Every interview is actually about answering this one question: Why should we hire you, instead of the other applicants? Hiring the wrong person is expensive for any company, and can be problematic for the interviewer. Your interviewer is asking you to convince them why you’re the best fit. This question can come under many different disguises, such as “Why are you the best candidate for the job? Why are you the right fit for this position? What could you bring to this job?
You have a few options of how to best answer this question, which we have included below. You will still need to research the company, even if you don’t choose the company insider option.
Prepare Ahead of Time
You need a concise summary of the best reasons to hire you and how you can solve their problems. Making it to the interview stage means that you – and others – are qualified for this position and the interviewer is narrowing it down. Your summary should include:
- You can not only do the work, but will deliver exceptional results
- You’re a great fit for the team and will fit in with them
- Your skills and expertise will make you stand out for the crowd
Choose this option if you don’t think that your skills will come up ahead of time. You have limited time with the interviewer, so it’s best not to repeat yourself.
If you’ve already spelled out your skills and strengths, then it’s time to pivot into why hiring you is good for the company. You’ll need to show your understanding of the industry, this individual business, and an understanding of how you might fit in. This will serve multiple functions at the same time, because the more in-depth information you’re able to show, the more enthusiasm for both the industry and business you’ll be promoting at the same time. Every manager wants to hire someone who is enthusiastic and driven to succeed in the industry, allowing the manager to do something else besides trying to motivate their team or micromanaging their own employees.
Show How You’re Unique
If the other candidates also have the same experience and probably the same education, than how do you make yourself stand out? The best way to stand out in a crowd is to bring something unexpected to the table. You need to say it in a small amount of time and make it useful for the company.
For instance: “Let me tell you about a time when I handled a distressed customer’s issue and they left with renewed confidence in our services: (tell story here)”
The 2 Step System
- First, acknowledge their pain, either directly or the job description.
- Second, show how you can solve that problem.
When acknowledging their pain, you can use the job description to your advantage “My experience with technology, specifically the company website…” Or you can use their complaints or issues to your advantage “You explained earlier that leadership qualities were preferred for this position… If they didn’t have a direct complaint, then you can show how an upcoming problem could be solved: “I noticed that this company is expanding into robotics in the future, so I have a few ideas about how we could use that expansion in the marketing department to gain more sales.”
Secondly, demonstrate with solid numbers or examples how you can solve their issues. Pointing out when you’ve done an excellent job at previous positions is great, but the more closely you can align it to their current pain points, the closer you get to being hired. For example, if the position is as a director or manager of a team, be sure to point out how your past leadership experience led to an increase in something good or a decrease in something the company is trying to avoid.
One of these options will feel like your best solution, so be sure to choose the one that most naturally fits your situation. Go with your gut, do your research, plan which story or details you’ll use, and practice!
We have other helpful articles to help you prepare for your interview: