The answer to this question should be a concise “sales pitch” that explains what one has to offer the employer. The candidate must remember that employers hire workers to solve a problem, whether it’s boosting sales or streamlining processes or building a brand. The candidate’s goal when making one’s pitch is to show that he is the best person to solve that problem. The better this is done, the better are the candidate’s chances of landing the job.
When one is getting ready for the interview, they should take a moment to review the job description. They should make a list of the requirements for the position, including personality traits, skills, and qualifications. Then, one should make a list of the qualities that he has, which fits the given requirements. For each quality, one should think of a specific time that they used that trait to achieve something at work. For example, if one list that he is a “team player,” he should think of a time in which his ability to work well on a team resulted in a successfully completed project.
He should not forget to think beyond the job description and consider which of his skills and accomplishments make him a better candidate than other competitor. For example, maybe he has an additional certification that makes him more knowledgeable about the company’s product than the typical salesperson. When one is honing their pitch, they should remember to be positive and to reiterate their interest in the company and the position.
The interviewer has to engage the finest person for the position. Most of the candidates being interviewed are capable for the job. The winning candidate must have something more other than just being qualified, particularly in a very aggressive job market. Every person hired is a risk for the organization. The interviewer will also be taking a personal career risk in recommending a particular candidate to hire. If the candidate performs well, the interviewer looks brilliant and gets a pat on the back. If the candidate turns out to be a letdown, doesn’t execute well, doesn’t get along with the team, leaves the job too soon, etc., the interviewer looks like a dummy and his professional status suffers.
With these questions, the interviewer is asking the applicant to advertise himself to him and the candidate’s position as the finest person for the position. The candidate can make his job easier by convincing him that:
This is the candidate’s chance to wow his interviewers with his highlight reel. His answer should summarize the top three or four best reasons about why he should be hired. It’s better to have three or four strong reasons with memorable descriptions and/or examples than to rattle off a list of twelve strengths without context. This is an opportunity to describe one’s most memorable selling points, tailored to align with the top requirements in the job description. The candidate’s 3-4 bullet points could include a combination of the following: industry experience, experience in performing certain tasks or duties, technical skills, soft skills, key accomplishments, awards and accolades, education and training. Accomplishments and success stories are always excellent bets, particularly if the applicant can illustrate a key achievement like a victorious advertising campaign; exhibit a preferred skill like originality and results-orientation. One approach is to talk about any distinctive amalgamation of skills and knowledge that one possesses.
For the most part, job seekers ought to be able to build up a standard answer to this question that can be personalized a bit for each prospect. Here’s how:
To get on track, the aspirant should analyze the job explanation, his resume and put to himself these questions:
The candidate should think and jot down everything that comes to mind.
The candidate should choose the 3-4 bullet points that make the strongest argument for him and use those bullet points to structure his sales pitch. He should not write a script to memorize but simply to capture the bullet points that he wants to convey. Each bullet will describe the selling point with a brief explanation and example for context. The candidate should keep it concise. He will still want to keep his answer in the 1-2 minute range so he won’t be able to rattle off every skill and accomplishment on his resume. He has to really think about what sets him apart from the competition.
The candidate should keep his answer brief and not more than a minute or two long. Therefore, he should select one or two specific qualities from the list that he has created to emphasize in his “sales pitch.” He should begin by explaining what he believes the employer is looking for, and how he fulfills that need. The candidate should be prepared to adapt to new information, if the interviewer indicates that another quality or skill is more valuable to the organization.
The interviewer wants to know how the candidate stands out among the other applicants. Therefore, the candidate should focus on one or two qualities that he possesses which are different from what other interviewees might offer, or are more difficult to find in candidates generally. For example, if the candidate is very experienced with a certain skill that the job requires, then he should say so. This is his chance to tell the interviewer why he would be an invaluable employee.
Once the candidate feels pretty good about the points he wants to make, it is time to practice. Again, it’s not a good idea to memorize a script as one can end up sounding like a robot or feel more nervous because of pressure to remember specific wording. The superior approach is to capture one’s bullet points, revise them, and then put them into practice until one feels at ease talking about them off the cuff. The candidate’s answers should come out a slight bit different every time, but it must at all time cover the points that he needs to make.
It’s also very important to come across as confident and enthusiastic when the candidate is delivering his pitch. The candidate has to make them believe in his abilities and his commitment. If he projects confidence, then he is more likely to make a strong impression. As for enthusiasm, the candidate should keep in mind that true passion for the work required is a pretty compelling selling point. Yes, experience and qualifications are important, but the right attitude can definitely give the candidate an edge over those with similar professional backgrounds.
The candidate should, under no circumstances, try to wing it. He should take the time to prepare his 3-4 bullet points and look for opportunities to customize for any new opportunity. Then, he must practice delivering his sales pitch until it feels comfortable.
This is not the time to be modest or self-deprecating. The candidate must be ready, willing, and able to talk about what makes him a great hire. This will require some practice if he is naturally a bit modest.
The candidate should do his best to add some personality to his answer. He should not simply rattle off the bullet points listed in the job description but should really think about what makes him unique and express it in his own voice.
It is vital for the candidate to remember the law of answering interview questions i.e., he should limit each answer to 1-2 minutes in length (not counting any follow-up questions or requests for additional detail). If he tries to walk through his entire resume when answering this question, the interviewer is likely to tune out. He should focus on his most compelling selling points and should keep in mind that he’ll be more believable if he focuses on a few strengths and does not try to claim that he is a master of every business skill imaginable.
These are very effective interview questions, but not every hiring manager realizes that. If the candidate prepares a beautiful pitch but he is never asked about it then he may have to look for an opportunity to share his thoughts on the subject. At minimum, the process of preparing the answer will help to prepare his response to other such similar questions. He should also remember that a good salesperson always finds a way to deliver his pitch. One approach is to wait for an opening at the end of the interview — maybe after he has asked his questions and the interviewer asks if there is anything else on his mind.
To close the deal on a job offer, the candidate must definitely be prepared with a concise summary of the top reasons to choose him over others. Even if the interviewer doesn’t ask this particular question, he should still have an answer prepared and should be looking for ways to communicate his top reasons throughout the interview process.