Career advice and Interview Coaching #1: Why Do You Think You Are Suitable For This Role?
How to convince your interviewer you’re the best possible candidate
Certain interview questions feel like they were intentionally designed to make you squirm, to put you on edge or to make you defensive. Everyone has their most hated interview question, whether it be “What is your greatest weakness?”, "What would your last boss say about you?" or "Could you describe yourself in one word?"
Although these questions are never a walk in the park, with the right career coaching, you will feel far more prepared and confident when they are fired at you. With this series of blogs, we’ll address the most frightening of interview questions, give you advice on how to navigate them, and warn you about what to avoid saying at all costs.
Right now, we’ll address the dreaded question: “Why do you think you are suitable for this role?”
Why are they asking me this question?
The interviewers are asking this question for a number of reasons. They want to know you have done your research, you understand the role, and you are aware of what is required to perform the function well.
This question often makes people uncomfortable because, in essence, you are being asked to sell yourself to the interviewer. Instantly, it creates a sense of urgency and competition that intimidates a lot of people. As Steve Rodgers, recruitment manager in Ocado's technology division, says: "This classic question is one that often has candidates on the back foot. But it has no right to if the candidate has prepared properly."
How to prepare at home
Always assume this question will be asked. Even if it isn’t, it is certainly a question you should ask yourself. Research and homework will go a long way towards preparing you, which will help your interviewers see you in the best light.
Read the role requirements for the position. This will give you a firm understanding of what the job will require in terms of skills and experience. You should also make use of the internet and do substantial research on similar roles at other companies. If you have a career development coach, have a discussion with them about what your career will look like long-term and what you might expect from this particular industry. The coach will also be able to provide you with a career orientation assessment, which will uncover your core strengths and personal values. Not only will this assessment help you answer the question of why you’re right for the role; it will help you decide whether the role and industry, is right for you.
Learn all you can about the company at hand. Find out about the company culture, ethos, and history. Research existing and upcoming products and services. The more prepared you are in this regard, the more confident you will feel and the better impression you will make on your interviewer.
General advice before you say anything at all
Before answering, take a deep breath. You can afford a second or two to put your thoughts together. Ideally, you would have prepared for this question in advance, so you are already sure of what you are going to say. Don’t ruin your chances by rushing your response. An interviewer won’t look unfavorably on a two-second pause, but they might be unsettled by your overly-rehearsed answer, or by your evident nerves.
Keep body language in mind. Face your interviewer and retain eye contact. This will make you appear confident and sure of yourself, even if you are secretly panicking. When you talk, do so with passion and enthusiasm. The tone of your voice is certainly something the interviewer will remember when making their decision.
What to say to impress and stand out
Talk about your existing skills and how they qualify you for the position at hand. These skills can either be hard or soft, and they can be seemingly unrelated. If you demonstrate how a skill you possess can be transferable and used to the benefit of the job at hand, you will really impress your interviewers. Don’t forget to cover any relevant experience. Draw on examples of when you have performed similar functions or roles, and elaborate on the results.
Demonstrate you have carefully read and considered job requirements. If the person specification requires knowledge of a specific software package, explain that you are familiar with the exact software mentioned. If there are skills mentioned in the job requirements that you lack, don't gloss over them. Address them head-on and state that though you don't possess those skills or abilities yet, you are eager to learn, and you are quick to pick up skills.
Once you have given a general answer to why you would be suitable for this role, elaborate on why you are a perfect fit for this role at this particular company. Explain how you relate to the way they conduct business or discuss certain products or services you have personally used in the past. This familiarity and knowledge of their organization will set you in good stead and give you an edge over your competition. Remember that these days, more and more companies are hiring for attitude rather than a strict set of skills. Be positive, engaging, and self-aware.
Finally, don’t forget to demonstrate the one quality that unites all winners: Grit. Show that you have a passion for your work, that you are able to sustain that passion long-term, and that you can be relied upon to maintain levels of enthusiasm — even when projects and tasks get challenging. This is a valuable trait for employers, which is why it is so sought after by companies such as Google.
How not to answer this question
During an interview, people tend to be either under-confident, confident, or arrogant. This balance is difficult for some people; you don't want to underplay your efforts in any way. This is particularly an issue for women, who generally tend to understate or even undermine their own intelligence or skills. Be proud, but refrain from cockiness. If you want to point to a particular incident of when you have excelled, explain how you grew and learned from the experience. If it was a team effort, make sure to mention them.
Don’t make the interviewer feel like you’re doing them a favor just by being present at the interview. They likely have a large number of people to interview and such an arrogant attitude is unlikely to leave a bitter taste in their mouths. Regardless of how skilled you are, they might set aside your resume and opt for someone with more in the way of team skills.
Once you have taken the time to carefully construct responses to these nightmarish interview questions, you will soon realize they aren’t as terrible as you first imagined. They are being asked not to make you uncomfortable, but to get facts and information which will help them make their hiring decisions. The best you can do is smile, prepare, and deliver first-grade answer.
For the best available graduate career coaching and for help on everything from onboarding to career development, get in touch wit GRIT Point now. We’ll help you on your way to greatness.