Interview Question: 'What Can You Bring to the Company?'
Updated 19 July 2023
Interviewers ask about your contribution to a company to gauge how instrumental you may be to their team. How you can contribute to business development is a crucial feature of an interview and requires a well-thought-out and constructed answer. Understanding how to answer a question about what you can bring to the organisation can help you provide an impressive answer. In this article, we discuss how to answer the question 'What can you bring to the company?', why it's important and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to respond, along with two examples.
What does the question 'What can you bring to the company?' mean?
In an interview, recruiters typically ask, 'What can you bring to the company?' to understand how you apply your skills to help the business expand or develop. They're usually looking for a candidate who understands the core principles or unique selling point (USP) of the business and can identify any areas where the business can improve or develop with their help.
Recruiters may frame this question in different ways, such as, 'What makes you different from other candidates?', 'What value do you offer to the business?', 'How do your skills help us?' and 'How does your experience make you a suitable candidate?'
Why this is an important part of your interview
It's a chance to show how much research you have done about their successes, competitors, challenges and gaps in the market. You can find detailed information from the company's primary website on tabs like the 'about us' page. Recruiters are also looking for a candidate who has an interest in the company's development. Recruiters typically search for a candidate whose skills match the job description closely, so customising your answer and resume to foreground such skills may provide you with a more competitive edge.
This proactive attitude is what recruiters search for as innovative candidates may have a better chance of improving company profiles or creating new business opportunities.
How to answer the question
Following a good structure when answering can help you stay on topic and avoid repetition or losing consistency in your answer. A well-constructed answer that hits the key points a recruiter is looking for may be impressive and increase your chances of reaching a short-listing stage. Your response may highlight your skills, experience, research and knowledge of the company and include a reference to the job description. Below is a numbered step guide on how to pan an impressive response:
1. Analyse the job description
Analysing the job description is crucial to ensure that you can tailor your response to the recruiters' requirements and provide them with relevant information about how your skills contribute to the business. You could identify any hard or soft skills that you have direct experience using, which may improve your chances of success. For example, if you're interviewing for a marketing role that requires campaign planning, you could mention previous experience where you helped to incorporate influencers to boost product and campaign engagement.
2. Familiarise yourself with your resume
Consider studying your own resume for this question, as this may help to maintain consistency. It's likely that the recruiter bases this question on the skills you have provided on your resume. This can help you think of good examples in your previous employment where your skills supported business development.
3. Research the business
Understanding the core business goals, competitors, challenges, values and unique selling points may help you identify any areas where you can help them. Researching the business may also impress the recruiter and shows that you're genuinely interested in working with them. Recruiters are typically looking for a candidate who has an in-depth industry knowledge and might target gaps in the market to help grow the business.
4. Make a list of achievements
Noting your achievements may help you provide the recruiter with a comprehensive list of reasons why you're valuable. This could also help you think of any experiences that showcase your skills and value to a business. Achievements are also a testimony to the skills listed on your resume, so they can offer extra reassurance to the recruiter.
5. Apply your skills to their business needs
As part of your research, you might identify where the business could benefit from further development. This may be an opportunity for further expansion or targeting a new demographic as an example. The recruiter is likely to profile you as an innovator, displaying sound qualities for project and leadership management. This is also a chance to show some industry knowledge or business research, providing you with a competitive advantage.
6. Plan your answer
Once you have done the necessary research and preparation, you can plan your answer. Planning your answer may calm any nerves you have prior to the interview and help you remember more when responding. Planning is an important aspect of your interview preparation as it can help you sound more professional and composed.
7. Stick to a structure in your answer
During your interview, stick to a well-defined structure when answering the question. Recruiters may value candidates who don't digress from the topic of focus. By maintaining a structure in your answer, you can show your recruiters that you're able to remain level-headed and focused through moments of pressure. Here's a structure you can use when you're answering the question in relation to any of your previous experiences:
Describe the situation or topic: When providing evidence to your contributions, consider describing why you began the project or contribution in the first place and explain what research or observation led you to suggest a project or change.
Explain how you added value to the task: You can explain what ways you individually contributed and why you felt it was necessary for that task.
Describe how you took action: Describe the active steps you took during this and explain what responsibilities and roles you had.
Explain the result: Describe the result of your efforts in as much detail as possible. This may consist of improvements in customer reviews or improved revenue. Try to provide numerical evidence as this provides tangible proof of your skills.
Example answers to 'What can you bring to the company?'
Below are two examples of how you could answer this question in an interview. You can use these examples as a guide and apply your own experiences where relevant:
'In my previous role, I played an instrumental part in expanding the company's customer base by engaging with influencers who target the specific age group. I believe this is where I could be valuable to this business. In my work, I am guided by my research and analytics and I am passionate about providing customers with a personalised experience, tailored to their likes and interests.
I believe this company's social media strategy may benefit from a more targeted approach and interaction with users to promote brand loyalty and establish a strong tone of voice. My excellent problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills allow me to build a rapport with users, which consequently markets the business positively. My previous role required me to work quickly and formulate strategies for the consistently evolving social media world. I believe this is a valuable skill for this company.'
'Based on my research, I have noticed that this business needs further support in establishing an effective SEO strategy for ranking higher on search engines. This is a key challenge for many businesses now as competitors innovate new strategies that drive traffic towards their sites. This is where I believe my SEO expertise can allow me to provide your business with a fresh SEO strategy that boosts engagement and ranks your articles higher on the search page.
My previous employer faced similar issues when I first started in my role, so I actively researched competitors and identified strategies that I then passed on to the marketing team. This led to a large increase in our site traffic and our content began to reach the top of the search page. I am excited and motivated to adopt a similar strategy for this business and work on ensuring that you rise above competitors once more.'
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