My name is Johnny. I served four years in the Navy. Now finishing up my bachelor’s degree. I’m uncertain about the heading into the workforce soon. So I was curious as to what kind and how much information about the company is enough to prepare myself for the interview? Also, when asked “why should we hire you”, are there any ways that I can answer that without having to sound too generic?
Thank you for your service and congratulations on getting your bachelor’s degree.
Almost every company has a website of one kind or another. You can also “Google” almost any name and find out information.
If nothing else, you should familiarize yourself with what the company does and if they have a mission statement. Some companies give lots of information – others not so much.
Whatever you find out about the company, ask yourself, “Why would I want to work for this company – in this position? You should think of one, two, or three good reasons that this company is where you want to work. The reasons should not be general statements, but reasons that this is a company you respect or that has similar values to yours. The closer the company rates with your values and goals, the more enthusiastic you can be about getting this job. Interviewers like “enthusiastic” candidates. They listen for sincere passion.
Many job searchers look at jobs available – find those that they can qualify for – and apply. This is a hit and miss method of finding the job.
When you know what you are looking for — industry, location, services rendered, products sold — you can find a job that you can demonstrate enthusiasm and passion about.
How can you find your ideal job – if you don’t know what you want? – even in a tight job market.
Why Should we hire you?
This is one of those broad questions that can take you down the wrong road unless you have done some thinking about what to say ahead of time. This question deals with your ability to sell yourself. Think of yourself as the product. Why should the customer buy?
Answers that WON’T WORK:
“Because I need a job.” – This answer is about YOU – “they” want to know what you can do for “them.”
“I am a hard worker.” – This is a really trite answer – almost anyone can say he or she is a hard worker.
“I saw your ad and could do the job. – This answers lacks passion and purpose.
STRONGER ANSWERS that would get the interviewer’s attention:
“Because I have three years experience working with customers in a very similar environment.”
“Because I have what it takes to fill the requirements of this job – solve customer problems using my excellent customer service skills.”
“Because I have the experience and expertise in the area of customer support that is required in this position.”
This is a time to let the customer (the interviewer) know what your product (YOU) can do for them and why they should listen to what you have to offer. The more detail you give the stronger your answer will be. This is not a time to talk about what you want. It is a time to summarize your accomplishments and relate what makes you unique and therefore a viable fit for this position.
Product Inventory Exercise
Start by looking at the job description or posting. What is the employer emphasizing as requirements of the job? What will it take to get the job done? Make a list of those requirements on one side of a piece of paper.
Next, do an inventory to determine what you have to offer as a fit against those requirements. List your skills on the other side of the paper. Think of two or three key qualities you have to offer that match each requirement that the employer is seeking. Don’t underestimate personal traits that make you unique – your energy, personality type, working style, and people skills.
The Sales Pitch – You are the Solution
From the list of requirements and your matching list of what you have to offer, merge the two into a summary statement. This is your sales pitch. It should be no more than two minutes long and should stress the traits that make you unique and a good match for the job.
“With my seven years of experience working with financial databases, I have saved companies thousands of dollars by streamlining systems. My high energy, and quick learning style enable me to hit the ground running and rapidly size up problems. I have the ability to stay focused in stressful situations, and can be counted on when the going gets tough. I know I would be a great addition to your team.”
Preparing this statement ahead of the interview will give you the edge when asked questions like, “Why should we hire you?” or “What can you bring to this position?” This will be your chance to let the interviewers know that you are the solution to their problem.
Job interview expert Carole Martin has been a prime contributor to our Veteran Jobs blog, and now she’s offering her advice to veterans and service members who have questions, general or specific, about tackling the civilian job interview process. Send Carole your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, and moving forward, we’ll feature her answers in this blog.
The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. She is also a contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries.I invite you to download my free worksheet for determining your Values Exercise at the Interview Coach website. http://www.interviewcoach.com/valuesexercise.html and be sure to follow The Interview Coach on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to learn more about the perfect interview and resources for finding your perfect job.