Feb 25

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How to answer the WHY YOU question?

The job interview is one of the most stressful professional experiences for most of us. In this series we go through a list of typical questions and use pieces of advice from job interview coach Pamela Skillings to find out how to best answer them.

In this lesson we’ll focus on the Why-you question which usually sounds like this:

Why should we hire you?

In general, you may think of this question as an opportunity to make your sales pitch (= describe your selling points, in other words why you are the best candidate for the job). It is this question that gives you a chance to summarize what you have said before and highlight (=emphasize, focus on) everything you want the interviewers to remember you by.

This is a chance for you to call attention to your most impressive strengths, accomplishments (=things you managed to do successfully), and skills (=competencies) keeping in mind the job description specifications. You should tailor (= match, align) your skills to the demands of the job you are applying for. For example, if the job description stresses the importance of soft skills (= people skills) for the job and you know that you can communicate well, than you should emphasize this skill in answer to the why-you question.

It is a good idea to talk about one of your professional success stories in such a way that it demonstrates a key skill (= an important competency) for the job. For example, if the job advertisement listed multitasking (=the ability to pay attention to several things at the same time) as one of the key competencies for the job, it is a good idea to tell the interviewers about how well you organized an event, a successful campaign or conference. It is also a good idea to mention combinations of skills that you think may help you stand out from among other applicants. A combination of skills are several, unrelated skills you may have that make you special. For example, you may have very strong technical skills, but also speak several languages.

So what should you do to nail the answer to this tricky question?

  1. Think about and make a list of your strength, accomplishments, professional success stories, education, previous experience.

  2. Read the job description and skills specifications, and match your skills, strength, etc to the ones desired by the employer.

  3. Pick the 3-4 best matches.

  4. Practice answering this question in front of the mirror. Remember: practice makes perfect!

Remember that it is very important to project confidence (= be sure of yourself) at the interview. If you aren’t naturally self-confident, you can read more about what you can do here!


Listen to this short video and list all the words related to competences, accomplishments, and strengths.



Well, I have all of the skills and experience that you’re looking for and I’m confident that I would be a superstar in this project management role.

It’s not just my background leading successful projects for top companies — or my people skills, which have helped me develop great relationships with developers, vendors, and senior managers alike. But I’m also passionate about this industry and I’m driven to deliver high-quality work.

I HAVE THE SKILLS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR = The job description matches my skills .perfectly

I’M CONFIDENT THAT I WOULD BE PERFECT IN THIS ROLE = I know that I was born to do this.

MY BACKGROUND = my education and previous experiences.

I’M DRIVEN TO DO HIGH-QUALITY WORK = I’m very motivated to do high-quality work.


Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are – The Famous TED Talk by Amy Cuddy

How To Answer the Weakness Question? – The Job HUNT Series


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Permanent link to this article: https://www.euenglish.hu/2016/02/how-to-answer-the-why-you-question/

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