Today I would like to talk about an approach to questions that will come up in interviews. Sometimes it is good to memorise answers for tricky questions, especially if you are a non native – however for most western companies interviews are much more informal and can be quite similar to a natural conversation. Being personable is a key factor, so let’s have a look at a typical question that could come up in an interview and a 3 step approach to it.
“We have other candidates for this job who are much more qualified and experienced than yourself, why should we consider you over other candidates?”
1) Getting to the root and core of what is really being asked
First it is important to remind yourself that employers frequently hire people who present a good impression of themselves in an interview over someone with better qualiufications and experience. With this type of question you really have to be clear of the focus of the question – your personal strengths (not experience or qualifications) over other candidates.
Really zoom in specifically to what is being said (the question might seem open) and offer what advantages you have over other candidates. What are your advantages? Are you a very fast learner? Do your people/communication skills offer you an advantage? Why? – Give some examples. Try to imagine yourself as the head of this company, why would you be an asset?
So really knowing before the interview what skills you have to offer is the key to this question.
2) If you feel stuck with a question do not try to damage yourself
The fact may be true = there could be others who are much more qualified than you but always leave a positive and transparent answer, for example:
“Yes, I am sure there are other candidates who are more experienced and qualified. However, I do have real hands on experience in my last position, we were using similar techniques and I am very eager to learn and adapt to our methods”
3) Answer the root/core question by highlighting your skills.
You can add to part 2 by giving examples that really give the interviewer what they want to hear – how your past ability can help them:
“As you can see on my CV, I have had the challenge of balancing a full time job and managing my family responsibilities. Over this time I had to carefully manage my time and set strong priorities, I always tried to fulfill my obligations despite challenges and this was recognised by my previous employer as you can see in the excellent reference they have given me. I feel a strong passion to develop my skill set and feel this job would give me the opportunity to reach my potential”
Employers are often looking for enthusiasm and the potential in someone even if they do have the current level of experience. If you try to project this in addition to your skills, employers will see qualities in you that often more qualified and experienced candiates may not have.
Peter is a skilled business English teacher and has helped countless students prepare for their job interview. Book a free 15 minute trial with him here: