Job Interview Question

What will you contribute to this job?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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This job interview question is very similar to “Why should we hire you?”  Or, “Why do we want you over the other candidates?”  The job interview is a sales process in which you are the product and the hiring manager and company is the buyer.  Your salary is the price of the product, you and your skill sets.  It’s fair for them to ask, “What are we going to get for our money?”

If they ask you what you will contribute to the job, rejoice.  This is a softball question. It’s an ideal time to sell yourself for the job.  If you get this question, you are to answer interview questions - what will you contribute to this job

So how do you approach it?  You want to be thinking about what they’ve asked for in the job description.  You should have already connected your skill sets to what they’re asking for in this role. You can also get some priceless additional insight into what they’re looking for when you ask questions during the interview.

One great question to ask early on in the interview is, “What does your ideal candidate look like?” They’ll give you a wish list that might include things that aren’t in the description. Take in all that information and talk about how you have what they’re looking for plus a little extra.  That “plus a little extra” is important.

They’re already looking at candidates who meet their requirements.  Show them how you meet and exceed those requirements.  Maybe that’s more experience, additional background that allows you to bring a different perspective, or character traits like your strong work ethic or driven personality. That’s “extra” is what’s going to set you apart as a unique candidate.  Sum that up in a positive way that sells you for the job.

This is also an ideal time to bring out your 30/60/90-day plan This plan is an outline for what you will do in the first 3 months on the job.  It covers any on-the-job training, getting up to speed, and how you’ll become a fully-functioning employee.

Hiring managers love these things because they show that you are someone who goes the extra mile and can put some critical thought into the job and how you’ll be successful at it.  They say, “What will you contribute?”  And you say, “I’m so glad you asked.  I’ve written up a plan that shows you how I will bring myself up to speed quickly in the job and start contributing by doing X, Y, and Z.”  And then you’ve launched into that conversation, which will elevate your interview conversation in a big way.


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