The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.
Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can not only do the work, but also deliver great results; that you’ll really fit in with the team and culture; and that you’d be a better hire than any of the other candidates.
So, how exactly do you cover your bases for such an open question? Here are three strategies.
One way to attack this interview question is to intersect what’s in it for the hiring manager and what’s in it for you. Basically, you want to get across that he or she will get an enthusiastic employee who has the exact right skill set for the position and that you’ll get to and therefore look forward to and be motivated to do something meaningful, build your skills, and work toward the next step of your career.
The key here is to not forget that second part: talking about yourself. Too many people make the mistake of only listing the benefits for the employer. Going into what’s in it for you will give insight into why you’ll stay driven—a trait all interviewers are looking for.
Some interviewers will spell it out and others won’t, but you should know that the full question is always, “Why should I hire you over everyone else?” If you feel you’ve already spelled out your skills and experience multiple times, perhaps a better approach for you is to show what you have to offer that others don’t.
Assuming you’re competing against other similarly qualified candidates, a good thing to highlight at this point is your dedication to the role.
To do that, show deep knowledge of the business and an understanding for how you might fit in. This, of course, requires a good bit of company research so you can talk about the uniqueness, the history, the future, and your own personal investment.
Diving into your knowledge of the company serves a few purposes. You show your excitement for the position, you come off as an insider who might be easier to train than other candidates, and you demonstrate how you handle something you’re invested in.
Frequently, hiring managers post positions because they have a problem that needs to be solved. Get straight to the point with your response and outline, ideally in detail, how you can offer immediate relief for the company’s pain point.
Like in a “Pain Letter,” don’t spend all your time talking about the past—focus your efforts on the future, and explain how you can make the interviewer’s life easier by addressing his most imminent issue. This shows you’re forward-thinking, already a team player, and ready to hit the ground running.
Next time you’re faced with this interview question, try one of these strategies to stand out above your competition. If nothing else, you’ll be memorable for how polished and unruffled you were. That alone might make you special.