"So, Why Should I Hire You?"

August 22, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Sooner or later, most hiring managers are bound to pop "the" question - "Why should I hire you?" But sometimes the answers aren't so predictable.

The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing marketing, advertising, creative and Web professionals on a project basis, recently asked 250 US advertising and marketing executives to share the strangest responses they’ve gotten to that question. Among the results:

  • “The candidate said he could be an asset to our company softball team.”
  • “The applicant said she was bored watching TV at home.”
  • “The job seeker pointed out that he had a great smile.”
  • “The candidate noted that there were no redheads in the company and said we should hire one.”
  • “The job seeker said we should hire him because he just won big in Las Vegas and was on a roll.”
  • “One person said we should hire her because she was a cheerleader in high school.”
  • “An applicant explained that his brother-in-law was successful in the industry, so he would be, too.”
  • “Someone said she was a good reader at church, and that’s why she ought to be hired.”
  • “One person said I should hire him because he was tired of living with his parents.”
  • “The applicant said he’d been rejected by all the good agencies.”
  • “A guy said he was the sole source of support for his puppy.”

Threat Threads?

The Creative Group cautions against threats in the job interview process – but that didn’t dissuade the following responses:

  • “The candidate said that unless we hired him, our corporate identity would disappear.”
  • “One person said she wouldn’t stop calling us until she was hired.”
  • “The applicant said our company wouldn’t survive without him.”

And then there were those who had, shall we say, less than compelling reasons:

  • “He said we should hire him so he could ride his bike to work.”
  • “The candidate said she’d always wanted to work in our building.”
  • “The applicant said we should hire her because she lived close by.”

For those in the “hot seat”, the Creative Group advises:

  • Avoid overused terms or phrases such as “hardworking” and “results-oriented.”
  • Get specific, providing examples that highlight positive attributes
  • Focus on achievements, rather than responsibilities in previous roles
  • Research the firm thoroughly so you can discuss how your expertise relates to the particular position and company.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm, and includes 250 responses – 125 from advertising executives among the nation’s 1,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 from senior marketing executives among the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.