What is it you actually say when asked "Why should we hire you?" in an interview? If you are not prepared to answer this question, then be prepared not to get the job.

I'm asked this question quite a bit in interviews and I think most interviewers are shocked by the fact that I have a deep understanding of what I bring to the table along with being well versed at defining myself and singing my own praises.

This is something I have worked on time and time again over the years. And while I may not be for everyone, when you are considering potential candidates, I would hire me over the next guy every single day of the week and twice on Sunday. I say this not because I think I'm smarter than the next person or even because I believe I know something they don't. I say it because I work hard every single day of my life. I say it because I also work smart. I have done this my entire life and will continue to do so until my very last breath. I do this, because this is who I am, period.

Instead of trying to explain the things you should convey when asked this question in an interview, I'm going to show you what I say. I urge you to take the time and write down the top 10 reasons "why" someone should hire you. You must write it down in order to best provide a fluidity of mind when rattling so much information off at one time. I'm not proposing you say as much as I have written below. What I am saying is, get to know yourself. The more you understand who you are at this point in your life, the easier it will be to convey that understanding to others (in brevity). You might be surprised at what you come up with. A last note: Be honest about how you see yourself. Find those things that you can be positive about without making things up. If you're having a hard time coming up with something, you may just be in a negative frame of mind. Walk away and think about it for awhile and then come back later to write it down when it comes to you. I always find a certain type of music or certain themes of video on youtube help me to get into a frame of mind in which I'm positive and feel good about the world. This usually helps me when I write.

My Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire Me

#10 I have midwest ethics and a deep understanding of professional integrity

I'm originally from Wisconsin. If you've ever heard that people from the midwest, especially Wisconsin, are the friendliest people on Earth, then you've heard correctly. I say this without pride or prejudice, it just happens to be fact. With midwestern values comes professional integrity.  I would be willing to bet that most people would falter at even defining what professional integrity is, so let me take a moment to define it.

Professional Integrity DefinedA professional is one who willingly "adopts" and consistently applies the knowledge, skills, and values of a chosen profession. Integrity may be the most appropriate word used to describe the person who willingly and consistently acts in accordance with social standards or moral values of society. Professional integrity thus defines the professional who consistently and willingly practices within the guidelines of the mission of a chosen profession under the obligation of a Code of Ethics.

#9 I am tenacious

I have been tenacious my entire life. When I go into something, I go in with all of my force. I am passionate and tenacious about what I do because I love to do it. I come with a force of mind and a determination that I rarely see matched. I'm built this way. I will always be this way and am truly thankful for having this trait. My mother was the same way. A medical doctor, author and mother of six children. A physician and professor highly regarded as being a paragon in her field. She had a work ethic like no other and an endurance that is unmatched.

My tenacity is only matched by my resourcefulness. I pride myself in and have spent a lifetime learning how to learn. This is a skill everyone has but few people ever focus on. It is not always what you learn that makes the difference. Sometimes it is ones ability to learn and to learn expeditiously that can make or break a situation, especially one that is time sensitive. If I don't know something that I need to know, you can bet everything you have, go all in, double down and then some that I will figure it out one way or another.

#8 I am free from distraction

I am not married nor do I have children. I am very certain I will be married one day and I may have children as well, but for now I have neither. I devote my time to learning and becoming a smarter, more efficient person every single moment of every single day. I have learned the art of single-mindedness, which is one of the most valuable skills to have when working toward reaching a goal. I work on my ability to focus my attention on the important things in life. I work on my ability to ignore the things that are not important as well. These are 2 different skills that are extremely valuable in being successful at any endeavor.

#7 I have made a TON of mistakes.

How could making mistakes constantly be a good thing? Because I rise to the challenge every single day. I make mistakes, because I push myself to do things that are outside of my comfort zone and outside of my skill set in order to grow. I challenge myself to do the things that do not come easy to me and in so doing I master that which was once a weakness.  I carry with me a healthy curiosity and am un-phased by the threat of failure. I would put forth that a life lived without failure is a life poorly lived. Because if you haven't failed in life, you have not pushed yourself to do things outside of your means, which is the only true path of constant growth.

I learn from my mistakes. I may not learn the first time or the second time, but I will keep trying until I find a way. And if I don't find a way, I will make a way. Mistakes can be very painful, plain and simple. Pain and fear of failure are the two biggest reasons, in my opinion, why most people stay confined to a path of least resistance in life. And with each mistake I make, I ask myself one very important question: Am I going through this pain or am I growing through it? This serves me well. It serves to focus my mind to better look at the situation I'm going through with greater clarity and with an intention to not only solve the problem but to learn from the experience.

I would personally be more apt to follow the person who has a greater experience with life, earmarked by massive trial and error, than one who has lived a shallow existence. The person who knows what "not" to do, because they have had that experience.

#6 I have a breadth of experience that is second to none

I've been a contractor for most of my adult life. I have done this specifically because I wanted to work in multiple industries and learn from as many people as possible. I was a jack of all trades and a master of none for quite a few years. This process was invaluable in the quantity and quality of what I learned. Those that have been with the same company usually learned a single way of doing something that may have been right at the time, but that time has passed and they never bothered to learn different ways of doing things. Most haven't had exposure to other ways of doing things and are often set in their ways, mainly because they're older and have other life responsibilities. Doing your job, taking care of your family and trying to learn new things is more than most people can handle. Most are resistant to even try something new for fear that once started, there will be no end to the amount of time and effort they will have to put forth to fully figure out a new concept or paradigm.

