Interview Question: What Do You Bring to the Table?

Interview Question: What Do You Bring To The Table?

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The interview question for any candidate which needs explanation for value addition to the company as , “What will I bring to the table?” is a variation of the common question, “What is your greatest strength?” When a hiring manager asks this question, he wants to know what you can do for the company. Your answer should focus on a specific personal quality or ability that ties directly to the requirements of the position.

The question is designed to make an interviewee articulate what he or she can offer that other candidates can’t. Put another way, it’s the perfect opportunity to run through exactly what makes you ideal for the job in question. The challenge is to summarize what you can bring and not waffle or lose your thread. Don’t be too brief either, a weak answer would be to say simply that you have the right skills and are keen to take on a new challenge.

You have to pick at least three key attributes you can bring to the job which fit their requirements and will encourage the interviewer to sit up and listen. These might be proven communication skills, project management skills, team-working abilities, knowledge of the specialist sector in question or a proven interest in an aspect of the job.

Your goal is to find a close alignment between two or three of your strong attributes and those important to the hiring manager. If you have a strong work ethic, and the job listing indicates interest in a strong work ethic, this attribute is a great one to include in your answer.

Study your CV carefully and choose the attributes you can offer from there. Make sure you have specific ‘behavioral’ examples of when you have used these personal attributes to achieve a particular end, and don’t be scared to say if something hasn’t worked perfectly, as long as you can show that you’ve learned from it.

Communication skills, for instance, are something needed in just about any position. For the best answer, identify a specific type of communication skill that would fit the job. These answers tell the employer exactly what you can do in the position.

For some jobs, you want to highlight strong technical abilities. For some positions, it is more difficult to find highly technical attributes. Other attributes appreciated by many employers include intelligence, confidence, work ethic, energy and a positive attitude.

Despite personality differences that exist in every workplace, there is likely going to be a core group of employees, colleagues and peers with whom you work on a daily basis, and hiring managers want employees they can feel comfortable working with. Show you understand this when the hiring manager asks what you have to offer by beginning with a little humor.

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Sonia Rai

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