This is often the last question you will be asked in an interview. Prepare for it. This is your chance to restate the skills you possess that are most relevant to the position and to summarize your other qualities that make you the perfect person for the job. Outline your answer before you go in, so that you can answer clearly, concisely, and with confidence.
In formulating your answer, be sure to address these areas:
>> Determine their goals for the position. This should come up during your research into the company and into the position. If possible, talk to others who work for the company. If you are unclear on this point, include it in the questions you ask at the interview itself and be prepared to incorporate it into your answer. Show you have the skills needed for the job. Based on the goals you have identified in step one, determine how your skills and experience support those goals. If necessary, refer back to your “60-second commercial” for a list of skills you possess.
>> Articulate shared values. Again, this should come up in your research. Look at the company’s mission statement and regular business practices. Explain why these are in line with your own values and goals.
>> State you interest in the position. Be enthusiastic about the opportunity to work for this company and/or within a certain team. Be sure that the interviewer is clear about the fact that you want this job.
What Employers Want
While many jobs require a unique set of skills, there is a pretty standard set of qualities that most employers want in an employee. Increase your chances of landing the job you want by highlighting your “soft” skills as well as your technical skills in the interview. Employers look for a variety of strengths, including:
Communication: You can communicate clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing. You recognize that communication is a two-way street and are able to listen and interpret effectively, as well.
Leadership: You take the lead and assume the responsibility to get things done. You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader: it is a valuable skill in any job.
Problem-solving: You can analyze and identify a problem and develop effective solutions. You explore new and innovative ideas in addition to tried-and-true solutions.
Confidence: You know and like yourself. You recognize your strengths and know what you can accomplish.
Flexibility: You can “roll with punches”. You adapt easily to new situations and are open to new ideas.
Energy: you are a hard worker. You are willing to put the time and effort into accomplishing your objectives.
When you interview for a job, you are also interviewing the company to see if you want to work there. Most interviewers understand this and will ask if you have any questions. Be prepared to ask four or five relevant questions, such as:
<< What are the primary duties of this position?
<< What do you consider the most important skills or traits for someone in this position?
<< How would you describe a typical day in this position?
<< What is the standard schedule for this position?
<< Why are you looking to fill this position?
<< How would you describe your management style?
<< What are the short and long-terms goals for this position?
<< Do you expect significant organizational changes in the near future?
<< What are the prospects for advancement in this position?
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