This is usually considered a very tricky question to answer – for a start you have no other idea what skills and attributes your competitors for the job have! Lets start by thinking about what the question is trying to find out about you;
- a summary of the abilities and experience you have in relation to this job;
- narrowing which of those abilities you personally consider are most important and therefore whether you have grasped what is needed in this job;
- it is also designed to see if you can sell yourself in an appropriate way as this is something many individuals find tricky.
Try to remain calm throughout the interview, and if you feel yourself at a particularly difficult question then take a moment to take a deep breath and calm yourself.
If you have some information about how the company works and its goals and ambitions, and how these are similar to yours. Give a specific example of how your education or skills directly match the job description and make you an asset. If possible try to throw in something which separates you from the other candidates, such as two skills which are unusual together for example,
- technically minded AND speak several languages
- good with numbers AND have a great sense of humor
- an engineering whiz AND jog 10 miles a day
- a good organizer AND a great communicator
Try to ensure that whatever your answer is, the reason that you give relates in some way to the job and company.
“I’m a master carpenter, and brilliant with paperwork. Many of my colleagues have said in the past that they don’t enjoy the paper trail side of the business but my organisational skills are a real asset and make the work in the office easier.”
“I have a degree and proven work record in accounting and am also an excellent communicator. If you need someone capable of talking to any level of the team then I would be an ideal candidate”
“I have a photographic memory, so little details won’t escape me. I’m also very patient with people, no matter what the demands.”
Here are some examples of answers to avoid as they would not be valued by the interviewer:
“I’m a workaholic.” – This is very transparent and doesn’t give the interviewer any real information.
“I am a hard worker and would be an asset to the company” – This doesn’t set you apart from any other candidates.
“My qualifications are ideally suited to the job description” – The interview is your opportunity to make yourself stand out – your CV showed you’re suited to the job.
Be more specific!
Photo by: Aaaron