The Hidden Interview Question

The hiring manager/interviewer has a huge responsibility of getting not just the best candidate but the best culturally fit candidate for the organization.

This weight of responsibility calls for in-depth and thorough selection process, most especially in today’s world with dearth of qualified and employable candidates.

The interviewer will therefore devise different types of interview [HERE] – written or oral or both just to fill a role. He will ask different questions and design different stages of interviews in order to search, select and hire the very best candidate.

However, there is an underlying question at the mind of every interviewer, especially when there is a strong need to hire the right candidate, at the right time and at the right price.

Behind each phone call, each e-mail or in mail, each text message and every form of communication between the hiring manager and the candidate is an underlying question that needed to be answered, either explicitly or implicitly.

This hidden question can be asked in different ways at different times, using different methods of communication and even in a different tone.

Some interviewers can even ask in a direct way! Looking straight into the candidates’ eyes and asking quietly but firmly.

‘Why should we hire you?’

This question can be disguised in different forms;

What are your strengths?

Why did you apply for this role?

Why do you want to leave your present role?

Do you think you are the best candidate for this role?

Tell me why you should be considered for this role?

What are your value propositions?

What are you bringing to the table?

What value can you add to this organization?

In other words, the interviewer wants you to market yourself, he is looking for the ‘wow’ factor in each of the candidates. The hiring manager is searching for something different, something unique, something strong enough to justify the recruitment’s ROI (Return on Investment).

But most times, candidates fail this critical question because they couldn’t convince the interviewer enough or provide any justification to hire them.

How to answer the hidden question…

Okay… the next question should be, how should I answer this underlying question even when not asked directly?

‘Why should we hire you?’

The question can only be answered with evidence of past accomplishments or demonstration of capability to solve problems relating to any of the under listed crucial business objectives.

The overall corporate strategy/objectives of every business entity are to;

  • increase profitability
  • increase customer base
  • generate sales/income
  • maximize revenue
  • identify and mitigate risk
  • develop new business opportunities
  • improve customer satisfaction
  • improve service quality
  • enhance productivity
  • reduce cost
  • retain customers
  • outperform competitors
  • gain market share, etc. etc.

Remember to always focus on notable achievements that are applicable to the role you are being interviewed for.

Explain what you have done in the past and how you have gone above and beyond your call of duty to impact your organization.

For example;

INTERVIEWER: Why should we hire you for this role??

CANDIDATE: As the Senior Finance Executive with over 8years’ experience, I provide strategic and tactical leadership in the areas of accounting, financial reporting, business development, strategic investor relations and corporate communications.

I have a track record of producing exceptional results within a short period. For instance, at my present place of employment, I played a leading role in bringing the company to profitability within 7months. Raised N25miilion (debt and equity) to finance development and launch of new products within 6 months. Acquired high end commercial accounts and businesses worth over N9.6bn within 1year by signing on new accounts, growing existing relationships and reactivating dormant relationships.

I have also led and built a team of 10 Financial Executives to achieve profit budget of N5.2bn in 2015 and over N7.2bn in 2016.

I believe with my level of expertise and outstanding achievements in previous and current roles, I should be able to replicate such if considered.

#2

INTERVIEWER: Why are your strengths??

CANDIDATE: One of my strengths include efficient financial system implementation. I am equally passionate about overhauling multiple ERP systems to improve customer service, reporting and quality.

 If you find it difficult to identify your achievements or accomplishments, you can start by going over your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and see how you have added value overtime. Highlight these attainments  and mention or iterate them to impress the interviewer.

In case there was no formal KPI, you can always search for relevant ones and measure your performances against it.

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