What the interviewer wants to know from asking this question: The hiring manager will be eager to learn if you can provide solutions to their problems.
To answer this question you will need to relate your experience, qualifications and achievements to the job requirements.
Here are some easy steps to help prepare your answer:
Step 1: Research the company
A great answer to this question will involve matching your own career goals and values with those of the hiring company, so it’s essential to learn as much as you can about the organisation.
Once you understand what is most important to the company and learn about their specific needs, you can then scope out in your answer exactly how you will contribute to the overall company mission and fulfill their needs.
Where to start looking:
Visit the company's about us webpage and find their mission statement. Here you will discover the company's history, values and goals. Within your answer try and speak to these values and goals.
For example, if the company mentions that they invest in their employees, tell the interviewer that you are extremely motivated to be part of an organisation that will allow you to develop your skills and knowledge, and you will bring a relentless work ethic to the role in order to achieve your career objective of becoming a senior manager in your field within the next 18 months.
Learn about the problems that the company is trying to solve by visiting their product or service page, and carefully observe how they speak about their customers. This information will help shape your answer as you can draw on your own related career experience, where you solved similar problems for clients.
Social Media Accounts
Review the company’s presence on social media and also investigate what type of content their staff post on LinkedIn too. Try to find similarities between the content they publish and your own experience. For example, if the company continually publishes original content regularly on social media, within your answer highlight your passion for the industry and how you feel you could contribute to their digital marketing strategy.
See if you can find any feedback from employees who work at the company. For example, If the organisation has a good reputation for looking after its staff, in your answer explain why working in an environment that values its employees allows you to perform at your best.
Step 2: Identify your core values and career goals
Showing the interviewer that your values and goals correspond with those of the company will help demonstrate why you’re the right fit for the job.
Ask yourself these questions to help identify your core values
What is your ideal work culture?
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
What qualities do you admire in people/organisations?
What’s important to you?
What motivates/inspires you?
Step 3: Review the job description
The job description will detail the duties and responsibilities of the role. The goal here is to match any requirements for the position with your own work experience. For example, if the employer requires a candidate to have a minimum of 6 months experience in a customer-facing role, within your answer you can discuss your experience dealing with customers.
Step 4: Putting it all together - Sample answers included
Your response will need to include any achievements from your previous jobs that are related to the role you’re applying for, along with details about what you expect to accomplish if you’re hired for the job.
To help structure your answer we recommend using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method.
STAR method explained:
Situation - Describe the situation you were in
Task - Explain the task you had to complete
Action - Describe the actions you took to complete the task
Result - What was the result of those actions
Here are some sample answers using the STAR method that will help give you ideas for how to shape your answer:
Sample answer: Customer Service Role
Situation: “Well within the job specification I see you’re looking for a candidate experienced in dealing with customer enquiries. This was one of my main responsibilities in my previous role.”
Task: “It was my job to handle all customer queries that came directly from the website’s contact support form.”
Action: “After my first month I became very knowledgeable on the ongoing issues that customers faced so I decided to create a detailed and elaborate frequently asked question section on the company website to answer the most common customer problems.”
Result: “This resulted in a 50% reduction in the number of customer queries I had to deal with, and greatly helped the efficiency of the customer support department.”
Final step - bring the conversation back to the job and highlight the research you completed: “In preparation for this interview, I read a number of stellar reviews from your clients on Trustpilot.com. As someone who is deeply passionate about finding solutions for customers, I feel that my experience would help continue the great success your company has achieved in helping customers.”
Sample answer: Administration Role
Situation: “It’s clear that this role requires a strong multitasker, which is a skill I continually improved upon within my previous role as a dental receptionist.”
Task: “The winter months were peak business times. For the majority of November - January, the practice I worked at was understaffed due to cutbacks. I was given the task of managing all walk-in customers as well as taking bookings, and running the company’s social media advertising campaigns.”
Action: “To manage the entire workload efficiently, I sourced a new customer management system for the company to increase efficiency in my role.”
Result: “After the busy season was over, my manager was ecstatic with the process improvements I implemented, and she awarded me with a salary raise for my efforts.”
Final step - bring the conversation back to the job and highlight the research you completed: “I know I will bring the same level of hard work and dedication to your company. I’m more motivated than ever as it has always been my ambition to work with an organisation that is built upon teamwork and hard graft.”
Sample Answer: Management role
Situation: “I’m an enthusiastic problem solver who wants to lead a team that produces next level branding campaigns. In my previous role I worked on a number of marketing campaigns so I’m very familiar with the challenges that I will face in this position, and I know how to address them.”
Task: “During my time at XYZ company I was entrusted with the task of increasing summer sales by 20%.”
Action: I hired two new sales executives and devised a strategy that focused on a Google Ads retargeting campaign. The users within our retargeting list we’re offered a 10% discount on our best selling products.”
Result: “By the end of the summer, we exceeded our sales target by 35%. The marketing campaign was a tremendous success and we continued to build upon it into the winter season.”
Final step - bring the conversation back to the job and highlight the research you completed: “I believe my experience with XYZ company aligns perfectly with your requirements for this position, so I know I can excel in this role if given the opportunity.”
Best of luck with your interview!
Need help putting together your CV and Cover Letter? Check out our step by step guides which include free templates to download and sample information for each and every section of your CV and cover letter.
To receive daily alerts for jobs available in your area create a jobseeker account in just a couple of clicks. Get started here.