Updating Results

Why are you suitable for this job? 3 tips on how to answer

GradAustralia

3 must-read tips on how to answer this interview question in your search for the perfect graduate job – be prepared and get ahead.

Answering difficult interview questions

A job interview is essentially an opportunity for you to show off your skills, talents, and experience while demonstrating your knowledge of the job and asking any questions you might have about it. In this article, we’ll focus primarily on the main question you can expect to be asked during an interview: why do you think you’re suitable for the job? Here are some tips to make sure you can knock it out of the park.

1. Research the job!

We know – this seems like an obvious tip. However, recruiters often express their amazement at candidates who arrive at interviews with only a superficial understanding of their target job. You should instead possess an in-depth knowledge of the job description and be ready to convince the jury, with evidence, that you’re the best person to take it on.

Start by reading the job description, paying particular attention to any academic requirements, as well as essential and desirable attributes. Be proactive and reach out to graduate recruiters or company contacts if there’s anything you want to clarify. You can also check if GradAustralia.com.au has a profile of the company.

Get a feel for what life will be like in your target job by talking with contacts in similar roles or checking out the grad stories and reviews on GradAustralia.com.au. Find out more about the organisation, such as the types of clients it works with, where it is based, and what types of projects it takes on.

2. Deepen your understanding of the job and the organisation

When it comes to demonstrating your suitability for a particular role, the general rule is this: the more specific you can be, the better. Of course, this means arriving at a deep understanding of what the role will require – and this will usually require you to go beyond the job description by asking questions like those below:

  • How much of your working day will be spent working alone and how much interacting with others?
  • Will you only have to deal with your immediate team and supervisor or will you interact with internal or external clients?
  • Is this job more focused on meeting immediate, conflicting deadlines in a fast-paced environment or longer-term planning and development work?
  • How flexible will you have to be, e.g. in terms of travel, working hours, changing projects or picking up new skills at short notice?
  • What industry sector(s) will you be working in/for? Will you need to develop a working knowledge of, say, the finance sector or the retail industry?
  • Will training and development time be built into your job, or will you be expected to learn extra skills and keep up to date with new developments in your own time?

3. Bringing it all together into your own pitch

By combining what you’ve learned from the position description and your own supplementary research, you’ll arrive at a strong sense of the talents and attributes you should emphasise in the interview. For example, you might reach one of the following conclusions:

  • I will be working for both internal and external clients, so I’ll need to show that I have good interpersonal skills, such as the ability to communicate effectively, build relationships and negotiate with tact and patience. The recruiter will also want to see that I’m presentable, confident and friendly.
  • I’ll be working to tight deadlines, so I will need to show that I can handle pressure and manage competing priorities.
  • I’ll be working closely with community stakeholders, so I should talk about my contribution to volunteer projects and extracurricular involvement in community activities.

For more tips on how to answer this tricky interview question, check out these short tips for graduates.