I first got involved in interviewing people for roles over 20 years ago. As we all know there are some questions that are almost guaranteed to come up in one form or other. One of those questions is:
Why are you the best candidate for the role?
Although there is a high probability of getting this type of question, I never cease to be amazed how often people struggle to come up with anything approaching a decent answer.
What might be some of the reasons why it is such a struggle for candidates to answer this?
Not being comfortable speaking about your strengths. Think about how often do you talk about what you do really well compared to talking about what you struggle with? A lot of people seem to find it tough to speak about their strengths.
Not wanting to come across as a big head. You don’t want to be seen as a know it all do you? Trouble is if you are not talking up what you have to offer, another candidate is and reducing your chances of being selected.
Not being prepared. It never ceases to amaze me just how little time candidates spend preparing for interviews. This is a major investment decision for an employer and you should be preparing with this in mind.
So how can you ensure you answer this question well?
Review the job description thoroughly and get a real sense of what you will be required to do and the knowledge, skills and experience that will be needed to be successful in the role.
Review the person specification. This will highlight not just the hard skills but some of what are commonly called the softer skills that you will need to be successful.
Write out your answer in several different ways so that you can come across convincingly however the question is posed.
Practice speaking your answer out loud. Play with being slightly over the top so that you become comfortable speaking your answers out loud.
Video record yourself as you will be able to check whether what you say and your non verbal communication is in line with each other.
The truth is this question is inviting you to sell yourself. Make sure you make the kind of impact you want to make.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.