So You Can Do What We’re Looking For…So What?

Written by: on 05.06.16

There is one question you must always be prepared to answer when walking into an interview, an answer you should provide even if the question is never asked: “Why should we hire you?”

Other variations include “What makes you the ideal candidate?” or “How would you excel in this role?”. They all want to know the same thing: Why you? Now is your chance to wow your future employer. What have you got prepared? Your skills, past experience, and past responsibilities, all tailored to fit this new job perfectly and ready to impress. Right?

That is right – as long as you remember that you are not going to impress anyone much talking about your skills and past responsibilities alone. It’s about what you have DONE with those skills and HOW exactly you handled said responsibilities. “I type fast.” Anyone can type fast, but what exactly are you going to do with that 120 wpm skillset? “I managed various projects and teams.” Don’t stop there! What obstacles did you face? What challenges did you overcome? How did you ultimately make money for your company? And how are you going to do the same in your new role?

Think about it this way. Any person can walk into an interview and regurgitate their resume. Your resume might be impressive, with an extensive laundry list of skills and experience anyone would be proud to have. However, what makes these skillsets extraordinary is what you have accomplished with them. How will you save money for your company? What are you truly worth? It may seem cold to imagine employers looking at you in terms of money and numbers. There are many factors that come into play upon hiring a new employee. Past experience. Personality. Character. Overall competence and compatibility. Money is an unavoidable factor. When it comes down to it, a new hire is an investment, and an employer wants to know that there will be a return of investment in some way, shape, or form.

Imagine you are interviewing two candidates applying for a Customer Service position. Candidate 1 is friendly and personable, with prior experience and familiarity with specific programs they will need to use for the new role. They know what they are doing in their field of work, and will get the job done. Enter Candidate 2, who is also friendly and personable. They also have prior experience and familiarity with the right programs. They know what they are doing in their field of work, and during their interview, they mention actions they took in their last role that generated positive customer feedback and an increase in revenue for the company.
Both Candidates can get the job done, so which Candidate would you hire? Likely, the Candidate that has the most quantifiable value.

If you are to take away anything, take away this: always market your value—and never forget that your value is more than just a list of skills and tasks. Your value is how you utilize these. Anyone can talk about their last job and what came with it. But it’s up to you to present your last job and what you brought to it, and ultimately, what you will bring to your new venture.

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