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Answering "How Would You Be an Asset to Our Company?"

by Billie Nordmeyer

Getting a job, like keeping a job, requires certain skills. Just as becoming certified or attending training classes grants you specific abilities and increases your worth in the job market, interviewing and negotiating skills increase your effectiveness as a job applicant. One such skill is the ability to act as a credible witness on your own behalf when asked to convey the reasons you would be an asset to a company.

Understand Why the Question Is Asked

In the job market, it’s up to the applicant to convince an employer he’s the best candidate for a job. Consequently, applicants frequently spend time researching a company, its industry and the responsibilities of a particular role. But this research often provides information more suited to helping the applicant determine if he wants to work for a particular company than to convincing an interviewer to extend a job offer. To persuade an employer to offer you a job, you must relate your qualifications to the job and hiring company when asked, “How would you be an asset to our company?” or “What makes you better than other candidates?” or “Why should I hire you?” Alternatively, you must provide a convincing response when the interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself” or “Explain why you are a fit for this position.”

Gather Information for Your Response

You can access the company’s website to learn about its mission, products and locations. As a job applicant, you should review a variety of information about the company, the job and your background before you develop answers to possible interview questions, including a question about why you might be an asset to the company. For example, consider how your degree and experience or certifications might help you be effective in the role for which you are applying. In addition, if you have letters of recommendation or documentation describing particular honors you’ve received, consider why these might be important to a company. Also, consider work you've performed. It’s important that you be able to relate personal information to your research about the company, its strategy and operations.

Develop Responses to Questions

The interviewer will evaluate your academic background, experience and skills in light of a job’s documented requirements. But the enthusiasm with which this matching process takes place depends on your ability to convince the interviewer of your fit for the position. So, develop stories that convey the skills, goals and accomplishments that are relevant to the position and frame your responses to questions in ways that demonstrate you understand the company’s issues. For example, you can create a story using your expertise and accomplishments and how they relate to the position at hand to answer the question, “How would you be an asset to our company.”

Practice Your Responses

Once you develop stories that describe your expertise and experience, practice using the stories to respond to questions that seek information about your background. For example, you might state how your experience working in a particular role and performing certain functions will make it easier to transition to a management role and assume the related responsibilities. Through practice, you'll become confident in your ability to convince an interviewer of your value as an employee.

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