Job interviews are your time to shine and show what you can bring to the table as an employee. It is also a time to learn more about the company to see whether you would be a good fit. Interviews can be daunting for many people, but being prepared can help greatly.
There are lots of common interview questions that can trip people up without proper preparation. After a successful job search, your job interview is next up, and you want to be prepared for whatever the interviewer asks. Keep reading to find out how to answer a common interview question: “Why should we pick you over other candidates?”
What are they really asking you?
This is a very common question in an interview, whether you are interviewing to become an engineer, an IT consultant or a maintenance technician. How you answer an interview question can tell the interviewer a lot about you as a person. Preparing for this interview question means that if it comes up, you know exactly how to answer.
A good answer in an interview can be the difference between you getting the job over another candidate. A bad answer, no matter how well you did in the interview so far, could set you back. When a hiring manager asks why they should pick you over other candidates, they are asking you to sell yourself.
Don’t sell yourself short
Think of it like a sales pitch. When it comes to answering this question, there are both bad and good ways to do so. Clichés and sample answers will not impress hiring managers. This question requires confidence in yourself and your skillset.
You should also make sure that you do not put other candidates down when answering. You are there to deliver high-quality work, not compete with colleagues. Preparing an in-depth answer will show the hiring managers you have taken the time to think about what you can bring to the table.
You also need to put across your point in a way that does not seem like bragging. Interviewers do not like candidates who seem overconfident about their skills in a job interview - you may be seen as someone who is not a team player, or does not work well with others. It can be difficult to find the right balance, which is why we have compiled information on good and bad answers below.
What makes a bad answer to this question?
A bad answer to any interview question is anything too vague. When it comes to the question “Why should we pick you over other candidates?’, this is no exception. To answer the question, you need to understand how your unique strengths match the job posting.
A bad answer could include stating obvious facts such as: “I am a hard worker, and I can do the job well.” This is not specific enough, and it is likely that many other candidates could answer the exact same thing.
Instead, you need to think about your answer according to the STAR method, one of the best tactics to improve a vague answer such as this. STAR refers to Situation, Task, Action and Result. You need to back up your point with relevant information, perhaps from previous job experience, as this can dramatically improve your answer.
It also helps massively to have some follow-up questions of your own. This shows interest in the position and a positive attitude. You are being assessed to see if you are fit for this position, but you must also make sure the role fits you.
What makes a good answer to this question?
Now you understand what a bad answer is, it is time to look at a good answer to this interview question. When someone asks why they should pick you over other candidates, this is your time to shine. You need to understand your unique talents and skills and back them up with evidence.
For example, you may state that in your old job, you brought X skills to the table, and this made Y and Z happen. When you can back up your answer with clear results, you show more confidence in your skills. The interviewer can see how your skills brought results for another company, whether this is solving a business problem or getting a job done right.
Refer to the job description
Using the STAR method, as detailed above, is one of the best ways to compile an interview answer. When answering this question in an interview, it is also good to refer to the job specification where you can. This could mean talking about specific skills that the job requires.
This can further impress the interviewer and prove why you would be a desirable choice over other candidates. Keeping your answer short while still getting your point across is key to coming across as confident, without seeming arrogant. You likely already discussed some of your skills in the interview, so be sure to have something new prepared for this question.
Find out more
If you are looking for more insights into the best ways of securing a role in the engineering and manufacturing sectors, get in touch with Employment Solutions. We can provide access to a database of current vacancies, as well as offering career advice and support for skilled candidates.
Visit our Job Search page or give us a call on 0161 839 5353 to learn more.