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“What makes you the best candidate for this job?”
“Why should we hire you?”
“Why do you think you are a good fit for this role?”
In one form or another, any one of these questions will be asked during an interview.
Do you know how to answer? Do you have an answer? Let’s face it, interviewing can be uncomfortable, even nerve-wracking for some.
When an interviewer asks you one of these questions, they are assessing how confident you are in your abilities, how well you understand the job and whether you are a good fit for the position.
So, let’s examine what makes you a great candidate and what might get in your way. Here is a little hint – it’s not what you think!
Before an interview, spend some time researching the company by going through their website and reading any articles you can find about them online. This knowledge will provide you with context and the ability to ask intelligent and pertinent questions during the interview.
It is a good idea to create a list matching your work skills with the “preferred” qualifications written in the job posting, preparing you to talk about how your key skills make you the perfect person for the job. Respond to questions by describing how your skills “add value” to their business, always making it about them and not about you.
Remember that you are not the only one in this equation to use online resources for research purposes. The person interviewing you will most likely check you out on social media, so make sure that you remove anything you don’t want a potential employer to know about you.
You get only one chance to make a first impression! Your appearance is important, and yes, the little things do count. Candidates have failed in interviews for things like dirty fingernails when applying for a front-line position. Well-groomed hair, clothing, shoes etc., matter when you sit down with someone for an interview.
Be aware that first impressions are not limited to the person who is interviewing you. From the time you enter the office door, you should treat all staff members you meet as if they are the company’s owner. Many interviewers will ask people who interacted with you for their impressions of you after the fact, and this can make or break your chances of getting the job.
Don’t underestimate the importance of being on time. Do not be late! Prepare to be at an interview with time to spare so that you arrive in an organized and calm fashion.
After your interview, sending a well thought out thank you letter can push you to the top when it comes to them assessing the best candidate for the job. Including relevant details in the thank you note shows that you understand the opportunities and the challenges of the position, and reinforces that you are ready, willing and able to deliver the results they want.
Keep it real and don’t over exaggerate anything about yourself. Being honest about your hobbies, interests, and life in general, is as important as being honest about your work experience. Nothing will devalue a person’s credibility in an interview more than getting caught in a lie. The person interviewing you will feel that if you are willing to lie about something trivial, you will probably lie about your skills, achievements, and experience as well.
Believe that you can do the work and deliver exceptional results.
Believe that you will fit in and be a perfect addition to the team.
Believe that your skills and experience will make you stand out.
And finally, believe that if hired, you will do everything in your power to live up to your new employer’s expectations and prove that you are the “Greatest Candidate” for the job!