3 Ways To Show You’re The Best Candidate

You know you’re the best person for this job. But you probably never expected to explain why you’re ideal.

There are several different ways you can angle your answer. Come prepared to answer this question and you’ll leave a lasting impression on your prospective employers.

Goals

Every company has a goal or two in sight. If you’ve been through an interview with the company, you might know just what those goals are.

Company goals can encompass:

  • Money. Profit margin or better stock performance are all common business goals.
  • Reputation. Fewer complaints, better online reviews, and no lawsuits might get mentioned.
  • Speed. Pushing orders out the door faster or cycling through customers rapidly could show up on to-do lists.

Think about how the position you’re applying for helps support that goal.

Skills

Your interview was scheduled because you demonstrated some ability to do the job well. Your education, work history, or some other attribute made the team feel confident that you could handle the work. If you’re sure your skills are superior to what’s expected, showcase that in your answer.

For example:

  • You have years of experience. The competition considers this an entry-level position. Explain why your years of service make you the best choice.
  • You’ve continued your education. Explain the webinars you follow, the articles you read, or the conferences you attend to keep your skills sharp. Highlight how you do this on your time and your budget because you’re passionate about the line of work.
  • You volunteer. You don’t have strict work experience, but you have been donating your time to an organization or cause, and you’ve learned some skills there which can be applied to the job you’re interested in.

Give concrete examples of how you have applied your knowledge in the past and how you plan to do so again in the future.

Work Ethic

Imagine that your education, background, and certifications make you just the same as everyone else. What might set you apart? A history of strong work ethic.

Think about your performance in your last position:

  • Hours on the job
  • Willingness to work overtime
  • Performance reviews
  • Efficiency

Your answer should reflect your willingness to do more than the average person.

The right answer in this model sounds something like this: “In my last job, I was known for being the first person in the office in the morning and I was the last to leave at night. I always volunteered to take extra shifts and I never complained about my workload.”

No matter what approach you decide to follow, you’ll need to adhere to a few general recommendations to ensure that your message comes through.

Do’s:

  • Explain. A one-word answer won’t cut it.
  • Give examples. Cite statistics, supervisor feedback, client responses, and other solid data points as you explain your benefits.
  • Give credit when it’s due. Most businesses use teams, and you’ll need to demonstrate that you work well with others. If someone helped you, point that out.

Don’ts:

  • Blame anyone. 
  • Make excuses. Don’t talk about the things you wish you could have done if only something were different. Hone in on what you actually did.
  • Exaggerate. There’s a fine line between storytelling and truth-telling. Don’t cross it.