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Anticipating frequently asked interview questions and preparing good responses can help you stand out in a competitive job market. In particular, you can expect to be asked some version of why the company should hire you. The purpose of the question is to assess whether you have what it takes to advance the mission and goals of the organization. The best interview answers to, “What will you bring to the company?” give persuasive evidence that you have the right skill set to succeed in the job.
Research the Company
The secret to acing a question about what you could bring to the company is researching what the company needs and values. Prior to your job interview, carefully review the company’s website to learn more about its organizational structure, history, culture and the challenges that lie ahead. Undoubtedly, you have a bevy of talents and skills that you could talk about in an interview. But focus on attributes that align with the company’s strategic goals and plans, such as your in-depth familiarity with a product line that the company wishes to re-brand.
Study the Job Description
Keywords in the job description signal the skills and characteristics that an ideal candidate should possess. Note the required and preferred qualifications. Pay attention to the desired qualities, such as dependable, outgoing, detail-oriented or expert in MS Excel. The employer knows from experience the skills that are needed to be successful in the position, and you want to emphasize that you have those attributes.
Assess Your Fit
Interviews are apt to go well when you come prepared and honestly answer the questions. Employers understand that many of the applicants, who are otherwise qualified, don't have all the preferred experiences and skills. Don’t be discouraged if you have limited experience or training in some areas mentioned in the job ad. Focus on what you could presently bring to the company and mention your interest in further training.
- Example: I was described as friendly, solution-oriented and driven to succeed on my recent performance evaluation at the call center. You are looking for a customer service representative who enjoys promoting products, solving problems and strengthening customer loyalty. I could bring to the company a passion for exceptional customer service and a proven track record in inside sales with a high conversion rate on leads.
Customize Your Interview Answers
Interview answers to, “What will you bring to the company?” should closely align to the job description. For instance, if the employer is seeking a dynamic sales representative, then you want to stress your proven track record in sales and ability to connect with all types of buyers. If the job requires a particular skill, such as an ability to accurately type 40 words per minute, point out that you exceed that standard, and explain why that would benefit the company if you were hired for the job.
Inventory Your Accomplishments
When preparing for a job interview, note your key accomplishments on a piece of paper to remind yourself of all you have achieved in your career. If you’re a recent graduate, include difficult classes you’ve taken, honors and awards, athletic participation, and other co-curricular, part-time jobs you’ve held as well as volunteer positions. Consider how your unique life experiences make you an excellent fit for the job you’re seeking. Use that information when articulating what makes you a valuable asset to the company.
- Example: I would bring a high level of energy to the company and excellent time management skills. In college, I maintained a 3.5 GPA while working a part-time job, volunteering at a homeless shelter, playing varsity soccer and serving on student government. The job I am seeking requires a self-starter who can multi-task, which perfectly describes me.
Quantify Your Accomplishments
Employers often incorporate behavior interview questions because of their predictive value. A behavioral interview approach focuses on how applicants handled situations in the past to get an idea of how the applicant performs in the workplace. The University of Minnesota recommends the P.A.R. technique:
- Problem faced. When volunteering at the animal shelter, I became aware that the shelter was understaffed and some dogs were not getting their daily walk.
- Action taken. I offered to help recruit volunteers by starting a newsletter and a blog that described upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.
- Result achieved. As a result of expanded outreach, we recruited 25 new volunteers in the first month alone. My supervisor was thrilled, and the dogs were happier, too. I would bring that same type of initiative and problem-solving to your company.
Show; Don’t Tell What You Can Do for the Company
Back up your interview answers to, “What will you bring to the company?” with examples of your work. If you’re in graphic design, bring along your portfolio, for instance. If the job requires excellent communication skills, make a strong first impression with a sharp professional image, good eye contact, active listening skills, articulate answers and an upbeat demeanor. The goal is to come across as confident, but not arrogant or entitled to the job.
Sample Interview Answers: What Will You Bring to the Company?
- Example for entry-level job: As a recent college graduate, I would bring a fresh perspective to the company. While working as a paid intern at a family-owned furniture business, I offered to update their static website. Using my graphic design skills and familiarity with social media, I added videos, new features and images with multi-generational appeal, resulting in a 30 percent increase in traffic to the site. I would love to share my ideas for increasing the popularity of your website.
- Example for mid-level job: I have 5 years' experience with SQL and data visualization tools that I use to support the work of cross-functional teams. Prior to my hire, decisions were made without benefit of analytical statistics. I could bring to your company a passion for delivering accurate analytical reports to solve operational issues and inform business strategy.
- Example for managerial job: When I took over as circulation manager at a local newspaper, renewal subscriptions were on a steady decline. I spearheaded an effort to turn that around through personal contacts to former subscribers by offering a promotional rate for renewal. I also improved digital access, added exclusive content, and a discount for automatic payments to win back the majority of past subscribers. If offered a job with your company, I could apply a similar approach to bolster lagging sales.
Answers to Avoid
Stay clear of clichés and overused generic phrases like team player, hard and loyal employee who goes the extra mile. Instead, offer a specific example that demonstrates your admirable qualities. For instance, you might say, “The flu hit during the busiest time of the holiday season. I volunteered to work overtime in any department that was short-handed to help ensure orders went out on schedule.”
Interview answers to, “What will you bring to the company?” should focus on the specific contributions you can make now and also how you can contribute as the company grows. Simply stating that you will bring enthusiasm to the job is too vague. The real question is, “What can you deliver?” Enthusiasm alone doesn’t translate into measurable outcomes, so offer ideas on how you could help the company tap a new market, for instance.