We’ve all been asked it: “Why are you a good fit for this job?” Some people respond by listing all of their strengths, others provide past accolades, and others simply go blank. The fact of the matter is that you’ll need to prepare well in advance for this question for each and every interview. This is arguably one of the most crucial questions to answer, as it can potentially save an interview that isn’t going to well, but could also ruin your chances at the same time if answered poorly.
The key to answering this question is understanding exactly what it’s asking. It’s a very simple question, but many people overthink it. “Why are you a good fit for this job” is asking you to elaborate on relevant strengths and qualifications that resonate with the job duties and specific qualifications. The mistake that many people make is simply listing all of their strengths, or listing irrelevant strengths. An equally poor decision would be to give an incredibly common answer, such as listing several common soft skills that most everyone tends to have.
With this in mind, throughout your preparation for the interview you’ll need to study the exact qualifications and duties associated with the job you’re applying for. Hopefully, your own strengths and achievements match these to a fair degree. Take note of any skills that they place great emphasis on as well, and be sure to remember to stress that you’re really good at that particular skill. The trick is to think of the job description as a study guide for a test. However, just be careful not to completely regurgitate the description verbatim with your response; make yourself appear as the perfect candidate that just coincidentally shares all of the same strengths as those idealized in the job description.
Once you’ve completed your goal of checking off all of the employer’s boxes, now you’ll want to add that little bit of shine at the end to differentiate yourself from the competition. Explain to the employer how you’re a great fit in a functional sense (as in you are more than capable of doing the job proficiently) and then add something extraneous that suggests you can do the job and also offer additional value. For example, if you’re capable of working with every software application that the job requires, but are also highly skilled in additional software, and you can do a backflip, be sure to include those extra skills in your response (although the ability to execute a perfect backflip is highly irrelevant and could probably be left out).
Finally, a little passion never hurts. Explain that you’re a great fit for this job because it’s what you’ve always dreamed of doing. Be sure to mention how you’d enjoy coming to work every day and how your personality and ideals align with what the position entails.