During an interview, recruiters and hiring managers increasingly ask prospective candidates questions such as ‘why should we hire you?’, ‘why are you the best candidate for this position?’, or ‘why are you a good fit for this role?’. These are the key questions that can drastically increase your chances of getting the job offer, so it is vital to take the opportunity to prepare your responses well.
When you are asked this type of question during an interview, recruiters and hiring managers have the 4 key expectations of your answer: understanding your motivation, your experience, your knowledge/skills and accomplishments. These need to be directly aligned to the role that you are being interviewed for so that you could demonstrate your suitability for it.
Here are the 4 key expectations of your answer, explored in more detail:
Recruiters and hiring managers want to understand why you are interested in that particular sector, industry and the specific role. In essence, what would motivate you to perform well in that position? Or what would make you ‘stick to’ this role, company or industry?
You could explore here what elements of the job you would find most rewarding and explain why you are passionate and focussed towards them. This would demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment.
2. Work experience
To be able to address this expectation, you need to make sure that you have a good understanding of the job description (if unavailable, job advertisement at least). It should provide you with an insight to the purpose of the role, key duties, work experience requirements, as well as knowledge and skills required to perform the role.
When you are answering this question, you need to mirror the work experience requirements in the job description. Provide your interviewers with examples of work experience when you had to perform the same or similar duties and tasks in the past. This may be the experience from your previous employment, however, also can be the experience from your personal life. Even if you do not have such experience at all, you can answer such question well by providing a ‘this is how I would deal with it’ response as it would demonstrate your understanding and potential.
3. Knowledge and skills
In terms of knowledge and skills, tell the interviewers what professional certifications you hold to evidence your understanding of specialism’s fundamentals, concepts, methodologies, tools and techniques. Mention how or why these are relevant, transferrable and specifically what knowledge and skills would enable you to perform well in the role you have applied for. Examples of how you have applied your specialism’s knowledge and skills in the past would be advisable to highlight at this point as well.
If you do not hold a professional certification in your specialism, consider getting certified as it will help you to improve your job prospects drastically. Getting certified is considered to be one of the easiest ways of entering a profession.
For example, if you are looking to enter a Project Management career, PRINCE2® certifications are a great starting point, equally for an IT Service Management career it is worth studying the ITIL® certification. For more examples explore SkillPoint® Career Certification Map.
Even if you have just started studying for / working towards a professional certification, it will still be a positive indication as it will demonstrate your aspiration to become a certified professional.
4. Key accomplishments
Summarise the key results you have achieved from your previous career experience, any relevant awards, recognition or feedback that you have obtained that demonstrate you being a high achiever. For the best result, your accomplishments here should be linked to the actual relevant experience that you highlighted previously during the interview.
Lastly, it is important to note that you might not be asked this specific type of question during the interview. This is absolutely fine as long as you feel that you have addressed the 4 key expectations mentioned above during your interview. If you feel you did not have a chance to do so, it is critical that you take the opportunity to highlight these details for interviewers at some point during the interview.
Frequently, you will find one final chance to provide additional information towards the end of the interview. Finishing the conversation off by succinctly sharing your unique selling points for the role (that we have explored above) will enable you to stand out from your competition and increase your chances of getting the job offer.
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