A guide to answering the question, "Why do you think you are qualified for this position?"
At some point during your job interview, you'll be asked about your qualifications. An employer may ask a variety of questions, but “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?” is a staple. While some people find talking about themselves challenging, questions like these are great opportunities to highlight some of your most valuable skills. If you can dedicate some time to practicing beforehand, you may be able to calm any nerves.
Continue reading to get a deeper understanding of the question and how to give your best answer.
Why employers ask why you think you're qualified
Employers ask “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?” to figure out which of their applicants is best suited for the company. If you’ve been called in for an interview, the employer suspects that you’re skilled enough for the position, and needs to determine whether or not you’re also a good match for the company.
How to answer questions about your qualifications
The interview process can be challenging, especially when you have to prove yourself. Detailing why you think you’re qualified for a position should be similar to telling an employer about your strengths, but more tailored to support the job description. Here are steps for how to answer why you’re qualified for the position:
Research the company
Look into the company’s story and culture, and write down qualifications listed in the job description that match with your own. If a business has social media accounts, use those to get an idea of their brand. Writing down ways in which you align with the culture of a company can help you tailor your answer to each specific position you interview for.
An employer is looking to hear why you’re a good fit for the company, how you’ll enhance their team or brand, and what you have to offer that other candidates might not. While you should avoid sounding rehearsed, it’s best to be prepared. Write down everything you want to say and say it out loud a few times to help you organize your ideas for a smooth delivery.
Listen during the interview
During an interview, it may be challenging to fully pay attention to the interviewer if you’re focused on how you’d like to respond. Taking notes while an interviewer is talking can help ensure you don’t leave anything out when responding.
When you give examples of your achievements and qualifications, supporting them with real-life experiences can add sincerity to your responses and help give your interviewer a full understanding. For each qualification, write down an anecdote describing how you used it to accomplish something professionally. If you come across a skill you possess that you don’t have much experience with in the workplace, a personal story can work just as well.
Learn more: Answering Interview Questions About Your Skills
What to include when answering, "Why do you think you are qualified or this position?"
When answering the question, “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?”, remember the interviewer wants to see that you’ve taken time to learn about the company, are confident in your abilities, and understand how you can utilize your skills to help them succeed. What the question truly seeks to answer is “What can you do for us that no one else can?”.
Here are some essentials to remember:
- Illustrate value you’ll add to the company. Think about skills you have that are directly related to the job description that would make you an asset. Additionally, brainstorm other skills (professional or personal) that might give you a unique outlook or advantage.
- Share a story. For each skill you mention, make sure to build on it with an example of when you used that particular skill to achieve something positive. When possible, connect your skills to something specific you can do for the company.
- Give brief and focused answers. Select a few qualities from your list and elaborate on those in depth. Stay away from long lists with minimal detail.
- Emphasize the job you’re applying for. An employer wants to see a future for you with the company. Demonstrate that you understand how you can apply your skills specifically in this position.
Learn more: Strong Words to Use in an Interview
"Why do you think you're qualified for this position?": Example answers
Use these sample answers as inspiration when forming your own response to, “Why do you think you’re qualified for this position?”:
Example 1: Applicable skills
Sharing your relevant skills then backing them up with brief examples of how you’ve applied them professionally is a great way to leave a lasting impression. It’s important to showcase your experience with a skill specific to the job description, and the more descriptive you are, the more likely you are to get the job.
Example answer: Based on our conversation so far and all the research I’ve done, your company is in search of an adept communicator and someone with extensive marketing experience to help the business grow and set you apart from the competition. At my last job, I increased online activity by 36% in my first two months by implementing targeted advertising on social media. I will bring that drive and innovative force to your company, because growth and success will always be my priorities.
Example 2: Leadership
Depending on the position you’re interviewing for, leadership may or may not be mentioned in the description. However, even if the job won’t require you to lead or manage a team, strong leadership qualities often translate to other valuable skills like self-sufficiency, communication, or patience.
Example answer: I spent five years as a sales manager and two years as assistant sales manager at the same company, during which I consistently led and helped lead teams of anywhere from 10 to 15 people. I worked consistently to develop new ways to keep my team motivated, and our branch earned “Store of the Year” the last four years I was there. What sets me apart from other candidates is my desire and ability to combine leadership and people skills. I value building long-lasting relationships with customers and coworkers.
Example 3: Non-professional experience
Occasionally you’ll come across a skill or quality an employer is looking for that you don’t have any noteworthy experience with in a work setting. It should be possible to match your outside experiences with what they’re looking for. Take this opportunity to show that you demonstrate useful skills outside of professional tasks.
Example answer: While I’m relatively new to this field of work, I do have lots of experience with customer service. In your job description and reading about the company, I noticed that an important aspect of this position is customer service or client relations. I spent all four summers through high school volunteering for the YMCA and a local non-profit that held fund raisers and community clean-up events. During my time working with these organizations, I discovered how much I love helping people, making sure guests feel taken care of and well-informed, and that they walk away feeling positive about their experience.
Example 4: Teamwork
Even if the position you’re interviewing for doesn’t require you to work directly with others or in groups on a regular basis, almost every workplace involves some form of collaboration. Whether you’re working on a team project or having a one-on-one with your boss, your ability to communicate effectively, accept and give constructive criticism, and motivate and support others is always an asset to an employer.
Example answer: I’ve always been good at finding how I can best serve a team and supporting the efforts of each person in the group. At my last job, I was in a leadership role which involved frequent team projects. I was able to quickly identify each team member’s shining qualities and assign them with tasks they were best suited to excel with. From what I’ve read, this job involves lots of group work, and this is definitely one of my strongest skill sets.
Learn more: The Ultimate Job Interview Preparation Guide
No matter what industry you work in, when an interviewer asks “Why do you think you’re qualified for this position?”, they want to hear about the skills and qualities you’ll add to the company. Remember to focus on your most compelling, relevant selling points and do your research.