“Can you tell me why you are the best person for the job?”
It is a commonly used interview question. But even though you know you can do the job and are the right person (or why else would you have applied?), it’s one question that can really strike fear.
So, let’s unpick why this question is so challenging.
The main reason is that it demands that you really sell yourself. For most, this is simply not a thing we practice on a regular basis. It is completely understandable, therefore, why learning to express our self-sales techniques in an interview situation is going to be difficult.
Barriers you might face:
Here are some tips on how to answer this tricky interview question and convince the employer that you are the best person for the role.
Skills, qualities, and evidence
The best way to sell yourself is to focus your answer on the skills and personal attributes that you believe make you the best candidate. For example, if you are amazing at planning and organisation, this might give you an edge over other candidates. But if you leave it at that, your answer is either insufficient or if you really big yourself up, it may only sound boastful.
Evidence is your friend. Express how those skills have previously helped in a team project or supported a business goal. For example, meticulous planning led to a highly detailed and accurate business proposal, which was successfully adopted. The interviewer is only interested in one thing – what does their business gain if they were to employ you. If you identify your skills and qualities, back it up with evidence on how your past employer benefited and even suggest a way how it would benefit the new role, you will sell yourself professionally.
Keep it about you
It is your interview, so do not compare yourself to other candidates unless you want to look unprofessional. It also makes it look as though you would potentially be unable to fit into existing teams, flagging a concern to the interviewer. Instead focus more about what made you think the role would be a perfect fit for you. Why was this company one you could really envisage yourself working in?
Linking from the previous thread, you are showing the prospective employer that you have a genuine interest in the role and/or company. It is not purely about your ability to perform the role requirements; interviews also ascertain “fit” within the organisation and existing workforce. Therefore, an answer that comes across as “it’s just a job” is never going to be preferable over an answer that demonstrates your values and beliefs are aligned with the company’s vision and culture. After all, if it is the company, the people and the environment which will make you thrive, you are the best person for the job.
The good news is that some of this preparation can be done in advance of the interview, giving you time to practice selling yourself.
If you need help, why not consider working with a career coach?
Instead of being a nervous, fumbling wreck, tripping over your words, having mental blanks and kicking yourself afterwards thinking about what you SHOULD have said, when the call comes to say:
“We loved meeting you, thank you for your time but there was a stronger candidate on the day. We won’t be taking your application forward at this time but wish you success in your search.”
Imagine going to your next interview confident, able to clearly communicate your strengths, knowing what you should and should not say, fully prepared with a toolkit of great techniques, ready for the call:
“We loved meeting you, thank you for your time. It gives us great pleasure in being able to offer you the role. We would love to have you as part of our team.”
Are you ready to get the job done?