Interviewing is a complex, grueling process, and rightly so. Selecting a company for which to work is a costly decision. Get it wrong and you’ll trade time, money, and emotional energy for an embarrassing misstep you’ll have to explain away as you strive to recover from the botched career move.
To avoid this blunder, it’s important to honestly answer the mother of all interview questions: “Why should I hire you?”
At first, it might seem like a bravado-filled challenge—a gauntlet thrown squarely at your professional self-worth. However, when interviewers ask why you are the best candidate for the job, they are doing you a favor because they force you to convince yourself as much as them. A good answer has three parts:
- You can do the job: You should be able to easily explain how your skills and abilities match the requirements of the position. You should also be able to provide relevant examples of applicable work. Finally, you must be able to describe your X factor—the wins or results you’ve produced that go beyond what an average candidate could offer.
- You can do the job here: Being able to do the job is not enough. Success is often dependent on others, so you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to fit into their organizational and departmental culture.
- You want the job: You must also be able to express a passion for the profession, the company, and this particular role.
If you are unable to offer adequate answers to all three items above, the role or company may not be right for you. That’s a tough reality in a tight market, but better to acknowledge it and widen your search than force a fit and pay for it later.
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Check out my latest book The HR Guide to Getting and Crushing Your Dream Job