This is a very common question faced by many professionals sitting in a job interview and one you should definitely prepare for. It can be a little daunting because it requires you to not only very directly sell yourself, but also to demonstrate a good understanding of the company you are interviewing with. But, with a little understanding of the employer’s motivation for the question and our guidance here, you will breeze through this question.
This question may also be asked in a few different forms, but all are designed to give the interviewer similar information. The tips in this article are also applicable for preparing for these questions:
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you the right fit for this position?
- What would you bring to this position?
- Why should we hire you instead of one of the many other well-qualified applicants?
This article is geared towards getting you prepared for your job interview by giving you some excellent example answers to this question. We also give you comprehensive lists of what NOT to say and what you should say in your answer.
To start with, you need to understand why the interviewer is asking you one of this question in the first place. What is the interviewer looking for? It may seem obvious for this question – it isn’t so much or a trick question as some other classic questions – but it is good to make sure you are clear on this point nonetheless. You don’t want to just talk and talk about yourself, and still not give the interviewer what they are looking for.
The process of advertising jobs, sorting applications, interviewing, hiring then training is expensive. Employers seek to hire people who are a good fit for the company and who are motivated and will actually be committed to the position once working. Everyone being interviewed is qualified to do the job, but in a competitive job market, they seek more than just qualified. They really do want to hire the be the applicant and are checking for reasons – glaring red flags especially – that might make them think you are not going to fit in or get along with other staff already in the company.
What you should definitely not include in your answer:
Keeping in mind everything we have said so far, the following are some things that you should avoid in your response to the question: “Why are you the best candidate for this position?”. Doing or saying any of these are likely to give the interviewer a reason to pass you over and move on to more seriously considering another applicant.
Do not exaggerate or be too modest. You should not lie and exaggerate in an interview. You need to emphasize your strengths, but be realistic about your contributions and level of responsibility in your previous positions.
Do not be too vague. Avoid giving a generic answer which could apply to any candidate or position.
Do not avoid or breeze over this question. Even though you have probably talked about your strengths, the interviewer wants to hear an answer and it will be obvious when you just skip over this. You will also risk coming across as flaky and unprofessional.
Do not try to appear better by pointing to others’ shortcomings. This always comes across as unprofessional, an in this case you probably don’t know so it would be speculation only.
Do not give lengthy examples or talk too much. This, not this question to do this – interviewers will usually ask for specific examples of your work and how you handled specific situations separately.
What you should include in your answer:
With this question, “Why are you the best candidate for this position?”, you are basically asking them to close the deal – it is a summary of the top reasons they should hire you. The interviewer is wanting you to sell them on you and is asking you to convince them of your strengths and what you will bring to the company. It is good to aim for a very clear and structured response that reassures the interviewer and provides them with the key information they are looking for.
What you need to include is:
- You are capable of doing the work and will deliver exceptional results
- You have the right combination of skills and experience that make you stand out from the crowd
- You will fit in perfectly and be a valuable addition to the team
All of your answers need to be tailored to the specific role you are applying for.
Ideally, you should focus on just three or four points – give the biggest and strongest reasons, not a long list of every strength you have. Pick your most memorable selling points and describe them well. Do some brainstorming and make yourself a list, which could include a combination of the following:
- Technical skills
- Relevant industry experience
- Experience in performing certain tasks or duties
- Soft skills, like people skills
- Key accomplishments – including any awards
- Education and training
Some great example answers to the question: “Why are you the best candidate for this position?”
“I believe that I am the best candidate for this position because of my extensive client services and people management experience, along with my proven ability to adapt to any situation. I am goal oriented and have a passion for success that pushes me to perform highly and accomplish my tasks. I have extensive experience working in a people-oriented environment so I can work well and communicate with others to contribute to team efforts. In everything I do, I would strive to advance the company, and I feel that my previous work experience demonstrates this.”
What is good about this answer: the Previous experience which would be directly related to the current position has been clearly stated, as well as specific skills gained in previous work experience. Also, enthusiasm and willingness to strive for the bigger company goals are stated.
“From the moment I saw this position, I felt like the job description was tailored to me. I have the 5 years of programming software development experience you are looking for, proven expertise in specifically within this industry, and a track record of finding innovative solutions across several successful projects.
In my previous roles, I have also developed my communication and leadership skills through specific training programs and working within and learning from exceptionally talented teams. This means I am well prepared to work on large projects cross-department projects. I am very excited by the opportunities in this position, and feel I have sufficient experience to contribute to a new team immediately.”
What is good about this answer: This is another good example of summing up key skills and experience, by emphasizing how it is exactly what the employer is seeking in the new employee. In particular, this applicant has indicated that they are confident that they will be an immediate asset to the company. They give the impression that they have initiative and will work without needing too much training.