When you walk into a job interview, you’ve likely got a lot on your mind. It’s normal to be preoccupied with everything from your recall of key facts about the company to what you’re wearing. However, it’s important to remember that your prospective employer is only trying to answer one key question – and that question is, “Why should we hire you?” Make sure you know the answer because the odds are strong that they are verbally going to ask you that exact question.
Prepare a response ahead of time. You’re probably competing with several other candidates for employment, so this is not the time to wing it! Think long and hard about what makes you a better prospect for this job than all of the other applicants. Refer back to your cover letter and resume if necessary, and come up with a sixty second answer that hits a recruiter hard with your star qualities.
Customize your answer based on company research. We’ve written tons of articles on how important it is to customize both your cover letter and resume. It is equally important to customize your answers during a job interview. Let your recruiter know specifically what you like about the company, its culture, and this specific job opportunity citing key facts that you know to be true.
Bring your qualifications to life. The recruiter already knows that you’re qualified, and that’s why you’re sitting in his or her office. However, it’s very likely that you don’t look a whole lot different on paper than every other job candidate under consideration. Breathe life into your skill sets by providing anecdotes of how you contributed at work in your previous position, and explain how that experience impacts your ability to contribute to their company in this new role.
Let them know why they are your ideal employer. Flattery will get you everywhere! If you’re excited about working for this specific company, let them know exactly why. Great culture? Great mission? Great people? Ambitious plans for growth? Whatever it is, let them know in no uncertain terms exactly why you think they’re a great company. And of course, let them know why you’re the perfect fit!