It’s an interview question that can make every candidate’s palms sweat. Not only does it force you to look inwardly and present reasons you are awesome, but it can also make or break your chances at landing the job.
A lot of job seekers fail to answer this question properly. Sometimes it’s because they’re too arrogant, while other times it’s because they’re too timid and afraid to showcase real examples of why they’re the best person for the job. In Asia, it’s common that candidates find it difficult to ‘big themselves up’ for fear of coming across as cocky – but failing to give a coherent answer here can really work against you.
Thankfully, we’ve got some helpful tips to ensure you can answer this tough question with confidence.
First, do your research: Read about the company online. Find out what projects they work on, and what project you might be likely to work on if you got the job. This will help give you an idea of why they should hire you to help! Find out what you can about the company’s culture, mission and vision, so you can brainstorm for an answer that is in line with this. You can also read people profiles on their company website to try and find a common denominator you can also bring to the table, so the employer will know that you fit their environment perfectly.
Review the job opening: Check out the job description to know exactly what you must be able to offer in the way of skills and competencies. When practicing your answer to this question, highlight the points where you excel and empasise on the list provided by the company. For example, if the role requires applicants to have knowledge in SEO, share your past experiences and how well you can handle these responsibilities.
Provide a solution: Now that you are aware of the needs of the company, think of ways you can help them achieve their goals. Provide hypothetical solutions to a hypothetical problem. If you have been able to do a lot of research about the company, you might even be able to suggest why your skills can help the business fix a real problem.
Share what’s not on your resume: Your CV says a lot about you, but it doesn’t carry 100% of the information about you as a person. When hiring you, they want to get to know the real you! So if it helps your case, tell them more about your background, challenges you’ve overcome, and momentous life decisions or happenings that have shaped you into the person you are today. Share a moment where you discovered something important about yourself that became vital in building your character as an employee. Think outside of the box, or in this case, outside of your resume.
Create your speech and practice: Now it’s time for you to write down your ideas and pitch yourself! While it’s a good idea to practice an answer to this question, don’t get so caught up that you end up reading from a script in the interview. Instead, piece together everything that you want the employer to know. Refrain from using cliched language such as “I am a team player”, “I am responsible and very punctual” or “I am hard-working.” They hear these phrases from everyone.
Once you’ve figured out exactly what to say and how you’re going to say it, practice! This way, you won’t even hesitate when the answer comes up – but remember not to sound too scripted.
Good luck! We hope you pass your next interview with flying colours!
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