Presenting oneself as the best possible candidate during a job interview is crucial to securing the position. When asked, “What can you bring to the company?” it’s essential to have a concise and well-prepared answer.
Admittedly, this question can seem tricky at first glance, as it’s uncomfortable when you feel like you have to toot your own horn. But with clarification on what recruiters are looking for and a little preparation, you’ll be ready to showcase your strengths.
Why Employers Ask This Question
In an interview, employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate a clear understanding of the job and how their skills and experience fit the role. They also want to see evidence of creativity and original thinking, as well as a genuine interest in the company and its mission. Your answer will help showcase the research you’ve done on both the company and the position itself.
To stand out from other candidates, it is vital to specify how your qualifications match the job requirements. That will show the recruiter that you’ve thought about the longevity and career fit of the role you’re applying for.
How to Answer the Question
Your first step will be trying to determine the nuances of this role and the needs it is filling for the company. When you can evaluate the company’s pain points or needs, you’ll be able to specify how you can solve those problems.
The best way to learn about a company’s culture is to spend some time on its website and social media. You can also look at the profiles of team members on LinkedIn. These days, it’s relatively easy to get a sense of what it would be like to work for a particular company. Look beyond the obvious and try to get a feel for the organization’s heartbeat.
Does the company seem driven by metrics or passionate about customer service? Do they appear team-oriented with many fun team events that occur in the office? Have you discovered there’s a general focus on volunteerism or work-life balance? By taking the time to do your research, you’ll be able to give a more informed answer that demonstrates your compatibility.
Connect the Dots
When you clearly understand what the company is looking for, you can focus your answers on one or two key points. You’ll need to articulate your career goals and how they align with the company’s core values. This will help the interviewer see that you are a good fit for the organization and motivated by more than just a paycheck.
Formulate Your Answer
Be ready to explain what problem you’d be solving or what needs you’d be filling. This is an excellent opportunity to use a situational answer, also known as the STAR method.
Situation: What is the current state or need?
Task: How does the role you’re applying for fit into that situation?
Action: What actions have you taken in the past to solve a similar situation?
Result: What measurable outcomes were achieved?
Your answer will be dependent on the variables of your situation, but consider the following example for inspiration.
I know that you’re looking for a manager who can balance fiscal responsibility with a people-first team environment. In my previous position, I was assigned to work with an underperforming team that was struggling with low morale. As the new manager, I took the time to meet with the team members to hear their perspectives on how we could meet our goals more efficiently. I was able to get their buy-in by letting them drive the solutions, and as a result, we became one of the top-performing teams nationwide.
If you’re applying for a customer-focused role, you might consider an answer like this one:
One of the reasons that I’m so excited to work here is the excellent reputation that [ABC Company] has for going above and beyond for their customers. I realize that you have extremely high standards in that regard for your team members and will need someone who can consistently perform with integrity and a customer-first focus. I’d be bringing my expertise from the printing business, where I was assigned to work with small business owners with extremely high standards for every aspect of the brand that their customers would interact with. I expanded our small business market, and I’m eager to do that again at [ABC Company].
Master Your Interview Preparation
As with every other aspect of the job search, your preparation will be the key to successfully navigating the question, “What can you bring to the company?” Devote time thoroughly researching the company and then building a bridge from your experience to their culture and needs.
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