After months of searching and hundreds of CVs later, you've finally managed to get an interview for the job of your dreams. However, there's one question you're not looking forward to answering: Why are you the best candidate for this position? A common interview question, but also a very difficult one to answer. When answering this question, you will want to avoid coming across as arrogant, but it's important not to sell yourself short either. Interviewers ask this question to find out if you have the skills and experience required for the position, understand the responsibilities of the role and to discover whether or not you will integrate easily into the company. This question is your chance to sell yourself and convince the interviewer that hiring you would not only be a great move for the company, but would also make their life a whole lot easier. The main points you need to get across in your answer:
- You are capable of the work and can deliver results
- You have the perfect combination of skills and experience required for the role
- You will be a great addition to the company
Step 1: Read over the job description and your CVMake a list of:
- The most important skills and qualifications required for the job
- Which of these skills and qualifications you possess
- Your main accomplishments
- What makes you “unique”?
Step 2: Choose 3/4 of your top selling pointsChoose 3/4 of your top skills, experience and/or accomplishments from the list you made in step 1. Next, think of a concrete example to go with each. This will show that you know exactly what is required for the position and proves why you are a perfect fit, making the interviewer believe in you.
Step 3: Research the companyIt's equally important that you take time to research the company. Mentioning the company and its values proves that you are motivated and feel strongly about helping the company advance. Try to make a link between your skills and the company values when answering. Ideal answer: I believe I am the best candidate for this position as not only do I have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, I am also organised and a great believer in the importance of preparation. Before meeting potential clients in the past, I researched the client and company in great detail. I managed to sign X number of contracts in the space of X months, proof of my determination and drive for success, both of which are essential qualities for this position. I understand the importance of teamwork, something I feel fits perfectly with (insert company name)’s values. Practice your answer until you feel comfortable, but try not to repeat it word for word if you want to avoid sounding robotic and forced. Your answer should be clear, concise and last approximately 1-2 minutes.
What to avoid?
- Talking for too long. As we mentioned earlier, your answer should last no longer than 2 minutes. Any more and the interviewer may start to lose concentration. They're looking for clear and concise answers, proof of a confident, enthusiastic candidate who knows exactly why they are suited to the position and is able to communicate this effectively.
- Being afraid to repeat yourself. You may have already mentioned certain skills and qualifications throughout your interview, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t repeat them. All good public speakers know that repetition is key for making a lasting impression.
- Criticising other candidates. Interviewers are looking for team players. Criticising other candidates will only negatively impact your chances of being chosen.
- Vague, generic answers. “I'm an organised team player who strives for perfection” is perhaps amongst the worst possible answers. It show a complete lack of originality and the interviewer will probably hav heard answers like this all day long. It won't help you stand out in their memory when it comes to making the final decision.