

Eric Kofi Kontoh wrote there is rising deep anxiety about the rapid increase in the rate of graduate unemployment in Ghana. The reality of the job market has sent many graduates back to school and the rest has been left to wonder how to get a foothold in the job market.

The number of job openings and vacancies is minimal and one can only imagine the ratio of job applicants to job vacancies. Simply put, there are no jobs to apply to; the labour market supply of graduates has outgrown the labour demand.

With all the above challenges in Ghana when one is given the opportunity to answer the question, 'why should we hire you?', then you need to know exactly what to say and what not to say.

This question is likely the single best opportunity you have to seal the deal in the job interview. But because it's so broad, it can also lead you down a slippery slope if you're not concise.

When interviewers ask this question, they want you to convince them that you're the best candidate for the job. To ace the response, you must do your homework on the employer and job description so you can align your skills and experience with their specific needs.

This is an opportunity to say, 'You need X, and I am the best person for the job because of Y.' You want to convey that not only are you a safe choice with minimal risk — but also a great choice," says Lynn Taylor.

Before you arrive at the job interview, you should have a general sense of how to communicate this, she suggests. "One useful technique is to have three major points in mind on why you're an excellent choice. This is a default framework you can come back to in the interview to sell yourself. It will become more refined as the interview proceeds."

Jacquelyn Smith shared Lynn Taylor’s expert view on how to answer this question from below discussion. Here's how to answer the common "Why should we hire you?" interview question:

Listen to real-time cues.

"As you hear the finer details of job requirements, jot down some keywords from your background that will help you provide a targeted response once the hiring manager asks this question," Taylor says. "If for example, organizational skills are paramount, you may jot down certain related software programs you use." As you make minor notes, still try to maintain good eye contact and stay in an active listening mode.

"Since you now have more data on the real requirements, it's time to turn up your pitch a notch," she says. For instance, know your unique selling proposition. What makes you particularly qualified for the job among your peers? What does the firm present publicly and in the interview? How does your unique background align with their mission? "If for example, the company's advertising tagline is about service excellence, you can address how your customer service expertise resulted in quantifiable results, such as in expanded business, training you provided, or client recognition you received," says Taylor.

Focus on key points.

1) Offer the big picture. This is a general overview of the overall match, says Taylor. "You're setting a general comfort zone here." For example, you'll want to talk about: how long you've been doing X at what types of companies; your applicable specialty areas; technical skills; training; and education. "Maybe you've been promoted frequently or have been given increased responsibility or staff — which objectively attest to your big picture value," says Taylor. "Share that information."

2) Discuss your accomplishments. This is your opportunity to talk more specifically about a couple of specific projects that showcase your related skill sets and experience. "Results are what count, however, so be sure to mention how the contributions helped your company, and how your expertise could similarly make a significant impact on them," says Taylor. But remember to be concise!

3) Communicate that you have excellent people skills. If you have a few soft skill attributes that you feel would be an asset to the position (such as team player, motivational leader, strong work ethic, reliable), tell them.

"By addressing the low turnover in your department, for example, you underscore that you have strong management potential," says Taylor. "Oftentimes, slightly stronger people skills trump minor weaknesses in technical expertise. Unlike technical skills, it's virtually impossible to teach attitude."

Prove you'd be a great investment.

"Every manager wants to be assured that you'd offer a good return on investment," she says. "They want to mitigate risk and avert being in the hiring doghouse. This is your chance use bottom line examples of why the company will benefit from hiring you. What are some specific, applicable accomplishments that illustrate this? Where possible, give dollar percentages or raw numbers (sans inflation)."

For instance, did you:

Reduce expenses by a certain percent?

Streamline certain processes?

Develop new programs that increased revenues?

Reduce turnover?

Secure new accounts or expand an existing business?

"This is not to downplay your overall awards, recognition, kudos, soft skills, and overall success; they still support your market value in a credible way," says Taylor. "A combination of the two is ideal."

Be enthusiastic.

