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Do you dread this question?
Do you know what how you would answer it? What would you tell an employer that highlights what you can do for them? While many variables are assessed in an interview, this particular question is the bottom line that every employer and recruiter wonders about with each candidate – even if they do not ask it directly. It is central to their decision-making. Understanding what a candidate offers can help them make a good selection. And, having a strong answer – one that speaks to the bottom line – can get you the offer.
So how should you respond to the question? Be prepared – the more you know about the employer and their specific needs, the more you will be armed with relevant insights to connect to your talent.
Here are 3 steps to help you get there:
Step 1 – Know Yourself. Be ready to address your strengths, experience, and accomplishments. Make sure you are prepared with examples and stories that support your responses. Re-read the job ad. What expertise are they looking for? What do you need to be sure that you address in the interview?
Step 2 – Know the company and players. Take time to research the specific company of interest. Look at their website and key people. What are their products and services? Who are their customers? What do they promote? Read press articles to uncover successes and challenges. Who is your interviewer? Google them and/or find them on LinkedIn. What insights might be helpful to bring up in the interview?
Step 3 – Connect the dots. Practice summarizing why you are a strong candidate for this particular position (keep key points in your head, not a memorized paragraph). Be sure to address (a) why you are interested in this specific job, (b) the relevant strengths/experience you bring to the table, and (c) what you can do for this company….the bottom line that can help them.
What do you do if you are not asked this question?
Take the initiative and bring it up! Make sure they understand the bottom line of what you offer. Oh, and always make sure to convey your enthusiasm for the job. Wishing you the best of success!