Why this is a common question.
This is a common interview question as the interviewer needs to ascertain why out of all the other candidates you should be offered the role and why you will be an asset to the organisation. This is one of many questions the interviewer will ask to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the role.
Why do interviewers ask this question?
To recruit the right candidate, the interviewer is gathering the information they need by asking this question. They already have your application form/CV but they are now looking for further details and the interview gives you the opportunity to provide this information and prove you are the most suitable candidate, not only for the role but for the organisation too. Attending the interview and answering the questions will also enable you the interviewee to make a decision on whether the role and organisation are right for you.
How to answer well.
To answer well, you need to prepare your answers before the interview so you are not struggling in the interview to answer questions and/or think of examples to impress the interviewer. To prepare you need to consider the content of the job description, for example, compare qualifications required against your qualifications, think about how these qualifications have helped you in the roles you have performed, do you have a better understanding around certain duties, think about examples of what you have learnt and how you have applied this learning to your everyday duties.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the qualifications, think about positive experiences of how you have learnt about key areas of the role and qualifications in your role or in your own time. For example, there might be certain legal standards or regulations you need to have knowledge of when carrying out a health and safety assessment, you may have learnt this from others, researched the internet or been part of a social learning group.
In preparation, you should also consider any unique skills you have which others often don’t have, for example, an international firm may not specifically request applicants have another language but if you do have, you will impress the interviewer as this is an additional skill. Other skills/strengths – think about challenges you have faced in the workplace that are very rare or you have never dealt with before, what made these successful and what did you learn from them.
Don’t forget to discuss your achievements in your career in relation to the role, how you have developed over the years and what motivates you in the role. Think about what the company does and relate your interest in the role but also the company.
Example answers and why they work.
“As a Conferencing Manager, I completely understand the importance of communication and building positive relationships internally and externally for the business. I’ve always been very good with communicating news or important messages to my team, within the business and externally, informing clients of any offers or events. Externally I have built up a brilliant client base by promoting the services of the business and networking so that the conference centre is used by external clients and the business is successful. Over my three years in the role, we now have 50% of our client’s booking conference rooms on a regular weekly or monthly basis, 30% of our clients booking conferences rooms every few months for bigger events and others use the facilities on an ad-hoc basis. This I believe is down to me, by communicating and building positive relationships so that customers do continue to carry out their business with us.”
This is a great answer as the interviewee mentions important skills in the job description and highlights the success of the business and their part in achieving this success.
“I am motivated to perform well but also help others, regardless of the position I am in, I do help others in the team or other departments. For example, if I am in another office or site and the phone rings or customers arrive, I will always see how I can help them or make sure they are seen to or someone calls them back. This helps me understand more about other roles and services and also the customer feels that they have been seen to straight away rather than waiting for a longer length of time.”
This answer really shows how motivated and helpful the candidate is, they use their initiative and are confident enough to answer queries they may not be necessarily dealing with every day, but this shows their willingness to learn about different departments so they can help. On an external basis, they are seen as providing good customer service which is what the organisation wants.
Other ways this question can be asked.
- What makes you the ideal candidate for this position?
- Why do you believe you are suitable for this role?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want this job?
- Why do you think your skills are suited to this role?
- Why do you believe you will do well and succeed in this role?
- Why do you want to work here in this role?