How to Answer the Interview Question "What Unique Qualifications Do You Bring to This Position"?
When an employer invites you in for an interview, he’s already decided you possess the necessary skills, knowledge and experience. To narrow down a pool of equally qualified applicants, many interviewers ask a question such as “Why should I hire you?” or “What would you bring to this job?” Your answer should focus on the most important qualifications for the role and the qualities that distinguish you from even the most talented and knowledgeable candidates.
Choose the Most Important Points
Hit only the highlights when answering the question, instead of reiterating what’s on your resume or rehashing what you discussed during the interview. Choose qualities you know will distinguish you from the competition, such as prestigious national awards you’ve won. Also, don’t try to portray yourself as a jack-of-all trades. Instead, focus on your greatest strengths. Select three to four of your relevant qualifications and accomplishments, using the job description as a guide for what the employer is seeking.
Back Up Your Claims
To prove you’re a committed and talented employee, quote former employers or clients, or focus on your track record of success. For example, mention that your last boss said she’d never worked with someone who picked up new skills as quickly as you do. Or, point out that your previous supervisor routinely assigned you the most difficult cases because of your reputation for completing challenging projects on time and within the allotted budget.
A job interview is all about explaining why an employer should hire you. When he asks what qualities you’ll bring to the job, he wants specific information he can use to evaluate you against the other applicants. If you want to highlight your ability to motivate your staff, describe an instance where you successfully lead your team. Careers website FlexJobs recommends taking this even further by breaking down the steps you took and explaining how you’ll apply these same skills to the position for which you are interviewing.
Address the Employer’s Needs
What you’re most proud of might not be what will sway an employer’s opinion in your favor. In her “U.S. News & World Report” article “3 Ways to Answer that All-Encompassing Question Why Should We Hire You?” career expert Vicki Salemi advises job seekers to keep the focus on the employer’s needs instead of on their desire to land the job. Only discuss qualifications that tell the interviewer how hiring you will benefit him and the organization. For example, stress that you’re a quick learner and that you’re positive you can start contributing from your first day on the job. Or, mention that you have a positive reputation within the industry, which will make it easy for you to attract new clients and develop lucrative partnerships within the community.