General Knowledge Interview Tips Self Improvement

What No One Tells You About How To Answer Common Interview Questions – Part 2

In one of our previous posts, we asked you to Handle people professionally. Your colleagues, clients, boss and even your interviewer. The interviewer is looking for that. That one candidate who will act factually rather than by hints of feelings. By being themselves and not putting on a show. A realist and not someone living in a fantasy world. Even a new jobseeker will be measured for emotional maturity against other candidates coming through the door.

The next common question would probably be,

“Why should we hire you?”

This is a very specific, unavoidable question and it’s your opportunity to be the best you can be here; your unique value proposition. And let us tell you, you will certainly be asked this one. To answer and succeed, you must make certain preparations that you may not have even done before.

You should:

  1. Print that list of requirements in the job ad.
  2. Underline the key points that you meet.
  3. Write short answers to each of those requirements
  4. Practice answering your well-crafted answers.
  5. Bring that list to the interview.
  6. Tell the interviewer how you meet each requirement.
  7. A little personality and being down to earth is good too.

Think about it. Interviewers are tasked to find candidates who fulfil a list of requirements. Plus, if the same man is going to be your boss, as is usually the case in Malaysia, he might even loosen up on the requirements and go straight to the idea of whether he likes you or not. But you on the other hand have only one task and that is just to tell your interviewer how you satisfy all the requirements.


You can answer like so:

  1. As I look through your requirements, I see you’re looking for someone who is………” (go down the list).
  2. You’ve listed a 3 year experience requirement in Adobe Photoshop. I do. I have 6 years experience in that and I’m an advanced user, using it every day at work.

You can also clarify any of these questions. This question of why they should hire you really means, Of what value are you?” What is the value of hiring you for us? It’s the same as asking, “Why should we buy this TV instead of that one?” or “Why should we buy this house?” What is the value in you that can contribute to my company?

You shouldn’t answer this like, “Oh, I’m a good worker and can do this and that.” These are quite vague, general answers and you might end up sounding like everyone else who came for the interview. Some people even say things like, “It’s very near to my house” or “I heard the salary and benefits are good” or “I read somewhere that you really take care of your staff”. These are the worst answers so don’t go there. It simply shows that you just need a job and salary and there’s nothing else to care about.

There definitely are others who have prepared more targeted answers.

Try answering like this: (for college leavers)
As I look at the position and your company’s direction, I believe that my college exposure has prepared me to go in this direction. To even grow in it and bring new benefits to this company.” (for those with some experience) “ Looking at this position’s KPI’s and your company’s direction, I’m sure that my experience has positioned me to go in this direction and bring new benefits to this company, but perhaps more importantly to navigate the future as we face new challenges ahead of the goals

Make Preparations

Be short and relevant in your answers as you determine their goals as it relates to you. Outline and practice your answers. Checking the company’s background and the latest updates is extremely important. This will ultimately give you a feel of their expectation and you may anticipate the way the interview will go.

Actively research and connect with management staff of the company on a professional level via social media. Show sincere interest in their activities and products and try building a relationship. Who says you need to wait for an ad to apply for some position there? You could position yourself as something like an external consultant, quite interested in where their company is going.

At the Interview, Be Specific

Compare these two answers:

I know how to get the job done. Vs I know how to get the job done on time, within budget and without supervision. (And give previous examples when you were crisis tested) So be specific and avoid general statements. Talk about all the value you’ve delivered to your last employer and how you can deliver the same to them.

Let us say here that everyone has some measure of value that they can bring to the table. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh grad or a veteran. It seems that some people really have difficulty getting this quality out. If you haven’t done this before, you need to spend that time clarifying your targeted strengths, value and your real power.

So there you go. Practice and polish your answers. Be yourself and let your answers and enthusiasm show that you are a valuable and logical fit for the company.