As a job applicant, we usually know why we want a particular job. Even if we can’t articulate it to other people, inside we know. It could be status, money, respect, stability, furthering our career, work/life balance, or a myriad of other reasons. And so we build our resumes, interviews, and overall focus on that. Our objectives.
But what if we were to find ourselves on the other side of the table, what would the answer be if we asked, “Why should I hire you?”
Most of our objectives are fine, they are completely our own to want. But the company you’re interviewing for isn’t interested in them. They are only interested in, can this person solve the problems that we have? Will they bring value to my company? Will they make our lives easier?
The things that we want (status, money, stability, etc) don’t come from a job. A job is job. It’s not the employers responsibility, nor can they provide those things. It’s the value that we bring and the problems we’re willing to solve, that bring us the things we want. A job at a big company won’t bring you stability. Being an indispensable team member in any company brings you stability. Doesn’t mean you won’t get laid off. It does mean that getting the next position gets easier, both because of the sharpened skillset and the impression you’ve made on your network of peers, who are the ones who become your advocates. And those two intangible things are what bring real security.
Great interviews come down to empathy and honesty. It’s not about people pleasing or having the “right answers” because there are no right answers. I remember going into my Amazon on-sight interviews with the intention of just being open. My goal wasn’t for the multiple interviewers to “like” me. My goal was to show that at my best, I was someone who time and time again had been able to handle anything thrown at me with composure and curiosity. And that’s why I believed that I was someone who could bring value to any company, including Amazon. And they thought so as well.
So back to the most important question any job seeker needs to wrestle with and articulate, Why should I hire you?