The first one is the always-dreaded “Tell Me Why You’re the Best Person for This Job” question. Actually, although this is admittedly a tough question, it’s also a question that you should want to be asked. Why? Because it’s your one chance to really sell yourself and bring out information that may not be asked in other questions.
From my Hiring Manager’s perspective, the way I’d like this question to be answered is a way that I very seldom hear: state some of your most significant areas of accomplishments and experience in a way that relates to my specific opening. The key phrase here is “in a way that relates to my specific opening”. I can’t stress enough the importance of this.
Now, in order to pull this off, you have to do your homework prior to the interview. You need to be thoroughly familiar with the specific requirements for my job, which you can usually get straight from the job posting, as well as thoroughly acquainted with my company, which you need to research.
This way, you can tell me you’re the best person for the job because your qualifications and accomplishments match the job requirements as well as the goals and objectives of my company. I want to know that you’ve taken the time to figure this out.
To prove this, you should quote several qualifications from the job posting and relate them directly to your experience or accomplishments. Or, bring up a specific goal or objective of my company from your research and demonstrate how your experience supports that goal.
As an example, let’s say you’re interviewing for a sales representative position and your research shows that growth is a primary objective of the company.
If you’re asked why you’re the best person for the job, put it like this: “I know that your number one goal is sales growth and that’s always been my primary focus. In my last position I increased sales in my territory by over 25%, during a time period when sales for other territories were flat or negative. I can do the same thing for your company if you bring me on board.”
Remember: regardless of the job or the company, sell your experience and accomplishments in terms that directly relate to that job and that company. This is what I want to hear as a Hiring Manager…and so seldom do!
The second tough question I want to discuss is the equally-dreaded: “Tell Me About Yourself” question.
This is a deceptively innocent sounding question, but it’s actually a land mine that I’ve seen many candidates step directly on.
Some candidates will simply recap the last few jobs they’ve had (sorry, but I did read your resume). Some candidates will ramble on at length about where they went to school, their personal lives, their hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. Sorry again, but none of this is relevant.
What the Hiring Manager really wants to hear (again!) is how your experience is relevant and meaningful enough to make you a viable candidate. What you need to do to be ready for this question is very carefully prepare a 60 second overview of your most significant experience and accomplishments as they relate to this specific job. In other words, tailor your 60 second “commercial” in terms that make it appear you are a perfect fit for the job. Most candidates totally miss this.
We’ll continue next time with some less common, but just as difficult interview questions.