I would rather have a multiplicity of perspectives to work from when trying to solve problems. Think of it as a mental tool shed and I have accumulated a massive amount of different tools to work with in order to solve issues that come up. I have learned to work with people because it was the only way to survive as a contractor. This is a skill that is lost when working in a safe environment. If we don't use it, we lose it.

#5 I understand didactic communication and the notion of a team environment

Communication in this day and age is so very key when working in a team environment. Environments that are overly political must be navigated through with the utmost diplomacy while still being assertive and doing ones job. The ability to teach others and be taught is invaluable. The ability to explain subject matter in a way that is clear and concise is not only celebrated but worshiped. Some of the most successful people in life are so because they have learned the art of communication and can mobilize others to their cause.

It is rare that one works totally on their own. We rely on others to help our cause. You must learn the art of communication, have a self-awareness of how you are perceived and try to keep those around you in a positive frame of mind.  No one wants to work with someone who is negative or complains about every single decision made. No one wants to work with someone who is overly aggressive or has a bad attitude in general. You must be willing to lead and learn at the same time.  The best environments are those that promote learning without fear of reprisal and without fear of being made fun of. Work will always be work, but those that understand that it is the people that make the job are the ones that are the happiest with their job and their life in general.

#4 I practice what I preach

I preach excellence. I preach a never say "die" attitude. I preach finding a way or making a way. I preach that success does not require you to look out the window, it only requires you look in the mirror. I preach that only those who are willing to risk going too far, will ever possibly know, how far one can go. I preach these things because I live by them ever single day.

I preach to be kind to others. I preach to treat others how you want to be treated. I preach that the single greatest way to live a full and complete life is to have purpose. I preach nutrition. I preach that taking care of yourself, mind, body and spirit is the only way to live. I have learned hard lessons in my life and I have made it through each and every trial and tribulation I have ever come across. I'm still here after all. I'm here to build people up, not put them down. Constructive competition is healthy and creates environments where everyone learns and everyone grows.

I practice what I preach because I only preach to others those things I truly believe in. And when I believe in something, I follow it. You will never truly understand the full beauty and power life has to offer until you live a life in which your actions are congruent with your thoughts.  It has taken me a long time to learn this concept and I practice the art of introspection every single day.

#3 I am honest and trustworthy

You are only as good as your word. This is as true in business as it is in life. What goes around, comes around. In life, you get what give and I've been blessed with that understanding my entire life. It's too commonplace to run across people who are only out for themselves. Who have lost their way when it comes to understanding that the quality of your life is directly proportional to the affect you have on others. When we help others, we help ourselves. And no matter what happens to me and who I run across that may not have the same code of ethics I do, I will not falter in how I treat others, because I know who I am. If you can say that about yourself, if you can say "I truly know who I am", than you are light years ahead of the majority.

#2 I play to win

Constructive competition. A term I learned well growing up in a family of 6 siblings where I was the youngest by a long shot. The next oldest has 7 years on me. They are all competitive in their own right and in order to keep up, I had to compete against the odds. I took that challenge and that is not to say I won many battles early on, but I learned how to fight and eventually how to win. I also learned how to learn, which is the single most important skill any human being can have. There has come many a day where the sun has shined down on me in victory because of it.

I play to win in all aspects of my life, including business. I want to know more than you. I want to be smarter than you. I want to win every single conversation I have with you. I do this, not so I can put it in your face or put you down. It truly has nothing to do with you. I do this because I want to be the best person I can be and I use others as a gauge in order to determine what areas in my life, I am lacking in. If I don't understand where my weaknesses are, I will never be able to fix them.

I'm not looking to be perfect in the end. I'm looking to have a smile on my face when I take my last breath and leave this place, because I know, I did everything I possibly could to be the best person I could be. I took nothing and no one for granted. I fought the good fight. I left this world a better place, however infinitesimally small and had a positive impact on those I came into contact with. I want to leave this place with a confidence that there wasn't one more thing I could have done. And while I may not reach that point entirely, it will not stop me from trying.

#1 My life is a blessing

I can honestly say that I have surrounded myself with truly fantastic people. "Birds of a feather" is a powerful concept and a guiding principle in my life. When you find yourself surrounded by losers and by flakes, you know who you are. I surround myself with extraordinary people and with those on the same mission as me.

I am extremely happy. Not a delusional happy but a solid reaffirming happy that can only be gained through growth. Through trials and errors. Through travel across many bumpy roads and heavy winds. I look back on my life and am truly thankful for going through what I've gone through. I say this because I'm so very happy with where I am now and with who I am now. And even though I've had to learn many a lesson the hard way, I understand that I probably needed to go through what I went through in order to be where I am.

I think Einstein said it best, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.". We are given this choice and I truly believe that everything in life is a miracle.

So the question is, which person would you rather surround yourself with, because make no mistake, you aren't just hiring for a position. You are hiring someone who will be a large part of your life, seeing as work, for most of us, is life consuming.

Surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.

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