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"Why are you the best person for this job?" This can be a daunting question to answer, but it doesn't have to be. It's a common interview question and one you should expect to encounter during almost every job interview.
This common interview question can come in a few different forms, including: "Why do you want to work here?", "Why are you interested in this position?", or "What can you contribute to this company?". At the end of the day, the hiring manager simply wants to know why you are the best candidate and the right person for the role.
Simple, right? Almost. The best answers to "Why are you the best person for this job?" require a little self-reflection and research, but it's not hard to stand out from a sea of job seekers who often don't prepare anything at all. Even if it's not your dream job, it's a good idea to study the job description, and only takes a few minutes — you're going to have a hard time making a solid impression on a hiring manager with a generic answer that can apply to any job.
A good answer to this question showcases your relevant skills, your preparedness for the interview, and presents you as a good fit for the job. With a great answer, you'll be able to weave in a few unique skills, career goals, prior experience, and soft skills that really make you stand out as the ideal candidate!
In this article, we'll walk through why hiring managers ask this question, what they're looking for in a good answer, and provide example answers, common mistakes, and tips to stand out to potential employers.
Why do interviewers ask "Why are you the best person for this job?"
When you're interviewing, hiring manager and recruiters are likely going to ask "Why are you the best person for this job?" for a few reasons. At a top level, they're assessing a few key points:
- How prepared are you?
- How passionate are you about the position and company?
- How well do you fit the job requirements?
- What prior experience do you have that makes you a good candidate?
- What qualities do you share with the company's ideal candidate?
- What other relevant skills or soft skills set you apart from the other candidates?
- Do your values and goals align with the company's culture?
It's your job to convince the hiring manager that you tick all these boxes better than any other candidate in your answer. That's the easy part. What makes a candidate stand out is an answer that takes it a step further and shows real passion and excitement for the company's mission, values, and company culture. If you can weave this into your answer, you'll have a good chance of landing a job offer.
It's important to keep in mind that these are general questions the hiring manager is looking to answer and will vary job-to-job. It's a good idea to try to address them in your preparation for this question. The hiring manager is likely looking more closely at different things depending on the size of the company you're interviewing for.
For example, if you are looking for a remote job at smaller startups, such as VEED.IO, Superside, and Bolt, the hiring manager is more interested in how you'll fit into the company culture and how useful your range of skills will be to them over a few years. They want to know that you understand what it's like to work at a fast-growing company and that you're ready and capable of moving fast. At smaller startups, culture, a wide range of skills, and adaptability are more highly valued.
On the other hand, hiring managers at large companies with hundreds of employees, such as Coinbase, Webflow, and Figma, are looking for indicators that you're interested in more than just benefiting from their reputation and actually excited about the role and work. Large companies get thousands of applications for some roles, so even if you have heaps of experience it's often not enough to just be technically qualified for the role — you need to also show that you're in it for more than a paycheque.
How to answer "Why are you the best person for this job?"
As we covered above, there isn't one correct answer to this question that will land a job offer. It depends largely on the role, your experience, and what the hiring manager is likely looking for. The good news is there are a few strategies you can use to make sure your answer stands out from a sea of applicants.
A great strategy to think about how to answer this question is to break it into three parts:
- How does your prior experience, previous jobs, and relevant skills relate to the position and the company?
- Do you have any additional unique skills or soft skills that really set you apart?
- Why are you excited about the job or company?
That sounds simple enough, right? No one knows your experience better than you do so you just have to get this across to the interviewer. We recommend researching the role and company thoroughly prior to the interview and actually writing down some prepared answers. This way, you'll be more likely to internalize your answer and deliver it confidently and genuinely.
Communicating why you are excited about the job or company (part 3) is the key differentiator, so don't skip this part. Not only does it reinforce why you're the best candidate for the job, but it also shows that you've done your research and understand the company culture and mission. You'd be surprised how few job candidates do this! That's an easy win that just takes a few minutes.
Here are the steps you need to take to successfully answer this question:
- Understand the job: Read and re-read the job description in full. While it might sound obvious, you'd be surprised how few job candidates do this! Look for key skills, responsibilities, and expectations that the hiring manager is going to be looking for. The objective here is to pinpoint the key skills and requirements for the role. Are there any obvious skills that aren't mentioned but are likely to come up? Check out the company's tech stack to see if there are any obvious ones that apply to the role but aren't mentioned. For example, these are the tools that Stripe team members uses. Write these all down on some paper.
- Consider your experience and skills: Now that you've got a list of all the skills and requirements the hiring manager is looking for, reflect on your own past experience and skills. Find where there is overlap and write down short examples of prior experiences where you've applied these skills. For example, if the job requirements mentions the team uses the SEO tool Ahrefs, list down examples of where you've used Ahrefs at previous jobs. If you're particularly proficient at something, make it clear!
