29 Apr 2014
Last time, we looked at the first of three important interview questions. This week focuses on the second: “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?”
This is your opportunity to show the interviewer how enthusiastic you are! Show them that you love the sound of the job, you’re interested in the company and you can’t wait to work there! Any potential employer wants to see how excited you are about the prospect of joining their firm. So give them what they want to see!!
The truth is, other candidates probably have similar financial skills and accounting experience to you – so you need to really set yourself apart. And a great way to do that is to gather as much knowledge about the firm as you possibly can.
Do your homework before the interview so that you’re really clued up. Then you can confidently demonstrate that you’ve researched the company – and the relevant department, if possible. Show an understanding of its strategy, structure, history and how it’s currently performing. Tell them how much you love their products or can relate to the services they offer.
Other candidates might not have bothered to prepare themselves well, so you can shine using your knowledge of what the company offers. And when asked what you can do that others can’t, you’ll be able to relate your financial skills and experience to the insightful company knowledge you’ve already gained.
Enthusiasm is contagious! If you can speak about the company with authority as well as showing that you really can’t wait to join, your passion will certainly impress them.
If you’re not sure how to relate your skills and experience to a new position, ask us about interview prep advice… Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are three key things an interviewer wants to establish. If you can master your answers to these questions, you’re half way to landing the job!
1. Why should we hire you?
This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you have the skills, expertise and experience to perform the job.
2. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
Show your enthusiasm for the job and your interest in working for that particular company.
3. What are your key strengths and weaknesses?
Let the interviewer see how well you would fit into the team, culture and company.
This blog focuses on the first question – why the company should hire YOU rather than someone else!
When asked why the company should hire you, you must show them that you have the skills, expertise and experience to carry out the job you’ve applied for.
Think about how your experience and skills (including transferable skills) tie in with the job description. Start with any specific or technical skills that the role requires and give examples of how you have tackled similar tasks. This is your chance to let them see that you CAN do this job – and do it well.
If you don’t have relevant experience but can demonstrate that you’ve done something similar and you’re competent to learn quickly, that’s fine too. This is your chance to explain why you can do the job as well as – or better than – the next candidate.
Next, consider the general skills that make a good team player, such as communicating well, being competent on the computer and so on. Focusing about these points that everyone can relate to will stop you from getting sidetracked into talking about things that are not relevant.
Relate back to these key skills and your own experience when answering questions about yourself. These examples will help to get you started…
- Tell me about yourself?
Tell them why you enjoy this kind of work.
“I’m passionate about…” “I’ve always loved working with….”
- What are your greatest strengths / weaknesses?
Focusing on your work experience is less daunting than simply discussing your personal strengths.
“I successfully completed project X because I’m tenacious, motivated and work to deadline.”
- What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
Don’t be shy! This is your chance to shine.
“In my last role, I implemented new systems that have proven beneficial to the whole team…”
- Why do you think you are right for this job?
Why do you?? Make sure you have an answer prepared.
“I have the expertise you need to hit the ground running…” “My experience has proven I can do this job well, and I’m quick to learn new systems…”
- What do you think the main challenges will be?
All jobs come with challenges; don’t be blasé, but end on a positive note.
“Adapting to your systems, but I’m sure I’ll pick things up quickly…”
Next blog: what can you do for us that other candidates can’t?