Difficult Interview Question – Why Should We Choose You Over the Other Candidates?

SEPTEMBER 2, 2010 | BY MICAH
business woman on laptop with thumbs up preparing for a job interview© vladimirfloyd / Dollar Photo Club

Job interviews can be frustrating. You know you can succeed in the position, but depending on the questions that the interviewer asks, you may struggle to prove it. Job interviews are designed to see which of the remaining candidates is worthy of the position, and it can occasionally be difficult to prove that you’re the best even though you know it to be true.

Luckily, employers might give you the opportunity. One common interview question is “Why Should We Choose You Over the Other Candidates?” A good answer to this question can help put your candidacy back in the running after a tough interview, while a bad answer can drastically harm your chances of landing the job.

Bad Answer

Employers are looking for confidence. They want you to understand your strengths and be able to recite them at a moment’s notice. A bad answer would look something like this:

“I think I am really qualified for the position. I am a hard worker and a fast learner, and though I may not have all of the qualifications that you need, I know I can learn the job and do it well.”

There is very little confidence in this answer and nothing that actually tells the employer that you deserve the job. Everyone is a hard worker. Everyone can learn. You need to go into more specifics in order to stand out. If possible, add in some achievements that perhaps you did not have a chance to promote during the job interview.

Good Answer

“You are looking for someone that can easily fit into the department and seamlessly take on the responsibilities left vacant by the past employee. I not only have the experiences necessary to succeed in the position, including working with X, Y, and Z, I also fit in well with your department’s vision and have the ability to work quickly and efficiently to keep projects up to task. Other candidates may have some impressive qualifications of their own, but no other candidate is going to fit in as effectively as I will.”

There is a lot more confidence in this answer, you rehashed some of your better qualities, and you stated specific reasons that you make a better candidate. You do not want to brag, but you certainly do not want to be humble, as you are trying to give the employer reasons to believe that you truly are the best candidate for the job.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Answer this question confidently.
  • Point to specific reasons you are better than other applicants.
  • Don’t brag, but don’t be humble.

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