Why do you think you will be successful in this job

Interview Question: Why Do You Think You Will Be Successful In This Job?

The reason you are currently reading this post is that you are preparing for a job interview and taking your time to explore interview questions is the first step in getting ready. So, Kudos!

I always say you can never be too prepared for an interview. One of the most common questions interviewers love to ask is why you think you will be successful in this job position.

This question sounds like a blank cheque from the interviews because it usually comes later in the interview, it feels like you’re being considered for the job position. The risk to this is the possibility of being carried away, thereby overshooting.

So instead of calling this question a blank cheque, I call it a spade. A spade has different functions. Keep reading and I will explain how this question is comparable to a spade.

The question, why do you think you will be successful in this job can also be rephrased as;

  • Why do you think you’re suitable for this role?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why are you the best man for this job?
  • Sell Yourself to us.
  • What would you be bringing to the team?

So don’t get confused when one of these is used instead. This question appears smooth and sounds easy, which it is if you know how to go about it. This is why you are here reading on it.

In whatever way your employers decide to phrase their questions, there are some finely woven mini-questions in that one sentence. Those baby questions are the reasons I said that the question is not as obvious as it sounds.


What “Why You Think You Will be Successful in this Job” Really Means.

This question is used by employers/ interviewers to identify a set of desired qualities in their prospects. They want to hear your pitch, and quite frankly, put you on their scale.

You must know that this scale is the same one everyone vying for that same vacancy will be put on. Understanding the question is the first step in giving an interesting, strong answer.

Here is what the employer is asking when they ask why you think you will be successful in this job.


  1. Who Are You?: The question is pointing at you as a person. Not the other person in the room. Why should we give you the job and not the others outside? Just you and your current self. What progress have you made so far? Your answer should/will reveal your work philosophies and personal ideologies.
  2. What Have You Achieved So Far?: This may not be in terms of awards, especially for a beginner. Your employers are aware of this, after all, they’re looking right at your CV in front of them. You should not be thrown off or become self-conscious as a result of this.

Instead, focus on personal achievements. Take time before the interview to retrieve these achievements from memory to fit the skills requirements released for the vacancy position. Look into your everyday interactions with your environment, family, friends, classmates, etc. Let them be your achievement story.

  1. What are Your Goals: This is perhaps the focus of the question. What are your plans for the future? The question, “why do you think you will be successful in this job” is referring to the future for a reason. We’ve heard of your achievements, and your current state, how does this bring an increase to us three months from now? Six months? In a year?
  2. How Much Do You Know About the Organization: Every person has personal visions but how can we be sure that yours align with our organization’s visions. Do you agree with our core values? Are you just here to pass the time?
  3. 5. How much Do You Know About the Job position: Every position has specific requirements from another. Would we be the ones to train you from scratch? Are you worth the investment? Do you know what you are getting into?
  4. 6. How Valuable Are You: Peradventure we do not hire you, what will we be missing? What differentiates you from the other candidates waiting outside for their turn. Are you loyal or someone that jumps between jobs.

Your answer covers all these questions in a nutshell. Surprisingly too, your answer should not be more than 3 minutes. Don’t forget to stop talking at some point.


Why This Question is Comparable to a Spade.

A spade is typically used for digging. When the interviewer lends you this spade in the guise of asking why you think you will be successful in this job, they expect you to either use it to bury yourself or break the soil for a new plant (that’s you). I shall explain how using the interviewer’s spade works both ways:


Digging to Bury Yourself: Bragging

When the interviewer hands you that spade by asking you why you think you can be successful in that job position, they are definitely not asking you to boast. I repeat, resist the temptation to go off your head pumping them with your magnificence. You will only come off as arrogant to them, no matter how qualified your qualifications are. No one wants to employ arrogant personnel. Employers need to know that you can answer to authority with the least push. How else can the organizational order flow smoothly?

Here’s a sample answer of digging in. The interviewee is going for a lecturing position.

Interviewer: Why do you think you will be successful in this job?

Interviewee: I realized early that the gift of teaching is something one must be born with and I am one of such persons. If others have it at 10%, I must say that I have got it times five. While I was in school, every single person I taught went ahead to ace their examinations except for one who did not heed my instructions to the fullest.  I currently have four offers from different schools and even received an invitation from my school of study to remain but I’ve decided to get something better for myself. If I get this job, I’ll be invaluable to your school.

What this person has done is to wear a cap before his interviewers, demanding worship for himself from them. There is another way to bury yourself before your employers:

Burying Yourself II: The Underachiever Card

Never play this card. The any-job-will-do-card. The this-is-my-eleventh-interview, or this-position-was-my-3rd-choice and I’m-waiting-for-something-better card. Even if any of these is true, please keep it to yourself and drag up all the enthusiasm you can and more for this position.

You might think who would do that but some people try to be sincere to their interviewers…and then lose the job. Why should an employer hire an unenthusiastic person when others are passionate about the same position.

Digging To Plant Yourself.

That same spade in the likeness of the question: why do you think you will be successful in this job can be used to dig yourself a spot in that organization.

While we have said the need to speak from a place of humility is important, we want to implore you to understand the balance. While pride will likely not get you the job, groveling will more likely lose it to you too.

To achieve this is using the right dose of confidence and availability to show balance. Your interviewers want to know that the person they’re offering the position to is confident in himself/herself as a person and for the position.

Let’s get right into how to achieve this balance by showing you how to answer why you think you will be successful in this job.


How To Answer The Interview Question:  Why Do You Think You Will Be Successful In This Job?

It is worthy of note that your answer should be principally tied to the job requirements released initially by the organization. As an interested candidate for the job position, you should have done thorough research about the organization and your intending job role.

Of course, you’re not expected to know everything about the organization but you should have a strong foundation on the subject. You can learn about the organization by visiting their websites, talking to a friend or anyone already working for the employer, or browsing through job sites.

Follow these steps in giving your answer:

  1. Mention your skills: When you know at least four skills listed in the skills set and others you feel are needful, you are now able to craft your answer. Mention these examples, making sure to own them, not sounding mechanic like you read it off a website or crammed the lines in preparation for the interview.
  2. Mention How You Got Those Skills: Answering this question this way, shows an angle of yourself as an achiever. It shows you are all about the growth process and will not be a sleepy employee. An employee who loves growth will not have to be dragged around but will motivate themselves.
  3. Use a Past Example: Be specific when you answer. Do not give ambiguous answers. Many others have probably already mentioned the qualities you are currently listing while some others will likely do the same. To stand out you must be specific. Give short examples to explain your point.

Don’t say, I work well under pressure.

Instead say, I learned to work well under pressure while working as a television correspondent, often we had to react to immediate information, get there on time, and still produce an expert result.

  1. Express Your Passion: Everybody knows that passion provides that extra fuel while running a race. Remind them about this without stating it abruptly. Even if it is mentioned that you are underqualified, let your employers know you’re ready to learn quickly.
  2. Be Creative: This is the point of separation. Creativity is how you can carve your individuality into the employers. Sometimes, the most qualified for the job is overlooked for someone less qualified and it always boils down to peculiar self-expressions and personalities.
  3. Be Collected: Make sure you’re calm. A simple smile from time to time, states I’m calm, I’m not anxious. Interviewers can smell agitation a mile away. If you’re going to say you work well under pressure, you definitely do not need to be anxious.

Interview Questions

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