There are a couple of reasons that employers ask what you can bring to their company or job, and you need to be ready to answer with confidence if you want to get hired!
In this article, I’ll walk you through why interviewers ask this question, what qualities they’re looking for, the best ways to respond, and multiple answer examples.
Let’s get started…
Employers ask this type of interview question to see if you’re confident in your abilities, to hear what you think your top strengths are, and to hear in your own words what you’d be able to contribute if hired.
They also want to make sure you’ve done your research about their job and company.
Hiring managers want to hire someone who is researching employers and taking their time when applying and looking for the right fit, not just the first job they can find.
They never want to hire someone who is just applying to hundreds of positions without thinking about whether the job is a good fit.
So your answer should always show that you’ve taken time to understand their role and organization and thought about why you’re a good fit!
Now that you know why employers ask, let’s look at how to answer. We’ll talk about two different variations of this question coming up:
When a hiring manager is interviewing you, they’re always thinking about how you’ll fit into their specific job first and foremost. They posted this job because they have specific areas that they need help with.
So even if it sounds like they’re asking what you could bring to the company or team overall, I recommend talking about the job first! Then, you can finish by talking about how you’d help the company in general, but start with the value you’ll bring to the role you’re being considered for.
And when answering, it’s best to name specific job-related skills, not soft skills.
This isn’t the time to say, “I’m hard-working, I’m detail-oriented, I have excellent problem-solving abilities…”
Instead, it’s better to say: “I’ve spent the past four years working on graphic design and branding projects, which seems to be the main focus of this role, too. Not only that, but I’ve been doing all of this in the same industry that you operate in, so I won’t need any extra time to learn the ins and outs of the industry.”
You can mention one or two soft skills after that. For example, you could say, “I also love being a part of a collaborative, team-oriented environment, which your company website says is a major part of the culture here. So that’s another positive that I feel I’d bring to the team.”
It’s fine to end like that if you feel it’ll help demonstrate that you’d be a good fit for their organization, but it’s not what you should lead with. You’ll see this again in the next sample answer below.
I saw that the job description says you need somebody who has extensive HR management experience. I’ve been working as an HR Manager for the past five years, and I think one key contribution that I’d bring to this role and company is my familiarity with your industry. My last position was in this same industry, so I’m very familiar with the space. I’m also somebody who is able to take initiative and solve problems without being asked. Based on the job description, it sounds like your company appreciates people who are self-starters and are able to work independently, so that’s something else that I’d bring to this organization.
This answer leads with job-specific hard skills (HR management) and then follows up with skills that fit with the company culture overall, just like I discussed earlier. This type of answer will impress an employer and take you a step closer to the job offer.
FYI, you may also be asked a couple of common variations to this question, like the following:
These are ALL very similar and you can answer all of these questions in the same way!
If the employer asks what you’d bring to the specific job, then your answer should be 100% about why you’d perform well in their exact role.
Here, it’s even more important to avoid talking about soft skills and general knowledge and instead focus on specific skills and experiences that would help you step into their position and succeed.
This also isn’t the time to talk about your career goals, values, etc. They’re really looking for examples of your ability to do well if hired for this opportunity. You can talk about previous work you’ve done that’s similar, the education and training you possess, etc. But stick to what you can offer that’s relevant to the exact position you’re interviewing for!
I saw on your job description that this role would involve interacting directly with clients over the phone and in-person for the majority of the time. This is one of my greatest strengths, and something I’ve been doing for the past five years. In my last role, I managed the accounts of 22 clients worth $104 million to our company. I was also responsible for growing these client accounts and selling new services. I saw you mention that on your job description as well. Can you tell me more about that part of the role?
Note that if you study and practice the questions above, you’ll also be prepared to answer other common interview questions like these:
These questions are all asking the same thing more or less… employers want to make sure candidates have done their research into the role and find out what qualities you have that would be helpful if hired for this position.
There are a couple of big mistakes that you need to avoid when answering this question.
First, this isn’t the time to be humble or afraid to talk highly of yourself! It’s okay to sound confident and show off what you’d bring to the role, or what sets you apart from other candidates.
Also, as mentioned earlier, it’s a big mistake to go into your job interview without having researched the company and read the job description carefully.
If you don’t do your research, you can’t possibly answer this question well in the interview (and you’ll also struggle with many other common interview questions). So don’t skip this step in your job search!
Finally, it’s a mistake to say you don’t know. The interviewer wants a specific answer when they ask what you would bring to their company and position. Don’t ever say something like, “I’m not sure. I just need a job.”
Instead, prepare by reviewing the answer examples we looked at and researching the job description until you’re able to give that same type of answer! That’s the best way to prepare a strong response and make sure you approach this question correctly in the interview.
If the interviewer asks, “What can you bring to the company?” then split your time between talking about the specific role and the company/team. Focus on talking about what you can bring to the job first, then the organization.
If they ask what you’d bring to this particular job, then focus entirely on talking about the role and how you’re a good fit for their requirements and needs in this position.
No matter what variation of this interview question you hear, be prepared to talk about specific job-related skills and knowledge in your answer.
Don’t say, “I’m very hard-working and have excellent communication skills.”
It’s a lot better to say to an employer, “I saw the job description says that you prefer someone with experience selling to enterprise clients, and in my last role, enterprise sales was my full focus.”
Only one of those sample answers above shows you took time to understand the job and then highlights the hard skills that will help you be successful in this job. And that’s the answer that will get hiring managers excited when they ask this interview question.
If you follow the steps above, you’ll have a great answer to, “What can you bring to this job?” or, “What can you bring to our company?” that will impress interviewers and get you more job offers.
Biron Clark is a former Executive Recruiter who has worked with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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