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By Quora
December 10, 2014

Answer by Jae Alexis Lee on Quora.

The best answer to this relies on you having done your setup work over the course of the interview. You need to have probed the interviewer for their needs. You need to have had a conversation about what the job and mission is so that you can tell them what singular quality about you makes you the best for what they need.

If you’ve nodded through the interview like a bobblehead, answering only what is asked, this question will doom you because you won’t know what to say.

If, however, you’ve done your part over the course of the interview to understand the company, the position, and their needs, then this becomes an easy question to answer.

“That thing you said you really need someone to do? I do that, I’ve done that before, I have proven success doing exactly that, and I can exceed your expectations doing that.”

I know that sounds generic, and it’s meant to because it’s more about the formula than about the specifics. When I ask this question, I want a candidate to give me something that makes them jump off the page… that will set them apart from the rest of the stack of resumes in the pile. The best answers leave me saying “If I don’t hire this person, I’m going to regret it.” Those answers always come in the context of how their skills and experience can be of direct benefit to my needs. Even if you’ve never done that, telling me how your skills will allow you to be successful doing that will help. But it needs to relate to how you best fit what I need!

This question is almost always asked towards the end of an interview, it’s an opportunity to recap just a little, to demonstrate you’ve been paying attention and to leverage the insight you’ve been able to gain about the company’s needs.

If you’ve done that, the question is easy. If you haven’t, then you’re doomed.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What is the best answer to the question, “Why you?” asked in an interview?

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