How to Answer, “Why Are You the Best Person for This Job?”
In this video, Jenn, a certified career coach, will explain why employers ask this question, the three pieces of information they’re listening for in an answer, and the best strategy for preparing for this question.
During job interviews, employers typically ask various questions to ensure you’re a strong fit for the role. One common question to expect is, “Why are you the best candidate for this job?” Preparing a compelling response to this interview question can position you as an ideal candidate and help you get the job you want. In this article, we discuss why employers ask, “Why are you the best person for this job?” outline how to answer this interview question, and show several examples to guide you in preparing your response.
Why do interviewers ask, “Why are you the best person for this job?”
Interviewers ask, “Why are you the best person for this job?” for various reasons. They often want to identify what makes you unique and qualified for the job. They also ask this question to check whether you fully understand what the position entails and what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate. Inquiring why you’re the best person for a job can help interviewers assess your confidence and ability to perform the expected duties. From the answer you provide, they can also see how you handle workplace challenges. Other ways potential employers may ask this question include:
1. Review the job description
Understanding your expected job duties and the required qualifications to perform them is typically the first step to preparing an effective answer. Take time to read the job posting to find the skills, experience level, and education the hiring organization values in a candidate. Then, evaluate these criteria with your qualifications when explaining why you’re the best person for the job.
2. Research the hiring organization
Next, read about the company to understand more about its ideal candidate. Researching the hiring organization can also help you gain more insights into the organization’s work culture and current employees. You can check the company’s website, social media profiles, and publications or press releases for its mission and goals. Learning about the company can help you identify the personality traits it values and check whether its core values align with yours. Core values are beliefs, principles, and behaviours that guide actions.
3. Identify relevant qualities for the role
Once you understand the requirements, examine your strengths, such as skills, certifications, and professional experience, that you can use in the position. You can pick as many as seven qualities related to the position. By combining several relevant attributes in your answer, you can provide a thoughtful response to, “Why are you the best candidate for this job?”
4. Use quantifiable examples
When describing your strengths and accomplishments, ensure you use examples that the interviewer can measure. While you can mention that you earned specific qualifications, providing practical examples can often be more convincing. For example, suppose you’re discussing your communication skills. You can mention a situation you applied effective communication to solve a workplace problem. Similarly, if leading others is your strength, you can present examples of how you applied this skill at work.
5. Practise your response in advance
Preparing your answer can help you demonstrate confidence during interviews. You can organize a mock interview and practise your response with a colleague, friend, family member, or mentor. Ask for their feedback on the answer you provide to determine ways to present a more convincing response.
How to Answer “Why Are You the Best Person for the Job?”
There are many ways you can answer this question. The first way is to explain how your personality or personal traits make you an ideal candidate. To do that, take the time before the interview to carefully match your qualifications to those listed in the job posting. Be prepared to explain why you’re a solid match for the job.
A second way to answer is to emphasize your unique skills. If you have skills that make you a strong candidate (especially if not many people have those skills), mention these. The skills the employer is seeking may also be listed in the job posting. If not, look at similar jobs to see what criteria employers are looking for.
Another option is to show the employer that what you have accomplished in your previous roles qualify you for this one. Share examples of your achievements that relate to the job for which you’re interviewing.
4 Ways to Answer: Why Are You the Best Person for the Job?
Examples of the Best Answers
Example Answer #1
My previous job working as a receptionist provided me with the ideal experience for this position. For five years, I developed many of the skills required for this job, including answering phones and email, processing payments, and entering data on multiple computer programs.
Why It Works: This response is effective because the candidate goes into specifics in listing the essential skill set she can bring to her new employer. Ideally, she has also emphasized these skills because she realized from reading the job posting that these talents were among the employer’s most “preferred qualifications.”
Example Answer #2
My skill set is a perfect match for the job requirements. In particular, my sales skills and managerial experience make me an ideal candidate for the position. For example, at my last job, I managed a sales team of five employees, and we had the top sales record of our company branch. I can bring my successes and experiences to this job.
Why It Works: Not only does this interviewee mention his important skills, but he also alludes to his previous leadership responsibilities and his quantifiable success (a “top sales record”) in his previous job.
Example Answer #3
I have the ability to find my niche within a group and support everyone’s efforts. For example, my last job involved a lot of team projects. I was always able to recognize my teammates’ skills, and delegated tasks that fit each person’s skills. I know this job involves lots of teamwork and group projects, and I know this is a work style in which I excel.
Why It Works: This is a great example of how to effectively use the STAR interview response technique, in which you structure your answer to describe a past situation, your task, your action, and the result. Here, the candidate uses this technique to also point out that she is aware of the employer’s company culture and focus on collaborative teamwork, showing how her own experience aligns with these priorities.
Example Answer #4
I am a self-motivated person who is willing to go above and beyond on any project, and to learn valuable skills on my own time. For example, I taught myself five computer programming languages in college, simply out of a passion to learn how to code. I know you are looking for a self-motivated computer technician with both skills and passion, and I am that person.
Why It Works: This job candidate showcases the broad skill set that many of his competitors for the position might not have: his knowledge of five computer programming languages. He is also able, in his response, to point out his personal initiative and enthusiasm for his work.
Confidence is key
Doing a background check of the company allows you to prepare in advance, which ensures that you state your answer confidently and clearly, from the choice of words to tone of your voice.
Focus on your personality or personal traits that make you unique and the best fit for the job. Also, you can emphasize skills that are specific to you, because not many people possess them, and they are sure to make you the ideal candidate for the position.
Consider mentioning your great interpersonal skills or leadership skills, and your ability to resolve conflict amicably. Not everyone possesses these skills, therefore if you can use them to your advantage. But don’t exaggerate!
Although, the objective is to sell yourself and prove that you are the best candidate, don’t compare yourself to other candidates. Just emphasize your uniqueness positively and do not attack or demean other candidates. Understand that everyone who made it to the interview position is just as qualified as you are and deserve to be respected.
What to avoid: Mistakes candidates make when asked this question
Landing a job after an interview is tough! Therefore, don’t sabotage the chance to get your dream job because of small, silly mistakes that you can easily avoid. This can’t be reiterated enough, Practice!
Relax! Don’t start talking about where you and your family went for a vacation. Focus on the compelling points that illustrate your suitability for the position. Keep your answer concise by limiting each question to at least 1-2 minutes. Also, practice in advance.
Don’t be modest:
This is your opportunity to sell yourself and convince the hiring manager why you’re the suitable candidate for the job, so don’t under-represent yourself.
Give general answers:
Don’t give vague answers. Include your personality in the solutions you provide. Think your answers through, try as much as possible to discuss traits, skills, and abilities that make you unique. Be as specific as possible, you don’t want your answers to sound rehearsed or memorized. Yes, use the information here as a guide, but don’t memorize it.
While this may be an essential interview question, not all hiring managers use it. Therefore, despite your preparation, you may have to look for opportunities during the interview to sell yourself using the mentioned key points.
When answering this question, remember that this is an opportunity to highlight your best skills and convince the interviewer that you are the ideal candidate for the job. Therefore, base your answer on prior industrial experience, hard and soft skills, accomplishments, accolades, and education.