- Think about what makes you unique: Don't stop there. Hiring managers are looking for job candidates who are not only a good fit for the job, but have something else that puts them ahead and can add value or help your team members. Maybe you have excellent leadership skills? Or have particularly high social EQ and work extremely well with others to solve problems. List down any unique skills or soft skills that help you stand out — even if they aren't mentioned in the job description — they all add up and are a good signal to the interviewer.
- Research the company: The objective here is to learn as much as you can about how the team works and why you align with the company's culture and mission. Start with the company website and familiarize yourself with their products, services, and mission. From there, we recommend watching or listening to interviews with the CEO or members of the senior leadership team. This is a great way to understand the company's North Star metrics and their company culture. A good place to start is with our remote company database.
- Get clear on why you're applying: Why are you excited about the job or company? While hiring managers are looking for this in your answer, it's also important to answer this question for yourself. You'll be spending a large amount of your time at the company and life is better when your work is interesting and you're passionate about it. Think through what you've learned so far about the job and the company and write down why you're excited about the job. This can be a combination of things — common reasons include the challenges, opportunities, and opportunities the job presents, the company's reputation and leadership, and your own personal goals or career goals.
- Combine everything and draft a response: Now use what you've learned to draft a response to "Why are you the best person for this job?" Start by talking through how your prior experience and relevant skills make you the best candidate for the job, provide examples of previous experience to strengthen your answer, add in any additional unique skills and soft skills that set you apart, and then wrap up with what excites you about the role and company and what you hope to achieve.
- Practice your response: There's not much point putting all this work in if you're going to fumble your answer in the interview. Practice it out loud or with a friend in a mock interview setting until you're comfortable answering it without notes. This way, you'll be able to deliver it confidently and with enthusiasm which is another way to stand out from other job seekers who "um" and "ahh" their way through their answers.
Tip: Don't be afraid of being overly confident or injecting personality into your answer. You need to "sell" why you're the best person for the job to the hiring manager — try to get them excited to hire you! Show your personality and how you truly feel about the opportunity. If it's your dream job, let them know! It shows the interviewer that the company and role matter to you. It'll also certainly make the interview a more positive experience and, more importantly, a memorable one.
If you follow these seven steps, your answer will help you stand out among a sea of potential candidates. Even if you're not technically the best fit for the job, a well-prepared answer will help you stand out as the ideal candidate.
Remember, the objective here is to not only show the interview that you're technically qualified for the job but to also show that you have additional unique skills and are personally invested in the role and company to help you stand out as the best candidate for the job.
If this sounds a bit much, don't worry! We've included a bunch of great example answers below that you can use as a base and tailor your answer to suit.
Example answers to "Why are you the best person for this job?"
As we've covered, your answer the interview question "Why are you the best person for this job?" will depend largely on three things:
- Your previous experience and what the job requirements entail
- What additional or unique skills set you apart
- What the company's culture and mission are and how you personally align with them
What matters is that you've spent some time carefully researching the job posting and company and can clearly articulate why you're the best fit for the role.
Use these sample answers to "Why are you the best person for this job?" as a base and adapt them to suit your specific situation.
Example answer #1: Highlighting passion for the company's mission, industry, and showing off additional skills
Consider a job posting for an Account Executive role. The job requirement and responsibilities listed include:
- 2+ years prior experience in sales
- Cold call and lead generation via LinkedIn
- Proficiency with Salesforce
- Ability to self-manage and work with autonomy to hit sales targets
"I'm passionate about healthcare, in particularly mental health as I have personal experience with a family member dealing with it. and in general. I have been following Modern Health's story for years after hearing Alyson [CEO] talk on a mental health podcast — I've been waiting for an opportunity like this!
My previous role as a sales development rep at Hims & Hers for 3 years provided me with the ideal experience for this job. I was part of the early team and helped build their sales function from the ground up, helping to set up sales targets for the team and wrote all of our sales documentation. We leveraged cold-calling right up until early 2020 and I used my Salesforce and sales automation skills to help the sales team scale as efficiently as possible from 4 to 50 plus. Just by using Zapier to automate leads directly into Salesforce, I was able to increase our cold call success rate by 50% in a single quarter.
I'm excited about this role because it ticks all the right boxes for me. I have loads of experience scaling sales teams and with Salesforce, but I also really align personally with what your team are doing to destigmatize mental health — it's something that I can really get behind. I would love to use my skills to help get your Modern Health to more therapists."
Why it works
This answer shows the interviewer that you have researched the job posting, understand the skills and experience that are required, and know all about the company and their mission.
