Why Are You the Best Person for the Job?

Man and woman in an Interview
••• Ariel Skelley / Blend Images / Getty Images

An interviewer might ask you the question, “Why are you the best person for the job?” This is similar to other common interview questions, such as “Why should we hire you?” The interviewer wants to know why you would be a better option to hire than other candidates. They also want to make sure you know what they are looking for in a job candidate.

When answering this kind of question, you want to “sell” yourself to the employer and convince him or her that you are a unique and strong candidate. Read below for advice on preparing for and answering the interview question, as well as sample answers.

Options for Answering

There are many ways you can answer this question. The first way is to explain how your personality or personal traits make you an ideal candidate. For example, you might explain that you are particularly motivated, or that you are known for going above and beyond for your employers.

A second way to answer is to emphasize your unique skills. If you have skills that make you a strong candidate (especially if not many people have those skills), mention these.

No matter how you answer, be sure to emphasize what makes you unique. You want to show the employer how you stand out among the other applicants.

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4 Ways to Answer: Why Are You the Best Person for the Job?

Tips for Answering

Prepare in advance. Before an interview, think carefully about what makes you an ideal candidate for the position. First, look at the job listing, and circle any key skills or qualifications. Then, look at your resume, and note any particular experiences or skills that fit the job listing. Emphasize those qualifications in your answer to the question.

Give examples. You want to be as specific as possible when answering this question. Whether you emphasize your skills or a personality trait, be sure to provide one or two specific examples that prove you have those qualities and how you will use them in the workplace. Ideally, your examples will come from past experiences at work. However, if you’re new to the job market, you can also emphasize experiences from school, extracurricular activities, or volunteer work.

Focus on how you can help the company. Avoid answers that emphasize why you want the job. Instead, focus on how you can add value to the company. To prepare for this kind of answer, make sure you have some knowledge about the company ahead of time.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Even though the question is about how you compare to other candidates, don’t critique the other job seekers. This can come across as negative or rude. Instead, emphasize what makes you unique in a positive manner, without attacking or insulting other candidates.

  • Don’t say this: Unlike some of the other candidates I’m sure you’ve seen today, I have experience in the field, which means that I can hit the ground running on day one.
  • Do say: My years of experience in this field have given me on-the-job knowledge, as well as a sense of where the industry has been and where it’s going in the future. I have the kind of technical skills that only come from doing the job for several years. I can slide seamlessly into this role and start hitting goals on my very first day.

    Examples of the Best Answers

    Take a look at these possible answers and tailor them to your specific needs, background, and experience:

    • My previous job working as a receptionist provided me with the ideal experience for this position. For five years, I developed many of the skills required for this job, including answering phones and email, processing payments, and entering data on multiple computer programs.
    • My skill set is a perfect match for the job requirements. In particular, my sales skills and managerial experience make me an ideal candidate for the position. For example, at my last job, I managed a sales team of five employees, and we had the top sales record of our company branch. I can bring my successes and experiences to this job.
    • I have the ability to find my niche within a group and support everyone's efforts. For example, my last job involved a lot of team projects. I was always able to recognize my teammates’ skills, and delegated tasks that fit each person’s skills. I know this job involves lots of teamwork and group projects, and I know this is a work style in which I excel.
    • I am a self-motivated person who is willing to go above and beyond on any project, and to learn valuable skills on my own time. For example, I taught myself five computer programming languages in college, simply out of a passion to learn how to code. I know you are looking for a self-motivated computer technician with both skills and passion, and I am that person.