"Once you've made a solid argument for your skills being a good match, there's one more factor needed in the mix," says Taylor. "Show your excitement and enthusiasm for the position. No matter how good you look on paper or present facts, illustrating that you're genuinely motivated and want the job is a key contributing factor." After all, this is a good reason to hire you, too. Just make sure your zeal doesn't slip into the category of desperation. You want to convey that you want the job, not need it.

Be as specific, but brief, as possible.

In selling your great attributes for the job, a few words of caution: When given a sweeping question like this, it's easy to go into long-winded tangents — or wax on about the time that you developed the equivalent of the Internet of Things for your employer. "Be conscious of brevity and don't exaggerate," Taylor suggests. "One, it may be highly transparent; two, it may be deflated in a reference check; and three, if not caught (and eventually hired), you could find yourself in over your head."

By doing your homework, paying close attention to the input you’re given and conveying confidence in performing to the employer's expectations or beyond, you'll likely present a winning case, she concludes.

Just as businesses need to understand their customers in order to effectively market to them, candidates also need to know what hiring managers are looking for in order to get noticed and get hired. Jack Welch helps job seekers to get a leg-up on the competition with “The Four Es and a P” of hiring.

Job hunting is not a fun endeavour – revamping your resume, writing cover letters, and coping with rejection – but if you begin the journey well prepared, then finding the job of your dreams can be a piece of cake.

One of the best ways to prepare for job searching is to identify what employers are looking for in a candidate to successfully fill a given position. Who better to teach us about what employers are looking for than Jack Welch, a businessman who was responsible for General Electric’s 4000 percent (yes, four thousand percent) increase in value during his 20 years of serving as CEO and chairman.

In his LinkedIn’s “How I Hire” series, Welch explains that “hiring isn’t a black box of gut and luck,” it’s more of an art form that improves with time.

Welch indicates that there are “two flat-out must-haves,” “five qualities that are definitely-should-haves” (the Four Es and a P), and “one very special quality that is a game-changer” when it comes to hiring quality, loyal candidates – and this formula seems to have proven successful for this expert business mogul. Take a look below to see if you have what it takes to make it in Welch’s world.

The Must-Haves:

High integrity

High IQ

Welch explains that integrity and IQ are “essential to any winning organization and neither can be trained into a person.” In other words, if you’re coming to terms with being dumb as a doorknob, then hopefully you nailed it on the “definitely-should-haves” and the “game-changer” qualities below. Life’s not fair, we know – it doesn’t mean you can’t still make it.

The Four Es and a P:






This is exactly what Jack Welch expressed it with the above Four Es and a P.

“The Four Es and a P.” The first E is energy. Today, probably more than ever, stamina matters. Every person you hire, no matter where the job falls on the org chart, should be filled with vitality and intensity, able to go the distance, not just on deadline or during a crisis, but day after day.

The ability to energize others comes next. After all, what good is high energy if it isn’t making the team better? Look for candidates who exude positivity and stir others to action. Such dynamism is contagious.

Edge: the capacity to make yes-or-no decisions. Smart people can be dangerously namby-pamby about hard calls, you know? They want to analyze everything to death. Hello, no. When you’re hiring, ask candidates to describe how they’ve made tough decisions – and how fast they made them.

The fourth and final E is execution, the ability to get things done. Brainpower is all well and good – it’s non-negotiable, as we said – but not if it’s uncoupled from the ability to get out from behind the desk and make ideas happen. Many people are either smart or are good executors – you’ve got to find the ones that are both.

The four Es are great individually, but they’re even better when a candidate has them all wrapped up in burning ball of passion – there’s the P – for both work and life. Passionate people sweat the details, they’re curious, they care.

And there’s nothing better than hiring someone who’s passionate about… well, about people. Here’s where that powerfully game-changing quality comes in. We call it the “generosity gene,” he concludes.

From the Four Es and a P, this is your opportunity to talk more specifically about a couple of specific projects that showcase your related skill sets and experience by selling your great attributes for the job, use this as a time to turn up your pitch a notch, know your unique selling proposition and your unique background align with their mission. The power is yours.

Columnist: Daniel Adjei