There tends to be a few questions in an interview that can cause the nerves to appear. Salary discussions, answering why you want to work at the company and when interviewers or hiring managers ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself. Another question that might leave you feeling the same is when you’re asked why you’d be the best candidate for the position.

The fact is, every new hire is a risk for a business. There’s no magic formula that tells them who will succeed, so they need to do their due diligence to find the best candidate. So, expect this type of question to come up in your interview as the interviewer wants to find a good fit, someone with the skills and will also be the perfect culture fit.

With this question, it’s your job to prove in the interview why you’re the best person for the job, so here’s how to answer “why are you the best candidate for this position?”

What to prepare for this question

Do your research

First and foremost, do your research on what the position you’re applying for actually involves. Take a great deal of time to study the job description, so you know what your responsibilities will be, the everyday tasks you’ll be asked to complete and what skills the company needs from someone in this role to possess.

Ultimately, this is what they care about. It’s your job to convince them of your skills. After that, go one step further to dive into the company online. When did they start doing business? How do they make money? What’s the mission? Who are their customers? Having this knowledge will set you up to deliver a memorable and thought-provoking answer.

This is important because there’s every chance the interviewer will also ask you what you know about the company and what made you apply in the first place. They won’t be impressed if it shows you didn’t do any research beforehand.

Explain how you can contribute

After doing your research, try and see how your background and experience can solve the company’s needs. Does your education, work and projects you’ve worked on bring a lot to the table that warrants being given this position? Don’t just think of this from your perspective, either. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes — are the things you’re noting down going to be valuable and helpful.

If the answer is yes, your response should draw attention to this to positively shine you as the perfect candidate.

Sharpen up your answer

When thinking about your answer, it can be tempting to tell a novel about yourself. After all, the longer you sell yourself, the more likely it is the interviewer or hiring manager will be impressed, right? Not exactly. After writing everything down, pinpoint your three top areas where you think the interviewer will be most impressed and what will help you land the role.

Be strategic and cut out the parts that may not benefit you. Every area you choose to mention should be compelling. The more traits you list, the less likely it is they’ll remember it all. If you narrow down the number, an interviewer is going to remember what you mentioned.

Once you have your list, try and craft an answer that lasts no more than one minute.

Practice

Don’t let the interview be the first time you deliver the answer to why you think you’re the best candidate for the position. Go in thinking this question is definitely going to come up, so take the time to practice beforehand so you can work out the kinks and avoid mistakes.

You don’t need to rehearse it down to a tee. Rehearsing the prompts is enough, so you sound more natural and human. Repeat it a handful of times, so the answer you eventually deliver is direct and concise. You can also have a mock interview with a family member or record yourself and listen back to it, so you know where you can make adjustments.

Bonus: End with a question

If you want to be even more memorable, end your answer with a question directed back at the interviewer. You can ask what they think about your background and skills that resulted in them calling you for an interview, what they require from you and more. It isn’t a necessity by any means, but it’s an excellent way to make the interview feel less like a Q&A and more like a naturally flowing conversation.

Tips on explaining why you’d be the best candidate for the position

To have a strong chance of getting the role, you can follow these tips:

  • Match your skills to the position’s requirements
  • Know what you bring to the company and practice your response
  • Be confident — nerves will suggest you don’t believe in yourself
  • Stand out and be unique. If there’s something out-of-the-box in your background, mention it
  • Be completely honest. Fluffing up your experience can cause you a bigger headache down the line
  • If you really want this job, be convincing and persuasive, so it’s hard for an interviewer to say no

What you need to avoid

The last thing you want to do is prepare suitably but not get the job because you accidentally sabotaged your chances. Here’s what you need to avoid when answering why you’re the best candidate for the position:

  • Don’t be generic — this isn’t the time for it. Be as specific as possible, so your background seems genuine
  • Don’t ramble on as you don’t want to bore your interviewer
  • Don’t be modest. It can feel uncomfortable talking about yourself, but if you want this job, you’ll need to learn to sell yourself

Why are you the best candidate for this position? Example answers to inspire you

Example 1

“I’m the best candidate for this position because I saw in the job description that you need someone who thrives under pressure. That’s my bread and butter. In my current role and my previous role, I worked in a large agency where I managed 15 accounts simultaneously. This involved speaking to clients, communicating through emails, getting the work booked in and ensuring the delivery teams completed work to a high standard.

“You could say I’m comfortable under pressure and it’s the type of environment I need. A high-pressure role isn’t for everyone, but as you can see in my background suggests I’m cut out for this type of role. Is this why you called me for an interview?”

Example 2

“I believe I’m the best person for this position because, as you can see in my resume, I have experience in everything you want based on the job description. I have managed projects, dealt with clients and have experience in customer service. I currently line manage four people, so I have management experience, too.

“I’m also passionate about web development. It’s the industry I’ve worked in since college, so you can see I’m not somebody who will decide it isn’t for me next year. I’m motivated to succeed in every company I work for. What are your priorities for someone in this role? It’s a wide variety, but would you say project management is more important? Or do you need somsone to come in and steer the ship by getting hands on and also running the team? That’s the impression I had but feel free to tell me otherwise.”

Example 3

“I think my record shows why I’m the best candidate for this position. I have more than enough experience in this industry, which is so cut-throat. I have been leading the sales in the entire region for the last three years and I have an impeccable track record in everything from punctuality to job performance.

“Other than being the leading salesperson in the region, I’m a confident communicator both internally and with customers. Plus, I think your company will benefit from my interpersonal skills and the relationships I’ve built with my clients — another thing the company would gain other than my experience and skills.”

best candidate for this position

These are just a flavour of the type of answer you can craft. There’s no right or wrong answer either. It all depends on your situation, your background and your skills. It also comes down to your job, as something more corporate might need a serious answer, while a casual company would love a response that showcases your personality.

You won’t know what other candidates say about why they’re the best, but that isn’t your concern. Your focus should be on creating the best answer for yourself. If you need guidance to do yourself justice, try out VanHack. It’s the perfect platform where you can create a profile and film videos so prospective employers can get to know you — the person behind the profile.

We’ll also help you before the interview process with mock interviews so you can be best prepared to land your dream job. Create an engaging profile today and stand out from the pack.

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