Even if you’ve prepared all your answers to the most common
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It’s a well-known fact that the best way to ace a graduate job interview is to go in fully prepared.
With that in mind, we’ve recently been deconstructing and helping you to answer some of the most common graduate job interview questions - like ‘what has been your biggest achievement?’ and ‘why do you want to work for us?’ – so that you’ll be primed and ready to tackle your graduate job interview head on.
Although it might seem one of the most straightforward questions, ‘why should we hire you?’ can actually be one of the toughest to answer, because you’ll need to sell yourself whilst being careful not to sound arrogant.
To decide how best to answer it, it’s important to unpick why the question is actually being asked.
Scroll straight to the bottom of the page to see a quick, summary video of how to answer!
Employers will want to know that you have done your research on the job opportunity, and have a thorough understanding of both the role and their company. Check out our tips on how to research an employer.
To reassure them that you understand what they want, choose 2-4 of your skills that are most relevant to this particular role, and state how these could be applied to the position.
Employers really want to know why they should hire you over anyone else. So if you’ve decided on some key skills that you definitely want to mention, make sure to back them up with memorable past experiences, stories or accomplishments that will really set you apart from the crowd. Read more about how volunteering can boost your employability.
For example, if you think the company should hire you because of your second-to-none communication skills, tell them about a time when you presented to a large group of people, acted as a peer mentor, or joined a debating society.
Likewise, if you’ll be great for the role because you work well as part of a team, mention sports you’ve played, group projects you’ve worked on, or clubs you joined at university.
This is your chance to really sell yourself, so be enthusiastic and project confidence (even if you’re not feeling particularly self-assured!)
This doesn’t mean that you need to brag or overstate your skills, so if you’re not comfortable telling the interviewer that you are the perfect candidate for the role, just show them why you are, by talking about your range of skills and experiences with clarity and confidence.
As well as hearing how your skills will benefit their business, the employer will also want to know about how you would be able to progress in the job.
Tell them why you think you would be able to develop your skills, why you think the company would be a fantastic culture fit for you, or what you think you’d learn from their company - and let them know that’s why you’d love the opportunity to join them!
I think you should hire me because of my second-to-none communication skills. Throughout University I have acted as a peer mentor, I became a Tourism Ambassador and I am used to presenting regularly to a large group of people, as I have been part of the Debating Society for the past year for which I am required to stand up and present to the group every week. I am keen to continue to develop these skills further which is another reason why I was originally drawn to this job role.
I believe I would be a great fit for the role because I work well as part of a team. After I graduated, I have continued to stay part of my university netball team as I enjoy group activities and building relationships with others. I have also worked on group projects at University, raising money for charities by organising fundraising events. Whilst I work efficiently within a group, I have also proven from my Uni grades for individual assignments that I can also work well independently using my own initiative. These are both very important attributes in a work environment and I think these skills would enable me to be a good fit culturally within your company.
Based on the research I have done prior to the interview, and from what you've said today, you are looking for an individual with excellent time management skills. Not only did I organise multiple events requiring critical timing throughout University, but during my summer work placement, I worked across two different teams and had two managers to report to. This strengthened my time management skills significantly, as I had to organise my workload by prioritising tasks, to ensure that I completed activities for each manager within the specific deadlines.
Be confident, and don’t say that you think you are good at something, know that you are! If you show self-assurance, the employer will have confidence in you and in your abilities to fulfil the job role.
This is your time to re-iterate and condense the reasons why you’d be good for the role, not to start mentioning other irrelevant skills.
Simply stating that you’re good at something won’t necessarily cut the mustard, so make sure you’re backing everything you say up with examples, and letting the employer know why you’ll be great for them. Check out our advice on how not to ramble during an interview.
Read our complete guide to Interview Questions!