Why are you a good fit for this job? Why are you the best candidate for this role? The barrage of questions from the interviewer coalesces and boils down to this one point. Put simply, they’re asking, ‘Why should we hire you?’
Now, there’s always the option to be snarky and say ‘Because I need the money.’ but here’s a pro tip: DON’T.
There are years and years of interviewee experiences we can read up on to better arm ourselves for interviews (you can check our blog for tons of resources on interviews), but the problem is, as time goes on, many interview responses become outdated.
Take for example the big ol’ ‘What’s your greatest flaw?’ question. There was a point in time when it was all the rage to respond with your strengths disguised as weaknesses. ‘I’m a perfectionist,’ they’d say, and the interviewer would nod along and say ‘good enough.’
Do this now and it would be … not to your benefit. As interviewees learn, grow and improve their ability to tackle interviews, so do interviewers.
What we’re trying to do here at Capital Placement is keep interviewees ahead of the trends and updated so you can get one step closer to that dream job you’ve been eyeing.
This is part one of our ongoing ‘Interview Insights’ series which will comprise multiple blogs on how you can tackle even the most challenging interview scenarios.
So, let’s get on with it.
How DO you answer the question ‘Why are you a good fit for this job?’ like a pro?
What is the point of this?
Why are they asking you why they should hire you? Shouldn’t they decide that based on your resume (or CV) and your responses thus far?
Well, it’s a little like a test. If you can properly summarize your traits and skills and how well these would help you excel in this position, then you’re already a stronger candidate than anyone who can’t.
The interviewer wants to know your understanding of the requirements for this job role, what skills you think will be required for this position and whether you possess it, and how much of an asset you think you’ll be to the company while functioning in the role. And most importantly, they want to see how aware you are of all of this.
This is your chance to show that you understand exactly what is required of you, dispel any doubts they have about you, and solidify a positive perception of your capabilities.
Preparing an answer
Sometimes, you’ll be forced into a situation where you’ll have to improvise your answers to unusual interview questions. This is not one of those times. ‘Why are you a good fit for this job?’ and its many variations are quite common, so it’s best to prepare beforehand.
Let’s break it down.
1. Step one: read up thoroughly on the company
Each company has different values, different visions and missions, and different people. Spend some time reading up on the company. Check out their website, LinkedIn, and other social media. If they’ve won awards, read up on for what and why.
At first, this might seem unnecessary, but trust us, you’ll be surprised with how well you can tailor your responses to their questions when you know them well.
Here’s an example. XYZ Enterprises won an award for the most innovative app. So, you start searching for articles on this, pick one and read it. You then notice a quote from the spokesperson stating that “unbound creativity” is something they value most from their team. Now you know what to weave into your answer. Just … change up the wording a bit to make it less obvious. Of course, if you’re not a creative person in any capacity, don’t state that you are.
The point of this exercise is not to learn to lie better, but to find aspects they’re looking for that best suit your own abilities and maybe even personality traits, and customize your responses. If you lie, you’ll be in for a hard time. It’s not a web that weaves itself!
2. Step two: analyse the job description
You know the company pretty well. Now, it’s time to analyse the job description. The main things you need to ‘study’ are the qualifications, hard skills mentioned (like Photoshop, for example), the specific duties for the role, and any ‘expectations’ the company may have for the potential employee.
Sometimes, while reviewing a job description, you might notice the position is not ideal for you. It could be the work hours, it could be non-negotiable skill requirements you don’t have, etc. Whatever it is, it’s a good practice to keep doing. Being thorough with reviewing job descriptions could save your career.
Take note of any ‘plotholes’. Notice something out of the ordinary in the job description that doesn’t sit right with you? Write it down and keep it aside until the opportunity arises to ask the interviewer about it during the interview.
This will show you’ve taken a serious interest in the role (but please don’t be rude about it!) and are working to show them the best you’ve got.