What really sets this example answer apart as one of the best answers is that it not only shows (with examples) how your previous experience is a good fit for the role, but also that you have additional skills in sales automation and sales documentation that can be hugely valuable for Modern Health, a growing startup. The tone is action-oriented and it's clear that you get things done and understand what it's like to work in a fast-growing startup.
The fact that you personally align with what they're trying to achieve is another huge bonus and is a great signal to the hiring manager that you're truly passionate about this role.
Example answer #2: Showing off your extensive experience for the job and excitement to leverage the same results
Consider a job posting for a Marketing Manager role. The job requirement and responsibilities listed include:
- 4+ years prior experience in marketing
- Identify and create marketing strategies to grow
- Proficiency with Ahrefs and SEO
- Manage social media ad campaigns
"I'm interested in this marketing manager position at Whoop because it revolves around two of my greatest strengths: performance marketing and SEO. I've spent the last 7 years at Spotify and Opendoor where I led marketing teams of all sizes.
When I started at Opendoor in 2019, I found their content marketing team in shambles and got them back on track — I set them up with Ahrefs and Clearscope and worked with their product managers on their programmatic SEO efforts. It was pretty incredible to watch — our organic traffic grew 250% year-on-year. The social campaigns I set up for their US markets improved their target audience reach rates by 48% on average and I helped recruit and hire over a dozen employees, all of which are still working there!
Seeing the impact of my work and the long-term growth of SEO efforts has been immensely satisfying for me, but I'm super excited for a new challenge at a smaller company.
This is what drew me to your job posting — I see many of the same opportunities for growth at Whoop. You're obviously growing fast but are bandwidth-constrained and I would love to help. I truly believe it's the future of health and fitness — I've been a Whoop customer since way back when your team released 2.0 and love the positive impact it's had on my life. I've probably personally referred a few dozen people! I'm incredibly excited to make that number much bigger."
Why it works
This isn't a general answer. It shows the interviewer that you've read the job description, researched the company, and understand how you could contribute to the company's mission. It also shows that you understand Whoop's tech stack, the product, and how your skills and prior experience could help. Not only that, you've provided concrete and impressive examples of how you've managed marketing efforts to achieve positive results.
Example answer #3: Emphasizing your work ethic and willingness to upskill
Consider a job posting for a UX design role. The job requirement and responsibilities listed include:
- 4+ years UX experience, preferably in a startup environment
- Create user-centered website and dashboard designs
- Work with autonomy and present your ideas
- Master of Figma or similar design/prototyping tools
"I am super confident that I am the best candidate for this lead design role at VEED.IO for a few reasons, but most importantly, my unrelenting work ethic. I am a self-taught UX designer and always working to upskill and get better at my craft. I'm committed to learning any new skills in my own time to succeed in this role because working at VEED.IO is my dream job.
I've just left HelloSign after 4 years. I started there as a junior graphic designer and taught myself Figma and Webflow in my own time. After just 9-months, I was promoted to a UI design position where I worked on prototyping designs for the UX lead and redesigned and rebuilt the company's website which grew organic site traffic by 60% in 12-months. This was a great experience for me to learn CSS, as well as best practices in UX, all while saving the company invaluable dev time and money.
I'm super proficient at After Effects and Premiere Pro and stumbled across VEED.IO while helping our marketing team design social media assets. I was blown away by how easy your tool was to use. After digging a little deeper, I learned all about your incredible growth trajectory and have been excited about this role since!
While I may not have 4 years UX experience, I've been working with some of the best in the industry and absolutely committed to leveling up for this role and learning anything I need to. I won't let you down."
Why it works
Hiring managers are always looking for job candidates that are passionate about the company, but also passionate about learning and improving. This example answer is great because it showcases a broad set of skills that are largely self-taught — a signal that you're a hard worker and motivated to do the best job possible. The fact that you've included examples of how this work ethic and tenacity have helped you grow and solve problems in your previous role is great.
This is a great answer because it also includes your personal experience with the product and company and conveys your genuine enthusiasm for the role and company.
While the job description does state 4-years of UX design experience as a requirement, you've humbly acknowledged that you aren't quite there yet but are the best candidate for the job regardless because of your work ethic and willingness to learn. In most cases, employers are more than happy to accommodate when they find a new hire that ticks all the other boxes — skills can be learned, but job applicants with the right attitude and work ethic are rare.
Possible follow-up questions
- Describe your work ethic
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Do you have any questions for me? Read our guide on best questions to ask in an interview.
- What can you contribute to this company? This question is similar to "Why do you want to work here?" and will only be asked as a follow-up if you weren't able to clearly articulate your value in your answer.
- Any number of behavioral interview questions. Be sure to use the STAR method when answering.
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