How to answer: “why are you the best person for the job?”

Nervous job applicant wait for recruiters question

During a job interview, the interviewer might ask: ”why do you think you would be the best person for this job?”, which can be a surprisingly difficult question to nail. You don’t want to come across as arrogant,but it’s a great opportunity to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the role and highlight the value you can add to the company. If answered correctly, it can be a powerful way to help you stand out from other candidates interviewing for the job.

If you’re unsure how to answer this interview question, here are some tips on how to give an impressive answer, so you increase your chances at landing that job.


Understand what the company needs

Before you attend your interview, it’s important to undertake research about the company so you can identify the particular skills or experience they might require from an employee for this particular role. Have a look at their company website, LinkedIn page, and any other social media accounts they might have. This should tell you a bit about the industry they work in, the services or products they provide, projects they’re working on and company values. From here, you can gain greater insight into the priorities, goals and trajectory of the company, and which skills might be required for them to achieve this.

Although this question is primarily about applying your skill sets to the role, you should always be thinking about how your skills tie back into the strategic direction of the company. Often, you will learn more about this during your interview, so it’s important to understand where you might add value and adapt your answer to this.


Study the job add

As well as undertaking company research, studying the job ad will also tell you the job requirements and necessary skills they value. It’s important to focus on how you can help the company, so your answers should try and tie into the companies’ needs and goals where you can.

Once again, it is important to remember that your answer shouldn’t necessarily be set in stone, as often you will likely learn more about the specifics of the role during your interview. Ensure you are actively listening during the interview, so you can consider how you can tie these new pieces of information back to your own specific skill sets and experience.

If you don’t feel you have enough information on the role as yet, you can state as much. Perhaps say, “Before answering that question, would you mind telling me more about …a specific aspect of the role or what an average day involves,” for example. It is better to understand the role rather than focusing on essential strengths that are not essential.


Establish your main strengths

Once you’ve determined the skills and experience needed for the job, you should identify your main strengths and skills that are relevant and use these as the basis for your answer in the interview. When identifying your strengths, think about the following:

  • Industry experience
  • Experience in performing certain tasks or duties
  • Technical skills
  • Soft skills
  • Key acaccomplishments or awards
  • Education/training/qualifications
  • Volunteer work

To keep your answer succinct, aim to mention only those strengths that are directly related to the job for which you’re applying and those that will add value to the company.


Give concreate examples

After you’ve identified your main strengths, think about how you’ve applied these in previous jobs which has resulted in a positive outcome for the company. Providing concrete examples demonstrates how your skills can translate into beneficial results. If you’re new to the job market, you can emphasise experiences from school, club activities, or volunteer work. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires you to consult with external stakeholders, instead of just saying “I have excellent people skills”, give evidence of how this added value, such as, “my ability to network and engage well with others enabled me to secure six new clients in the past year.”

If the role requires you to have proficiency in certain programs that you have prior experience in, provide a specific example when you mention this. For example, “I have over five years’ extensive knowledge of computer software and programming languages, including SQL, Python and Javascript, making me a great fit for this job.”

Showing how you apply your strengths, rather than simply stating them, will improve your chances of landing the job.


Speak confidently

As much as its important to have humility when answering this question, you also want to sound convincing and confident when giving your response. To help with your confidence, it’s a good idea to prepare your answers in advance and have a few ideas of what you might say. It can help to write these down in some dot-points, or even practice your answers to a friend or family member. This will help you relieve some nervous jitters and avoid being caught off guard if you get asked this question.


If you’re looking for more advice on how to best respond to interview questions, check out our Ultimate Interview Guide, which is filled with useful strategies and techniques to help you nail your next interview.

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