Interview Question: What Can You Contribute to This Company?
Often in job interviews, you will get a question about how you will contribute to or add value to a company. This question gives you a chance to explain what makes you stand out among all the other candidates and how you will be an asset to that particular company. If you're asked about what you can contribute to the organization, you'll have the perfect opportunity to show the interviewer why you're a good candidate for the job. The company wants to discover how you can help and what you'll be able to accomplish, if you were to be hired.
How to Prepare a Response
The best way to answer questions about your contributions to the company is to give examples of what you have accomplished in the past and to relate them to what you can achieve in the future. This is known as the STAR interview response method. It provides a simple way to remember how to respond to interview questions: Situation (describe), Task (what you decided to do), Action (how you completed the task), and Result (the outcome of the situation).
First of all, be sure to have researched the company prior to the interview, so you are familiar with the company's mission. Try to identify the company’s specific needs, and then respond by giving examples as to why your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience will make you an asset for the employer in fulfilling these needs.
Take a few moments to compare your goals with the objectives of the company and the position. Match your qualifications to the job, so you're prepared to share what you have to offer. Also, be ready to mention what you have accomplished in your other jobs. Your goal is to impress the interviewer with your accomplishments to date and what you expect to accomplish if you were to be hired.
How to Answer the Question
Here is some advice on how to answer the question, “What can you contribute to this company?” for a job interview.
Emphasize What You’ve Accomplished
Provide concrete examples from past jobs to show how you have contributed to other companies. Past examples show employers the kind of work you will likely do for them.
Describe specific examples of how effective you have been in your other positions, changes you have implemented, and goals you have achieved. Talk about the depth and breadth of related experience that you have. However, you will want to conclude by explaining that you will bring these kinds of accomplishments to this current company.
Interviewers ask this question because they want to know how you will add value to the company. To show this, you might want to use numbers to show how you have added value in the past. For example, did you increase a company’s sales record by a certain percentage? Did you raise a certain amount of funds for an organization? Numbers offer a concrete example of how you have contributed to a company and how you will likely contribute in the future.
Connect Your Answer to the Employer’s Goals
Whatever examples you focus on, make sure they are related to the particular job and/or company. You will want to let the interviewer know that you have the skills necessary to do the job they are hiring for, the ability to meet challenges effectively, and the flexibility and diplomacy to work well with other employees and with management. If there are any specific qualities or skills that are particularly important for this job or company, focus on these.
Examples of the Best Answers
- I can contribute my ability to streamline office processes. For example, I developed a new method for scheduling client appointments which led to an 85% decrease in scheduling errors. I would love to bring not only this method but my general organizational skills to this job at your company.
- I will bring my unique vision to your company. I am experienced in the many areas related to this company’s current goals, including expanding international sales. For example, I helped improve international sales at a previous company by over 25%. My sales background, with my ability to plan ahead, will help facilitate that growth.
- My previous work experience includes innovation in many areas, including strategies for more effective teamwork. At my previous company, I devised strategies for improving teamwork and communication among members of team projects. I can bring not only my ideas from my previous job but my general passion for innovation to your organization.
Also, be prepared to answer similar questions, like "Why should we hire you?" and "Why are you the best person for the job?" Then brush up your interview skills, so you're ready to make the best impression.