How to Answer "Why Are You a Good Fit for This Job"
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“Why are you a good fit for this job?” is one of the most common interview questions, and also one of the most challenging to answer. To increase your chances of a job offer, you must provide a concise answer that shows the interviewer that you’ve done your homework, and you know just what you can bring to the table and how your experience is relevant to the company’s overall goals and priorities.
Understand What’s Really Being Asked
When you’re asked to explain why you’re a good fit for a job, your first inclination is probably to launch into a litany of your best qualities and the experience that makes you ideal for the position. That’s actually the wrong approach to answering this query. By the time the interviewer gets to this question, she already knows about your work history and skills, based on your resume and your conversation to that point. Now, she is looking for an indication that you have researched the company and the position, and for you to articulate how you can help meet the relevant goals. You want to let the interviewer know you have done your homework, and have a good sense of what the company is looking for and how you can fulfill its needs.
Focus on the Job Description
Begin your answer to this question by summarizing the job description based on the ad you responded to and your conversations with the hiring manager. Pepper your response with language used in the job listing or description, and focus on how your skills can ease the company’s pain points. For example, you might start by saying, “Based on our conversations, it seems that you need a dynamic account executive who can take some of the burden from the director of sales and improve the services you provide your customers.” This tells the interviewer that you have an understanding not only of the job, but also of the company’s priorities and the role you’ll play in addressing them.
Relate Your Experience
Once you have shared your understanding of the position, relate how your experience aligns not only with company priorities, but also with the organization’s mission, vision and values. Explain how you plan to put your experience to work. This could mean continuing your answer by saying something like, “I understand that customer service is a major priority for ABC Company, and as we’ve discussed, I have extensive experience in that area. I enjoy keeping customers happy, and will focus on ensuring satisfaction that will ultimately lead to ongoing relationships and increased sales.” Again, try to use as much of the same language as the company uses in its materials as possible, provided it feels natural.
Show What Makes You Unique
When an interviewer asks this question, he is trying to determine what makes you different than everyone else he’s interviewed for the job. Before your interview, brainstorm some ideas about what makes you uniquely suited for the position in light of the listed requirements. What combination of skills do you have that others don’t? What accomplishments do you have that relate to those requirements? Prepare three to five bullet points that you can work into your answer to show the interviewer what makes you special and why you’re the best fit for the job.
Keep Your Answer Concise
Resist the temptation to launch into a long, drawn-out answer in which you regurgitate everything you learned in your research about the company. Keep your answer concise, hitting the high points, because an interviewer’s attention is likely to wander after a minute or two. Provide a brief, yet detailed answer, and ask the interviewer if he would like to know more. If so, keep going. Otherwise, stop talking.
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- If you lack experience in a certain area, explain what the employer stands to gain by hiring you instead of someone with more experience. You could say that you are highly committed to learning everything about the job and are willing to put in the extra time and effort to learn quickly.
- During the interview, you might get the sense that you and the company are not a good fit. Try not to cut the interview short by walking out or showing disinterest. Instead, ask questions about the position or the company to confirm that your perceptions are correct. Remain professional throughout the interview.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.
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