How To Answer: “What Can You Contribute To The Company?
One of the most common interview questions a hiring manager might ask is, “What can you contribute to the company?” While the question may seem a bit daunting, it is actually one of the best questions you can capitalize on.
Here’s how you can give the perfect answer to that question, ace that interview, and ultimately, land your dream job.
Answering the Question “What Can You Contribute to The Company?” | The Complete Guide
What The Interviewer Really Wants to Know
Employers would typically choose to interview a particular candidate based on his or her resume and skills. When they ask the question, “What can you contribute to the company?” they want you to dive deeper than what’s on paper.
The company interviewing you wants to discover exactly how you can be an asset to the team should they choose to hire you. For most positions excluding entry-level jobs, the ideal hires are those who bring extensive experience.
Interviewers ask this very typical interview question because they want to learn what you’re bringing to the table. At the same time, they also want to gauge whether your values are aligned with the company’s values.
Employers would usually look beyond the applicant’s resume to measure his or her qualifications. How you fit into the company culture, whether or not you exemplify teamwork, your dedication to your chosen profession, how you meet challenges… employers look at all these when deciding whether you’re a qualified candidate or not.
More than evaluating the content of your answer, they’ll also evaluate the way you delivered your answer. Did you respond with confidence? Were you able to cite specific examples to support your claims? Were the actions in your examples aligned with the company’s mission?
Note how a simple question was able to bring out so much in a candidate. That is why it is important that you prepare yourself well for a question like this.
The STAR Interview Technique
The STAR Interview Response Method, otherwise known as the STAR Interview Technique, is a short guide on how to answer interview questions. STAR simply stands for:
- Situation – Start by describing a certain situation that happened at work
- Task – Narrate what you decided to do to address that situation
- Action – Describe how you were able to complete the task
- Result – Detail the outcomes of the situation
Admittedly, the technique doesn’t show what you should say when asked, “What can you contribute to the company?” However, it provides a good template you can follow when you do give an answer.
Tips to Follow to Ace That Interview Question
1. Learn About the Company and the Role
The last thing you want to do is to come to an interview unprepared. Before attending that meeting, make sure to research the company you are applying for.
Every employer would be pleased to know that an applicant has done his or her homework. Employers typically look for people who are actually interested in the company, and not just in making money.
As an applicant, take the time to get to know the business you are applying in. Do your due diligence: Learn about the company’s current goals, the working environment, their accomplishments, and many more.
Additionally, make sure you understand the job profile well. This will be a great opportunity later to make sure that your answers are tailored to the particular company and position for which you are applying.
2. Discuss Your Skills
While your resume may already list your skills, they don’t expound on how you were able to utilize them to bring value to the business.
Your resume already shows that you have flexibility, organizational skills, communication skills, and many more. When you answer, avoid stating cliches like “I have my energy, integrity, and leadership.” No one wants to hear these anymore.
Instead, describe how your organizational skills helped you organize an event or how your communication skills helped promote diplomacy and resolve a conflict between employees in the workplace.
If you know you are good at something, then do not be afraid to show it off. Just make sure you come across as someone who’s enthusiastic, not arrogant.
3. Match Your Credentials to the Job
Remember when we said to learn about the role? This is where that comes in. When the interviewer asks you, “How can you contribute to the company?” make sure to give an answer that is tailored to the job for which you are applying.
Be prepared to bring up previous work experience you may have that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Show them your accomplishments, and with your knowledge of the objectives of the company, highlight how you think the same can be beneficial to this business
Remember: Your goal should be to impress your potential employer. Don’t be afraid to let them know of the accomplishments you have in your past jobs, as well as the accomplishments you hope to have should the company choose to hire you.
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4. Demonstrate How Your Skills Fit With This Specific Company
Again, application interviews are about more than just elevating yourself. It is also a way for interviewers to gauge whether or not you fit into the culture of the company. It is an opportunity for you to show that you have depth.
When asked how you can contribute to the company, make sure to connect your answers with the employer’s goals. Furthermore, make sure you are able to demonstrate that your values are aligned with that of the company.
More than your skills, show them that you are able to effectively meet challenges, that you have the diplomacy needed in working in a team environment, and that you are equipped with the flexibility needed to quickly adapt to changing situations.
If there are specific skills or qualities that may be particularly relevant to the job, make sure to focus on those.
There are numerous ways that you can make an impact. Instead of listing them all, align your answers with the ones that address the company’s specific needs. Not only do you emphasize that you are fit for the job, you also show that you took the time to really get to know the business you want to enter.
5. Emphasize What You’ve Accomplished
Never forget to give concrete examples of your accomplishments. Go into specifics. This is a great way of painting a picture of the kind of work that you will do for your potential employer.
Describe how you were able to show your effectiveness in your previous positions. If you were able to come up with an innovation, show leadership, or exceed your goals, let the interviewer know about them.
Were you able to implement new business practices that significantly improved the process flow? Did you come up with new programs that benefited the lives of other employees? Share them!
Do not be afraid to discuss the breadth of related experience you may have. Highlight your strong points. Finally, make sure to end by emphasizing that these are the kinds of accomplishments you want to bring to the company.
6. Use Data
If possible, back up your claims with data. This is often true for those who have a sales background.
Were you able to raise the team’s sales? Tell the interviewer by what percentage. Were you able to cut turnaround time of a particular process? Let them know by how much.
Having numbers to backup your claims is a great way of giving a concrete example of how you can contribute to the company. If you can get more specific, go for it. This will make you more convincing and memorable to the interviewer, and it will emphasize the kind of impact you can have on a company.
7. Keep Your Answer Simple
As a professional, you most likely have a ton of achievements and experiences under your belt. However, when it comes to answering the question, “What can you contribute to the company?”, it’s important to focus only on what is important.
Keep in mind that these interviews are most likely timed. You have to find a way to make sure that you make as much of that time as possible.
This may mean leaving out some of your best skills if they are not relevant to the question. Instead, focus on the skills, experiences, and anecdotes that are aligned with the position for which you are applying.
What Not To Say
Finally, here are some things you should avoid when answering interview questions:
- Letting your ego get in the way – While you are trying to sell yourself, do avoid coming across as arrogant. When you respond, be flexible. You don’t want to make it seem as if your way is the only way.
- Sharing examples irrelevant to the job – Give examples that are specific to the company and to the job you are applying for. Don’t just tell a story about leadership if it is not related to the question being asked (even if it’s a good attribute to have).
- Avoid vagueness – Enough with the cliches. No one wants to hear that you are a team player and that you have leadership.
- Don’t take too long – Highlighting two to three points should be enough if your goal is to show your strong points. There’s no need to let the interviewers know what you were wearing when these situations happened.
The very typical “What can you contribute to the company?” is a common question interviewers ask. Despite this, a lot of people still seem to struggle with answering it. Keep the tips above in mind when answering the question and you’ll definitely leave a lasting impression on your potential employer.
Are you looking for a job that can help you develop both soft and hard skills? If you are, visit the Virtual Hub for more information!