How to Answer “Why are You the Best Person for the Job?”

Talking ourselves up is a personal nightmare. The older brother of the classic interview question “tell us about your greatest strength” comes from “why are you the best person for the job.” Without the proper preparation, this question causes many interviewees to freeze up. It asks for various things all at once. The greatest strengths question comes in a vacuum. It is all about you, and with a bit of optimization for each company, you can use the same answer for every instance of that question. That is not the case for this question. Let’s dive into all the factors that go into this question before giving our best advice on answering this beast of an interview question.

What’s on the table?

When you get asked this interview question, you must prepare yourself for every aspect it puts on the table. The hiring manager wants you to explain your strengths, specifically in relation to this job, and how you can leverage them to become the best candidate. To answer this question you need to be very familiar with what the job actually is. Before heading to the interview you should pass a critical eye over the job description and prepare an answer that mentions the job’s requirements.

You won’t know much about the other candidates in a normal situation. Still, this question is secretly asking, “why are you the best person for this job and better than everyone else who is interviewing.” Sell yourself to the hiring manager with your unique skills and ensure them that you will complete this job and do it well. The specific skills to highlight vary with the position, but if you are a Pathrise fellow, your mentor will guide you through the specifics. Let’s jump right into the best general practices to answer this question.

How to answer “Why are you the best person for the job”

The specifics vary by position and skill set, but the general answer to this interview question starts with an explanation of how your personality makes you a great candidate. Look through the job description and find items listed that you can cover with your strong personality traits. If you are organized, find parts where your organization makes you shine. If you are an excellent communicator, talk about how that makes you extra qualified to excel at this new position.

After that, talk about how your skill set is a perfect fit for this position. Any skill that makes you a strong candidate, especially uncommon skills, should get a highlight in this answer. The closer you can get to the exact skills mentioned in the job description, the better. Failing that, look into similar positions to see if you find a better or more impressive feature to include.

The third and final part of this answer focuses on your projects and accomplishments. If you have a particular project that shows your skills for this job, hype it up! Our final piece of advice: keep it concise. This is a pretty robust question, but keep your answers to each part short and sweet. Try to keep your answer under 60 seconds at a normal pace.

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This is a deep dive into one possible interview question. If you want similar help on many such questions, as well as one-on-one guidance from one of our career mentors, try Pathrise! We are a career accelerator that helps in every phase of the job search. Apply today! It’s free until you get a job.

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