3. Step three: bullet points
Oh, you’ve got to do some writing now? Right, Shakespeare, let’s get to work then.
Bullet points. That’s it. They’re going to be your greatest asset when answering interview questions.
Some people go the extra mile and write out a whole speech to potential questions and parrot it, but this, a. Is more work than you need to do, and b. may come off as unnatural/rehearsed.
Just open a document or get a notebook and list talking points down in the simplest way possible. This will help you respond more naturally and leave some wiggle room to amend your responses if needed during the actual interview.
So, what do you need to write down?
I. Personality traits: Are you a highly-motivated person? Do you enjoy working in groups? Are you empathetic? Short-list your 10 most ‘desirable’ personality traits. Now eliminate seven of them. Ever heard of the rule of three? That’s because three hits the spot. It’s just enough.
You’re hardworking, adventurous, and detail-oriented. You’re clear-headed, well-rounded and articulate. What you are NOT is ‘naive, irresponsible, and abrasive’. Avoid describing yourself using negative personality traits. You may think you seem more honest, but the truth is, it’s always a flip of a coin. You could just be giving them reasons to reject you.
II. Skills: Some people are skilled at Adobe Illustrator, some people are great at juggling, but only one of these skills is important when applying for the role of a graphic designer.
Your skills are your biggest selling point. That’s what lands you a role. Though you may or may not have a lot of experience, if your skills stack up really well and you can show what you can do with them, your chances of securing the position will skyrocket.
But that doesn’t mean you have to list every irrelevant skill just to make it seem like you’ve got so much to offer when it’ll be much more beneficial to list out the most relevant skills (and experience) and be VERY SPECIFIC about which ones you’re proficient in. Take graphic design, for example. In order to be a good graphic designer, you need to have a proper understanding of how to manipulate shapes, colors, and textures, and how to utilize space, and a dozen other things. You also need to know how to use various tools in order to produce work! These tools come under “skills”, and you must state them explicitly, like Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Designer, or Vectr.
Anything technical falls under hard skills, like proficiency in a programming language, but don’t forget to also highlight your soft skills. Soft skills are very hard to teach and that makes them very desirable. You shouldn’t list out your soft skills on your resume, but work this into the interview to help bolster your suitability for the role.
Soft skills include how good you are at time management or problem-solving. It also includes the way you think when you work, like if you’re a creative thinker, for example.
Once you’ve listed out all your skills, eliminate those that are least important to the job role. Use the company’s job description as a reference to determine this.
III. Your achievements: While your traits and skills give the interviewer an understanding of what you could do for and what you could be to the company, your achievements show them what you HAVE done.
Why is this role perfect for you? Because you’ve handled similar requirements before and you’ve done a stand-up job!
Try not to be vague about your achievements. “I brought in 30 new members to the gym in a period of one month during one of the hardest seasons of the year. This was 30% higher than the average number of new memberships brought in across the board during the same period.”
It really helps solidify the extent of your achievements if you bring in facts and figures.
4. Step four: practice answering
The final step is to PRACTICE. Now that you’ve gotten all your talking points down, you’ve got to. Carefully go through all your bullet points so that you absorb them enough to be able to recall them at will.
You can then request help from somebody you’re comfortable with and ask them to interview you. Try it out a few times with a few variations of the question. Ask them to interrupt you with follow-up questions so you can adjust your answers accordingly.
We’ll never get tired of saying this but confidence is key. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re going to have a hard time getting others to believe in you. Believe that you deserve this job, believe that you’ve got what it takes, and believe that you’ve prepared to the best of your abilities to ace this interview.
If you’re still feeling nervous about answering the question ‘Why are you a good fit for this job?” then try out the STAR method! This method is perfect for learning to structure your responses in a way that ticks all the boxes AND it helps stop you from rambling or missing the point! And remember, always send a follow-up email after the interview to thank them for their time and to let them know you’re awaiting their response eagerly.
All the best for your interview!