Along with questions like “Can you walk me through your resume?“, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?“, and “Why should we hire you?“, “Why are you suitable for this job?” is one of the most common interview questions. If you’re currently job hunting, you’ll probably be asked it at some point during the hiring process.
Many job seekers struggle to respond to this question, especially if this is your first job interview, but with a little preparation, you’ll be able to deliver an answer that impresses employers and sets you apart from the competition.
Why do interviewers ask why you think you’re suitable for the position?
Interviewers ask why you think you’re suitable for the position because they want to:
- ensure you understand the requirements of the role
- assess your level of confidence in your ability to perform the duties of the job
- learn more about your personal and professional qualities to determine how you would fit into the company culture
- evaluate your potential, not just your track record
The question “why are you suitable for this job?” is an opportunity to sell yourself and convince the interviewer that you’re the best fit for the role.
Take some time to research the company and the position before the interview. This will help you understand what they’re looking for in a candidate and allow you to prepare an answer in advance.
Now that you know why interviewers ask this question, learn how to answer it properly in the following section.
Sample answers to the question “why are you suitable for this job?”
Here are some examples to give you some inspiration when thinking about your own answer to “why are you suitable for this job”:
“I can collect and analyze data as well as identify trends and patterns quickly and efficiently. I’m also able to communicate my findings clearly and effectively. On top of that, I’m comfortable with a variety of software programs like Oracle and SQL, and in my last position, I increased revenue by an average of 17% annually through an optimized investment strategy. I have a go-getter attitude and am confident that I’ll be an asset to your team.”
This candidate for a financial analyst position mentions essential hard skills like data analysis and familiarity with Oracle and SQL, as well as soft skills like communication and critical thinking.
They also included one of their greatest accomplishments from a previous job to communicate how they can add value to the company and what they can bring to the team.
“I believe I’m suitable for this job because I’m passionate about education and can lead and inspire others. In my current position, I’ve implemented 2 new online after-school support programs designed to help kids navigate school disruptions caused by the pandemic. I’ve also built a safe and supportive environment where both teachers and students can come together as a community and secured an additional $100,000 of funding. Additionally, I have excellent interpersonal skills and believe I can make a positive difference at this school.”
This candidate for an assistant principal position clearly communicates to the interviewer why they think they’re a great match for the role by showcasing their dedication, their leadership skills, and how they measurably improved their current school.
They also show they’re on top of current trends in education and education technology, making them a highly competitive candidate.
“For years I’ve followed the organization’s work in Central America, and I believe I’m a great fit for the company because of our shared values. I’m bilingual in Spanish and on top of a degree in business administration, I have 3 years of experience working in e-commerce. Additionally, I volunteered with 3 non-profit organizations in South America and the US while getting my degree to gain experience with non-profits.”
This candidate applying for a business manager position highlights their language skills in addition to their knowledge of the company and its product. They also prove themselves to be a good fit culturally and let the hiring manager know they’re prepared to transition from the private sector to the non-profit sector.
How to answer the question “why are you suitable for this job?”
Now that you’ve seen some sample answers, learn how to form your own bulletproof answer.
Here’s how to prove you’re the ideal candidate for your target position:
Draw attention to your most relevant skills and experiences
Start your answer by highlighting the experience and skills you have that are highly relevant to the role.
For example, if the position requires strong customer service skills, illustrate how you’re a great match for the job by giving an example of when you applied these skills in the past.
Here’s a good example:
This candidate provides context for their accomplishments and gives the interviewer an idea of how their skillset can benefit the company.
Mention relevant certifications, licenses, and additional education
If the job opening you’re applying for requires certifications or additional education, be sure to highlight these qualifications in your answer to show the employer that you’re prepared to take on the role.
For example, if you’re applying for a special education teacher position, show that you do more than meet the minimum requirements, like in the following sample answer:
“In addition to holding a Standard Professional Early Childhood Education Certificate, I also have a special education certification and am working toward a Master’s degree in Childhood Psychology. I’ve also been a volunteer in an after-school tutoring program for children with disabilities for over 2 years to gain hands-on experience. I’m confident that my knowledge and experience would make me a great addition to your teaching staff and allow the school to better support their special needs kids.”
This candidate discusses their additional credentials and shows how their educational background and relevant experience make them a good fit for the role.
They’ve also successfully included other qualities that make a great teacher in their answer, proving their dedication to supporting young learners with special needs.
Show you’re a good cultural fit
For some employers, cultural fit is a deciding factor when choosing which candidate to extend a job offer to.
Employers understand that hiring for cultural fit is essential: people who fit well into an organization express greater job satisfaction, productivity, and engagement, and are more likely to stay with the company longer.
Before your interview, check out the company’s website and social media to learn more about the company culture, and then tailor your answer to demonstrate why you’d be a good fit.
Here’s an example by a candidate whose interests make them suitable for the position:
“I noticed on the company website that you organize monthly volunteering and company sports events. I myself play football and regularly organized fundraising events in college. I value community and teamwork and believe this kind of company culture is reflected in your product’s quality. I have a great social network and would be more than happy to help find sponsors for next year’s marathon and the upcoming charity fundraiser.”
This candidate mentions how their values and hobbies make them a good fit for the company and demonstrates interest in the role by showing their people skills and how they would contribute to the culture of the organization.
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