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How to Answer One of the Most Popular Interview Questions | Part Two

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

"Why should we choose you for..."

(insert job / pageant / award / title / internship)

(Pssst... this is a two-part blog. So, if you haven't read Part One yet, definitely check that out before continuing to read!)

This question is a staple in every set of interview questions I’ve ever seen or used - as it should be. So how do you answer it well?

Once we realize that this question has everything to do with YOU and nothing to do with the other candidates…

And we have the confidence in speaking about our skills, talents, and experiences as the simple facts they are…

We can move on to formulating our actual answer!

To answer this question well, you need to be able to succinctly, meaningfully, and interestingly communicate positive facts about yourself in relation to the role you are interviewing for.

And this should be so simple, in theory. I mean, what topic do you know more about than YOU?!

However, in my experience as an interviewer and interview coach, a few weird things happen when folks answer this question:

  • Answers are too vague

  • Bringing up the other candidates/contestants/applicants

  • Discomfort with talking about oneself positively creates an awkward vibe with weird word choice

To combat the weirdness, here are 3 things to consider when forming your answer:

1. Get specific with your words and examples.

Here’s the thought process: “I want to try to encompass the entirety of who I am and what I have accomplished in just a few sentences, and that is daunting, so I will use some all-encompassing phrase to show my vast experience!”

…and then we end up saying things like “I have great communication skills” and “I’m an organized person.”

These phrases are well-meaning but they are sooooooo vague that they essentially mean nothing.

By trying to broadly capture all of your experience, you essentially communicated none of it.

Instead, choose really specific words or skills or phrases. You may feel like you’re leaving out big chunks of your experiences and personality, but take a deep breath, because that’s ok. They don’t have to know all parts of you at once.

Instead of having “great communication skills” you have “the ability, as a content creator, to capture the voice of your client in blogs and captions making you a sought-after marketing professional.”

Instead of being “an organized person” you have “the ability to see patterns and keep track of details making you adept at record keeping.”