The primary driving question of any interview is “Why should we hire you as opposed to the other qualified candidates?” Often, interviewers will ask this question directly, although it can be phrased a number of different ways. This question gives you an opportunity to show off with a concise, convincing summary of what you have to offer the company. For many reasons, creating an answer to this question is one of the most fundamental aspects of interview preparation. Crafting a response to this question helps you identify your qualifications and experiences that can relate to other, more specific questions. Even if the interviewer does not pose the question directly, you can use the response you have written to conclude the interview on a high note.
While it can be tempting to give a longwinded answer to this question, you need to keep your response to three or four key bullet points. Think about the highlights of your career and offer those as your main selling points. What is the key information that the interviewer needs to know to think you are a better candidate than anyone else?
As you write your response to this question, keep in mind the requirements listed in the job description and try to connect your key points directly to them. With three or four points, you can go into greater depth and provide examples that really sell you as a candidate. In the end, this approach makes a greater impression than quickly rambling off 12 accomplishments or traits without grounding them in your work history.
Start the whole process by making a longer laundry list of accomplishments and skills. Pick out the highlights and try to look for unique combinations of skills. For example, people with highly technical backgrounds often lack customer service experience. If you have both, you are in a unique position to sell yourself for a number of different positions. Be sure that you take the time to connect the dots for the interviewer rather than forcing them to interpret. Once you have picked out your bullet points, spend some time thinking about how best to structure the pitch before you actually write it. Then, when you have written it out, practice it until you can recite it smoothly and naturally.