Why are you suitable for this job?

“Why are you suitable for this job?” is one of the most common interview questions out there. Expect to answer it (or something similar) in your next interview, whether you’re applying for an entry-level position, a senior role, or something in between.

It might seem like the sort of question you can answer off-the-cuff - after all, anyone can talk about themselves. But in reality, even if you’re the perfect candidate with a CV that’s tailor-made for the role, crafting the perfect response requires preparation to help you “sell yourself” effectively.

Fortunately, Michael Page is here to help. Here, we’ll be giving you our expert insight on answering this typical interview question, and providing some boilerplate examples to guide your own response.

Answering ‘Why are you suitable for this job?’ in a job interview

Before you even applied for the role in question, you likely asked yourself: ”Why am I suited for this job?”

Coming up with an answer isn’t about considering how you feel about the company or what you like about the culture. Instead, it’s about scrutinising the job specification and relating your strengths and weaknesses to the demands of the role.

Every job spec should spell out the necessary skills that successful candidates must possess. Some will also list extraordinary skills or unusual demands that would help an applicant stand out during the interview process, while others will detail the desired personality traits and characteristics of the ideal candidate.

The good news is that studying the job specification in detail won’t just help you demonstrate your suitability for the role; it should also prepare you to answer other common interview questions, like why you want the job and what interests you about it.

Use any of the following approaches as inspiration for your own answer.

Use the STAR interview response technique

The STAR technique is one of the most effective ways to plan your response to behaviour or competency-based interview questions. It involves breaking your answer down into four steps:

  • Situation: Outline the scenario you’re going to describe and when it happened.
  • Task: Set out what task you were performing and the goals you hoped to achieve.
  • Action: Explain the actions you took to deliver your desired objectives.
  • Result: Describe the outcome of your task and actions.

Not only does this approach ensure that you hit all your desired “talking points” when answering an interview question, but it also keeps your response specific and actionable. It’s harder to get sidetracked and give a vague, undirected answer when you’re sticking to a prescribed framework.

💡 Example answer

The job specification states that you’re looking for a candidate with excellent communication skills. In my current role, I led a project involving colleagues from three other teams, with the aim of streamlining a common workflow. I set up daily standups and weekly meetings to keep the team on track, and kept other stakeholders in the loop through bi-weekly reports. As a result, my team and all relevant decision-makers knew exactly what was going on throughout the project, which helped us get our recommendations signed off and implemented with minimal feedback.

Emphasise rare in-demand skills

Demonstrating your suitability for the job means persuading the interviewers that you possess all the necessary skills. However, some skills will naturally help you stand out more than others. 

If the job specification highlights extraordinary or unusual skills, it’s in your best interest to focus on them in your response. Not only are these skills in high demand, but they are also unlikely to be possessed by every single candidate, which means they can be a clear point of difference between you and other applicants.

💡 Example answer

Under extraordinary skills, you say that the ideal candidate will be able to converse in Spanish. I’ve been taking Spanish classes for the last two years and feel comfortable speaking to native Spanish speakers in words or in writing.

Back up your words with evidence

It’s easy to tell interviewers that you have all the skills they’re looking for, but it’s a lot harder to back up your points with evidence. That’s why supporting your answer with real-world examples will help you demonstrate that you really are the perfect fit for the role.

💡 Example answer

My skill set matches all the requirements laid out in the job description. In particular, my ability to work to tight deadlines and manage my time effectively make me a good fit for the role. For example, in my current job I have to manage my own workload, taking briefs from colleagues in multiple departments and creating a priority order that keeps everyone satisfied. Having been in the job for 12 months, I have never missed a deadline.

Want to keep your options open? Submit your CV today to stay up-to-date with all the open roles in your industry.

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