You should always answer with what you will do to improve the company. What ideas do you have that will make life better for your interviewer? Lead with that.
Why? Because you are selling yourself (don’t take that the wrong way) and you want to use proven and effective sales/copywriting strategies to do that. I have been studying copywriting lately, and one of the number one rules of copywriting is that you ALWAYS talk about benefits beforefeatures.
In this situation, what you will do to make this company better, and to make life better for the person interviewing you, is a benefit to them.
Your benefit to the company is what will get you hired. Therefore, always answer this question with benefits first, followed by features only if relevant.
For clarity, here is a list of benefits vs. features for a job interview.
- I will immerse myself into your software’s code to debug and fix all redundancies, which will make your product run much smoother.
- I will improve the process of scheduling staff by implementing web-based scheduling software, making it easier to input times and allow for staff and management to be notified of shift changes right away.
- I have ideas for crafting a new marketing message that will more effectively tell the story of why this company is great and compel people to buy your products.
- I will bring with me my years of experience managing teams and working with people of diverse backgrounds, making me a great leader and team builder.
- I studied back-end java development on my own for years, so I know exactly what is going on with your code.
- In my last position, I managed my own team within the marketing department, so I know what it’s like to collaborate with others and lead a marketing campaign.
- Last but not the least I will give my best to make your company more profitable by doing hard labour.
The trend you should be seeing here is that benefits are what you are going to do to make life better for the person/company who is interviewing you, and features are what in your past experience makes you qualified for the role.
It is very easy to rely on your previous qualifications only when interviewing for a new position,don’t. Stand out by giving them benefits, which are real reasons to hire you, and if you can make those benefits better than everyone else interviewing, you will get the job.
The best way to answer this question is to have confidence here are some examples
This happened with a friend during Flipkart interview at IIT Madras 2014.
So after various questions, the interviewer tries to close the interview with this-
interviewer: Why should we hire you?
Friend: Sir, you see this shirt? It’s size 41. I ordered it on Flipkart. I wear 39. Returned it twice, got the same shirt back. So either change your system, or take me to change it! Because clearly it’s not working.
Got the job!
What a badass!
As this answer is getting so much mileage, I’ll add another dialogue that occurred in the same interview. I do not know what got into him, but my friend went in as if his only intention was to make the interviewer feel bad about himself.
Interviewer: So, Mr. X, tell me the number of trees in your campus?
Friend: Do you want the exact number?
I : What?
Friend: If you want I can tell you the types as well? Would you like that? You see I am part of an organisation called Prakriti which keeps track of all these things. You see those markings on the trees? We did that.
I (poker faced) : Well in that case let’s move forward.
My friend had absolutely no clue how to solve that problem. It was a complete bluff! He had never been part of Prakriti nor had ever been part of the team counting these trees.
Confidence baby 😉