Why Should I Hire You?

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Why Should I Hire You?
Let's think about the employment process from the point of view of your making me want to hire you. Here are some points to ponder.
Let's think about the employment process from the point of view of your making me want to hire you. Here are some points to ponder.

The premise
First of all, let's assume that I am the head of school at a private school in the suburbs of a major American city. We serve students from Prekindergarten through Post Graduate year. We offer a fairly traditional college preparatory program in our high school. There are esentially three schools within our community: a lower, a middle and an upper school. While the academic programs have their own distinctive components, we share facilities and staff across the curriculum as needed. We offer an extensive range of clubs and extracurricular activities which are guided by our faculty. Our sports program is professionally directed but faculty are expected to assist with sports they have played or coach a team where we do not have a professional coach.

Now why should I hire you?
For starters we have received well over 150 applications for the position of English teacher in the high school. Was your application submitted on time? Was it submitted using the format which we specified? Does it have the names of three professional references which we can contact after we interview you? My administrative assistant will look for those things as we receive applications. Any applications which are missing required information will be put in a secondary group of applications. Meaning, we will review applications which are complete and select the top five to come in for an interview.

When you turned up for your interview, my assistant said that you were late and that you seemed distracted while she was showing you around the upper school. Would you mind telling me what that was all about?

I enjoyed your answers to my questions about teaching English to teenagers. You were right on the money when you stated that good writers aren't born. They are created by writing copiously. That's one of the reasons why we insist that our students write across the curriculum. I am glad that you are on board with that concept. I was also pleased to hear that you plan to complete your masters degree within the next year or so. It will complement your bachelor's degree in English from Bryn Mawr. I was fascinated by your developing an iApp to help students with homonyms. We want our students to use technology effectively.

I hope that our badminton team will improve under your tutelage, if, of course, we were to offer you the position.

Now why should I hire you?
I contacted your references, one of whom I know personally as well as professionally. We spoke at length about your education and how you would fit in with our community. The answers which I received convinced me that we should offer you the position of English teacher.

I am asking you and one other applicant to come in to meet my academic dean and to have lunch with us. I will make a decision following that.

Now why should I hire you?
Well, the point of all this is simply to remind anybody seeking employment in a private school that there are many factors which come into play. A successful outcome depends on how all of these factors mesh.

How you present yourself and how you answer questions are certainly two of the most important aspects in the process. That's why you must do your homework. Role playing the interview, having somebody review what you will wear and making absolutely certain that you know as much as you can about the school, its mission, its history and how it operates, and even where it and the building where your interview is to take place is located - all of these points are ingredients for a successful employment interview! Get these and all the other parts of the process right and you will hear not "Now why should I hire you?" but rather "I'd like you to be part of my team."
Robert Knox Kennedy is a consultant who has written extensively about schools. He is also a corporate trainer for a major technology firm where he regularly interviews candidates for sales positions.

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