One Question to Prep for in Every Interview

Congratulations – you’ve landed a job interview! This is no small feat in a time when hiring managers may be bombarded with hundreds of resumes for a single opening. You’ve made the first critical cut toward landing the position.

Next, you need to take every possible step to be prepared for your interview and the questions that will likely be asked. There are many, of course, but after all is said and done, the entire process is about just one question – and the response that will determine whether or not you advance to the next level:

“Why do you think you are a great fit for this position?”

In posing this question, your interviewer is asking you to sell him on your status as the best person for the job. Make it easier for both of you by convincing him that:

  • You can do the work and deliver exceptional, measurable results.
  • You will fit in naturally and smoothly and be a strong team addition.
  • You have the optimal combination of skills and experience that make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Hiring you will make him look smart and make his life easier.

How to Prepare for the Ultimate Question

The best way to be ready for this potentially deal-breaking question is to have a concise summary of the top reasons a potential employer should choose you over the competition. Even if your interviewer doesn’t ask this in so many words, have your “elevator speech” prepared so you can work your key message points into the conversation.

Here’s how to go into your interview armed, ready and confident:

  • Study the job description and brainstorm about your strengths. What are the most important qualifications for the position? In which of those areas do you really shine? What are your most important relevant accomplishments – those that set you apart from the candidate pack? Jot down anything that comes to mind.
  • Based on this, make a list of the best three or four reasons to hire you. Put them in bullet point form, with a goal of verbalizing them in one to two minutes. Keep it concise and conversational; convey a sense of certainty and enthusiasm.
  • Practice makes perfect. Don’t memorize your message word for word. But do practice until you feel comfortable talking about your bullet points off the cuff.
  • Be sure to say it! If you don’t have an opportunity before the end of the interview, work your prepared message points in at the end. Interviewers usually ask candidates if they have any questions or “anything to add.” If all else fails, make your selling points part of your thank you email following the interview.

What’s in Your Bullet Points?

Included in your bullet points should be any outstanding characteristics, skills or professional milestones that will make your interviewer realize your unique and invaluable contribution potential. These could relate to:

  • Industry experience
  • Strength in certain skills, tasks or duties
  • Technical abilities
  • Soft skills such as interpersonal, organizational and effective communication strengths
  • Awards and recognitions
  • Education and training

You may not be applying for a sales job, but during a job interview, you’re selling the most important product on the market: you!

For additional tips on sealing the deal during your next interview, contact the experts at CPS and Professionals Inc. today. If you are looking for jobs in Syracuse NY, contact us today.

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