Every time you interview, your main purpose is to convince them to hire you. The job search is a sales process. The hiring manager (your future boss) is the ‘customer,’ and you are both the sales rep and the product. Why should they choose you over all the other ‘products’ out there?
This question is actually a fantastic opportunity for you to summarize why you’d be a great hire.
Always focus your answer on what benefits you bring, what problems you can solve, what solutions you can provide. (Never, ever say that they should hire you because you need the job or because you really want it—or anything remotely related to your reasons for wanting the job.)
If you’re an introvert, don’t think of this as bragging. Think of it as helping them to connect the dots and hire the best person for the job. Your job is to help them make the right choice.
Think about things you know the hiring manager (interviewer) is looking for: skill sets, background, character traits, personal qualities, education, experience, or anything else that will make you successful in this role. Relate your answer to these things.
For example: “You should hire me because you’ve said you want someone with A, B, and C. I fit all of your requirements. I have A (say what that is), B (maybe give an example), and C (elaborate further).”
If you can, say how you meet their needs and offer just a little bit more. That little bit more will help you stand out from the other candidates and give them a reason to choose you.
Typically, this question will come toward the end of the interview, so you can refer to what you’ve already talked about, or mention something new that you know they’d be interested in. If it comes in the beginning, use the job description and your research (if you have a recruiter, ask for their input before your interview) to answer.
Will this job require long hours? Mention your work ethic.
Will this job need someone with great communication skills? Give an example of yours.
Will this job need someone who can learn on the fly? Tell them how you’re going to get up to speed quickly and how you’ve learned and adapted before.
Does this job need someone with a particular background? Mention yours.
Do you have the skill set they want? Talk about your skill set and how you have been successful with it. Give them examples of what you have achieved in the past.
If you haven’t done this job before, talk about similar things you’ve done, or qualities you have that will make you successful in this new role.
About the author
Career Coach – Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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