Updated: Mar 24
Many interviews open or close with the question of Why You For the Role? This is one of my favorite questions since it is a very powerful one that positions the Interviewee to very clearly, purposefully, and passionately articulate their value proposition and impact. However, time and again, the first instinct of candidates is to meander through everything they have done in their careers, loose the plot, and end with “So I think, I can do some great things for you”.
I don’t believe anyone has been successful finding a date meandering through their life journey. Job is no different.
Your response to this question shouldn’t be more than 60-90 seconds. This 60-90 seconds should position you to take control of the conversation, and lead the interviewer to where you want the discussion to go! That is a lot to do in 60-90 seconds. The best way to do it is to think in 3’s.
Think in 3’s
First, reframe the above question to ask yourself – What are the three things that position you best for the role? As you frame the response to that question, take into consideration your position of strength for the role.
If you are experienced with a 1:1 match for the role, it’s your turn to seal the deal.
If you are experienced and this job is a promotion, it’s your turn to talk about your dream, readiness, and learning agility
If you are experienced and this job is a career change, talk about your passion and learning agility
If you are an early career, think about everything that differentiates you – experiences, traits, values and so on.
Remember, bring it back to the 3’s. Anything more than 3 points means you can bid adieu to the interview.
Ruthlessly edit your response
Everyone loves to talk about themselves. Don’t fall for that. If your response includes sub points within the top 3’s go back to the drawing board. You can start by introspecting and answering the following three questions:
Why did you choose those three things?
How have you excelled in those three things?
How is it relevant for the current role?
As you frame your sentence think about how you can quantify your results. Don’t overtly emphasize work activity. Always include at least one bullet on personal traits and characteristic and let that be your closing argument. Remember, this is your moment to seal the deal. So seal it!
Think on your Feet
You are in a room with one or more interviewer’s and you are the best judge of the situation.
If the question is asked at the beginning of your Interview, frame your response to bring enough curiosity. This is your opportunity to establish yourself, plant the next question into your interviewer’s head and know that if you do a good enough job, you are steering the conversation to your script.
If the question is asked in the middle of your Interview, it is your opportunity to get back to the script. Most of the times this means you have meandered and interviewer is wondering why you. This is your opportunity to steer the conversation.
If the question is asked at the end of your Interview, it is coming off a script. This is your opportunity to leave your interview with parting thoughts about you. They should remember you even after all the conversations end.
You are the best read of the situation and your intuition and interviewer’s body language will tell you how it’s going.
Passion and Purpose is always great. Balance it against your intensity and emotions. Don’t let either get ahead of you.
Use emotions or commonly encountered situations to strike a chord, establish the ability to relate, and use it to your advantage.
Take your passion seriously and not yourself. If prodded on outputs or challenged on opinions be graceful about it in your body language and voice modulation. Remember, the ultimate goal is to win.
Now Frame and Practice Your Proposition…
There is no one way to do this. It has to suit your personality, situation, and you have to be able to pull this off with conviction and panache without appearing like a machine.
Now stop for a moment and complete the following.
I believe I am the right person for this role because, I bring the following three things to the table 1) ________ 2) __________ 3) ____________. Over the last ____ years, I have a proven track record of 1)____________(case for (1)). 2) ________(case for (2)), and 3) _______ (case of (3)) In addition, my traits such as 1) _____ 2)______ 3) ________ will be valuable to the team as we look to excel our goals. When I look at the role, I believe my ability to 1)____ 2)_____ 3) _______ will help me contribute to the overall success of the company. I am very passionate about the _____ and I am happy to dive-deep into any areas that will help you make your decision on my candidature.
Now create variations of the above for various situations discussed in this post.
The most crucial 60-90 seconds
If it sounds like it is a lot, remember that life gives opportunities in those 90 second increments. It is completely up to you to rise up to the occasion.