I've heard it. You've heard it. We've all heard it. "Why should I hire you?" Even if it is a loaded question, it's one that every candidate should be prepared to answer. It's fairly straightforward--the hiring manager just wants to know why you deserve the position more than other applicants (and there might be a dozen who qualify). This is a chance for you to be assertive, highlight your qualifications, and show your excitement for the job. Here are three solid ways for you to approach your response:

1. Set Yourself Apart

First, you should definitely talk about your unique qualifications, and focus on the fields that you're an expert in. Perhaps a specific anecdote from a former job will help explain how your skills have benefited a company in the past. This will give the hiring manager a better idea of how your skills can translate into the new position. When highlighting your strengths, context is key.

2. Share Past Achievements (But Don't Brag)

To be even more specific, you can home in on past projects that you received accolades for, but try to stay humble. If you've helped transform a department or revamp a product, don't be afraid to mention it, but remember, there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Whatever you choose to emphasize, make sure that it relates to the new role you're applying for, and that those achievements are atypical. In doing so, avoid comparing yourself with other people, and just focus on what you bring to the table.

3. Discuss Ideas for Improving the Company

Finally, if you know the industry inside and out, feel free to share concrete ideas you believe will give the company an edge. For example, if you're applying for an account manager role at an ad agency, you can discuss emerging trends in the online space that may lead to marketing insights. Also, you can highlight your professional network, and how these new connections will be advantageous to the company's growth.