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What is one way a candidate can effectively answer the interview question, “what makes you a good candidate for this position?”

To help job seekers answer this interview question, we asked HR experts and business leaders this question for their best advice. From bringing up your soft skills to expressing shared values, there are several suggestions that may help you stand out during your job interview. 

Here are 11 strategies to answering this interview question: 

  • Align Your Skills to the Job
  • Keep It Simple
  • Bring Up Your Soft Skills
  • Tie Your Response to KPIs
  • Describe How You Can Help
  • Stand Out
  • Show, Don’t Just Tell
  • Be Humble
  • Emphasize Your Experience
  • Know Yourself and the Job
  • Express Shared Values

Align Your Skills to the Job 

Candidates that have a story or something that exhibits specific characteristics needed for the position can most effectively answer this question. Rely on your strengths and forefront the skills you have that are more aligned with the position 一 you want to sell yourself as the ideal candidate and person for the job. So be prepared with either a shortlist of skills or come prepared with a specific moment that can illustrate what makes you perfect for the position. Hiring managers screened a lot of people and something about you stood out enough for them to ask for an interview, so don’t sell yourself short by coming unprepared.

Randall Smalley II, Cruise America

Keep It Simple

It’s best to begin by identifying one skill required for the position you are applying for. Then, present a story that demonstrates how you used this skill in the past. Make sure you tell only one example 一 it will be more memorable than a list of features. Simplicity is the key to that answer’s success. 

Karolina Zając, PhotoAiD

Bring Up Your Soft Skills 

This is a common question that comes up in job interviews, so make sure you’re ready for it with some research and introspection on what makes you a unique candidate. Go back to the job description and compare it against your skills. When you get asked this question, highlight the technical skills you can bring to the company and then describe soft skills that can help you perform the job optimally. For example, if you’ll be working in a team environment and have that experience, be sure to bring it up!

Meryl Schulte, Markitors

Tie Your Response to KPIs 

Although personal accolades and experience should be brought up when asked the question “what makes you a good candidate for this position,” they should always be tied to the goals and ambitions of the company. As an example, if you are mentioning your background in marketing, mention how you can help the company grow their Instagram to “X” number of followers. This will show your research and love for the position, all the while demonstrating how important goals are for you.

Yuvi Alpert, Noémie

Describe How You Can Help 

When answering, “What makes you a good candidate for this position?,” most individuals relate their answer back to why they want the job. Instead, relate it back to how you can help the organization. As an example, first list your tangible and quantifiable results. They should be related to the position in some way and demonstrate your ability to obtain results. However, instead of relating this to your incessant desire for the job, instead, mention how these very results could help the organization. Companies are not looking for candidates that want the job most. Rather, they are looking for those that can shift the needle of their organization.

Lori Price, PixieLane

Stand Out

Read this interview question as “what makes you stand out as a candidate?” Use this question as an opportunity to show that you have done your research on the job and the employer and highlight how your unique experiences are relevant to the role, outside of what is listed within the job description. This tells the interviewer that you are excited about the role and will bring more to their workplace than just meeting the basic qualifications of the role.

Kate Conroy, Red Clover

Show, Don’t Just Tell

If you have quantifiable numbers and statistics that account for your success at a previous job or recent project, use them! Interviewers are tired of hearing the same reasons why a candidate is a great fit for a job role, so give them something more — something that actually measures the impact of your hard work. As an added bonus, by doing your research and pulling out the numbers, you invariably come across as someone who tracks their progress and values, delivering tangible results.

Philipp Zeiske, Zeitholz Watches

Be Humble

It’s important to answer questions with confidence while interviewing for a job. However, you don’t want to come across as pretentious or superior. Answer this question very candidly, explaining your qualifications, but be careful not to come across as overqualified, especially if you’re not. It’s crucial that you display a passion for the role you’re applying for and the company itself and focus on the benefits you can bring to the table, which don’t already exist in the company. Additionally, when asked this question, be sure to emphasize your excitement to learn new skills on top of your existing experience.

Sanem Ahearn, Colorescience

Emphasize Your Experience 

When asked about what makes you a good candidate, you can answer by emphasizing an experience you have that can greatly contribute to the success of the company. Preferably, describe an experience that’s similar or very much related to the position you’re applying for. If you don’t have one, you can highlight a specific skill that’s relevant and useful and something that makes you stand out among others.

Joe Flanagan, VelvetJobs

Know Yourself and the Job

The real key here is separating yourself from the competition and providing specifics as to what you, emphasis on you and not the others, bring that puts you above the others. It also involves really knowing what the job and possibly even the profession itself requires. So, match up what they’re looking for and what the profession involves to how you stack up. It also affects your ability to look at your competition and see what they’ll bring and how they compare to you. So you want to point out specifics on how you stand above the rest. This can involve your level of experience, work environment, ability to handle pressure, your way of thinking and your personality.

Ronald Auerbach, Job Search Expert and Career Coach

Express Shared Values 

Candidates should let interviewers know that they understand the values of the company and that their own values align with the company’s values. Revealing these similar values when candidates explain what makes them a good fit for a position at a company is a good strategy during the interview process. This both shows that the candidate has done substantial research on the company and that they care about what the company represents on a philosophical level.

Ben Teicher, Healthy Directions

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