Don’t get taken back by this question – just be prepared to answer it!
Undoubtedly, we all fear this question, but unfortunately, it is a question that an employer needs an answer for. Here are 6 ways to impress.
Refer to the job description.
Familiarise yourself with a few of the key skills and use these as the foundation to your answer.
Most job descriptions have essential and desirable criteria on the person spec. I tend to focus my answer more on the desirable criteria. The reason I was invited to the interview in the first place was because I met the essential criteria! I don’t want to tell the employer what they already know; I want to impress them by ticking all the additional boxes and making them learn more about my skills and what I can give them.
Focus on what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you.
Think of it this way; the employer is looking for a solution to a problem. You will be the one filling in their blanks. Answers such as; ‘because I really want this job,’ or I’ve always wanted to work in Design so this is perfect for me’ are not convincing – anyone can say it. Be specific; offer examples of what you’ve done to work towards that job in design and what you enjoyed about it. This will give the interviewer an idea of what you can do for them in the future.
The most important thing here is to identify how your skills will benefit the employer in a way they may have never experienced before. You need to be unique; be creative and show them you’re capable of innovation!
Never compare yourself to others.
This question does appear to try and make a comparison to others, but don’t be fooled!
You are not going to know what others’ strengths and weaknesses are. Don’t make claims that you are better than them. The employer knows the other candidates, not you, so they can challenge these assumptions that you have made. Concentrate on just talking about yourself and not others!
Avoid clichéd language.
‘I’m hard working‘; ’I work well in a team‘. These are empty statements that anyone can make. The employer has heard these statements in the interview before you, and the one before that, and the one before that, the one before that, and the one before that…
Evidence your answer.
Make sure you back your claims up; it will add strength to your answer, and it will help you feel confident, as you’ll have solid examples to prove your excellence with. If you make claims like “I’m a creative thinker” without backing it up with an example, the interviewer won’t be able to take it into consideration, as they’ll have nothing to judge the value of that statement on.
You might say ‘I think my innovative mindset makes me a great fit for your company. For example…”
Follow a clear structure.
Poor preparation will turn your answer into a long-winded, meandering response. Pre=plan, stay calm and remember this is your chance to show the employer that you have what they want. Keep it simple, short and memorable.
Begin by laying out the points you are about to make. “The reason you should appoint me is because of X, Y, Z.” Next, evidence each of your points, as alluded to earlier. Finish off your answer with a strong and confident closing; “Overall, I think X, Y, Z makes me a great fit for both the role and your company.”