If the interviewer asks you about what you know about the UTSA/this department, you might feel that this is a general question that will say little about how you will be the right candidate for the job.
The interviewer really wants to know how invested you are in obtaining this job. Many times, hiring managers will get a host of candidates that have applied for and are interviewing for multiple jobs. Sometimes these candidates do not really know about the job or the department. It can be difficult for the interviewers to invest time and effort in the recruitment of a candidate that might not really be interested in the job. The hiring managers want to find candidates that are truly committed in the job and will have a high likelihood of accepting an offer.
Points to Emphasize
When you reply to this question, you want to show your understanding of the department, their function, and the UTSA.
- Talk about your previous research regarding the department.
- Emphasize how the department/UTSA fits your individual drive and character.
- Mention your previous experience in departments similar to the one for which you are applying.
- Explain how the department/UTSA would benefit from you as a team member.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
When you are not properly prepared for this question, you can easily give superficial information about the company and not relate your answer to your strengths.
- Do not solely describe the function of the department/UTSA.
- Be careful not to explain things that you do not understand about the department/UTSA
- Avoid long descriptions that are not focused.
- Do not finish your answer without relating your strengths to that of the department’s.
When you talk too much about either the department or yourself without relating both together, you miss a great opportunity to show how you will improve their team.
A good answer to this question could go something like this:
When I was carefully researching the department/UTSA, I found that it is precisely organized and focuses on meeting deadlines. It is the heart of marketing for the company. I have significant experience in marketing, and have completed five projects before their deadline in my previous jobs. Because of my past work, I have similar goals to the department/UTSA and would be a great asset to the department/UTSA.
When you answer this question carefully, the manager will see that you care about the job and are invested in obtaining it. The interviewer will also have specific evidence of how you would be an asset to the department/UTSA.