By Mel Sim


How many times have you been asked this question during an interview? Chances are pretty often as this is a popular question with recruiters who basically want to know how hiring you will be good for the company. You might hear it in other forms like “Tell me why I should hire you?”, “What makes you the best person for this role?”, “What value will you bring the company?”.

Essentially what the recruiter wants to know is this: How successful will you be at your job?

Why do recruiters ask this? Because they want to learn your skills, qualities and qualifications that you think will make you the best fit for the role. They also want to know if you know exactly what’s required of you in the role and how you can best achieve that. Ultimately, they want to see if you have the confidence to be in this role and how you plan to excel in it.

Sounds pretty straightforward? It is and you know what, your answer to that question should also be as straightforward as telling the recruiter why you’re the best person for the job. And the best way to answer this question is to show what kind of skills you have, back that up with examples, and showcase how it will be beneficial to the company. But before you even get there, here are a few things you need to prepare for the answer that will ultimately land you the job.

Really understand what the role entails and also the company culture. You want to know how you can match your skills and knowledge to the role and how you can fit in with the company. So read the job posting properly. For each requirement, figure out what it is that you have that will meet its requirement. Write it down so you have a clearer vision of what that is. Make sure to include examples of how you can display the skills that are required for the role. Maybe it is something you did in school or a previous job. Having examples will increase your chances of landing the job.

The best way to find out more about a company? Check out its “About us” page to gain more knowledge about the company, its history, products and services. Then do a Google search for any articles written and take notes from there.

To really know what you can offer, be honest and ask yourself what those values are. This not only lets you pinpoint what you’re good at but seeing it all on a piece of paper or even hearing yourself say it out loud will help build confidence. You can ask yourself these questions:

  • What qualities do I have that will help excel in my career?
  • What are my motivations?
  • What qualities do I aspire in my role models?
  • What are my core advantages and achievements?

Now you know what you answer is, try writing it first on a piece of paper. Go through it and if you are satisfied with the answer, rehearse it! You don’t have to answer verbatim during the interview but so long as you know exactly what points you want to share, that’s good enough to get you forward in the interview.

It’s one thing to say that you have the confidence to lead a team and another where your body language says otherwise with the way you are slouching in the chair and avoiding eye contact. How you answer is equally as important as what your answer is. You want the recruiter to believe you so you need to do a few things: Be clear and concise when speaking. Maintain eye contact. Don’t fidget (the recruiter could think that you’re making things up!).

A popular way to structure your answer, STAR basically stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. So when formulating your answer, keep these four in mind.

How would you answer the question using this method? Here’s an example: “In the previous company I was working for, there was a point in time when my division was facing a significant backlog of work. My team was struggling with deadlines and because we were always chasing it, the quality of our work was compromised [Situation]. I was determined to help my team members to better meet our deadlines and also have better communication with one another so we could work more efficiently [Task].

So I rounded up the team together, discussed what the main issues were and what we thought would be the best way to resolve them. We then worked together on a timeline schedule and decided on how we would best share progress updates. I made sure everyone contributed to the discussion as the solution would ultimately affect everyone in the team [Action].

As a result of this, we were able to re-prioritize our deadlines, and work more closely and efficiently across departments. In a month, we caught up with most of our deadlines and by two months, we were so on top of things that we were completing work even before the deadlines. I also learnt how important communication is across teams and we continued to rally one another to keep the team motivated [Result].

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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