What Can You Bring To The Company: Tricky Interview Question
August 09, 2021
Post-pandemic, interviews are taking place virtually, but the content of the interview hasn’t changed much. Most employers continue to stick to the formal list of interview questions. Some of these questions can be tricky. There are no correct answers to such questions, but you need to choose your words wisely. Here’s one such question.
What can you bring to the company?
This interview question cuts straight to the chase and is the essence of the interview itself. The goal here is to convince the interviewer that you actually want to work here and explain why you are a good fit for the role. Hiring managers are most interested in understanding if and how you “can add value to the company.”
The question can be any variation of the following:
- Why do you want to work for the company?
- What part of the job excites you the most and why?
- What prompted you to apply for the job/why are you leaving your current role?
- What value can you add to this role and/or company?
What do employers want to test through this question?
Employers ask this question in order to test and determine the following:
- If you understand the requirements of this role and the skills an ideal candidate should have
- See if you can connect the dots from your previous role/experience or academic background to this job
- If you’re a team player that can add value and work well with others and fit into the company culture
- Would you be a good long-term hire?
- Are you actually interested in the position and the company?
How to answer the question
1. Begin by researching the company and the role. What is the company’s mission statement, values and culture? How does this align with your goals and previous experience?
2. Refer to the job description and highlight two to three responsibilities that are in line with your previous experience and accomplishments
3. Adding to the above, select one or two responsibilities that really caught your eye. Explain why you’re keen on these tasks and what new perspective or skill you can bring. This would be a good place to pitch your transferable skills.
4. Highlight your interests outside of your working experience. Is there a particular project or department within the company that complements your hobbies and interests, if so explain why? This demonstrates your investment and interest in the company.
5. Base your answers on facts, not embellishments. It’s easy to say the best but it’s harder to demonstrate why. Your answer should highlight your accomplishments and strengths but also show your self-awareness by answering areas you’d love to improve and grow.
What to say, what not to say?
Be enthusiastic, personable and upfront in your response. This is your chance to make your mark and show your interest in the company, your competency and your willingness to learn.
Do not lie or embellish your answers to make yourself stand out. Instead, show the company why you’re a good match by connecting your previous experience and current interests with the role. Keep it short, simple and to the point.
Use statements like:
- I’d bring my expertise in the area of client management and my experience in working with a sales team to accomplish the quarterly deliverables
- I played a bring role in securing a local sponsorship for my university’s student debate club by collaborating with the president of student services on a number of short term tasks
- I know you’re looking for a candidate that has good problem-solving skills. In my previous role, I worked with a manager who really encouraged lateral thinking and I was able to provide a number of creative solutions to address client concerns including a “Get-to-know-us” online discussion with a series of smaller stakeholders.
Go the extra mile:
To create a lasting impression and demonstrate that you are serious about adding value to the organization, ask pertinent questions about:
- The company’s culture and working environment
- Extracurricular events within the company that are either social or upskilling in nature
- Current workloads and future projections within this role and what’s the most important quality they’re looking for
Asking these questions will show that you’re keen about the job, invested in the company and curious about new opportunities to learn.
Written by Lubna