Interview Q&A: What Ways Do You Think You Can Make A Contribution To Our Company?

Gabriela Hernandez
by Gabriela Hernandez   CPRW, Career Advice Expert 
Last Updated: May 22, 2023 
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In today’s competitive job market, you’ve got to well-prepared for any curveball question thrown at you in the interview process. One question that often stumps candidates is, “In what ways can you contribute to our company?” Candidates often just focus on their skills and qualifications or what they acheived in the past, however, many employers want to see how you implement these skills to come up with solutions.

To help you better answer this interview question, we’ve written this article that focuses on:

  • exploring why employers pose this question
  • providing strategies to answer it effectively
  • examples of strong responses to this question
  • and highlighting common mistakes to avoid

Understanding the purpose behind this inquiry and crafting thoughtful responses can increase your chances of impressing potential employers and securing your desired position.

Why employers ask this question

When interviewers ask, “What ways do you think you can contribute to our company?” they want to see beyond the nice list of achievements and see how you work in action. Understanding why employers ask this question is essential for crafting an adequate response. Here are some key reasons behind this inquiry:

Assessing alignment

Employers want to ensure your skills, career goals and work experience align with the company’s mission. They want to pinpoint candidates that don’t just want a job, they want this specific position for a reason. Asking this question helps them determine if you’ve done your research about the company to determine if it’s a right fit for you.

Evaluating problem-solving Skills

This question also allows employers to assess your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. They’re interested in candidates who can identify challenges within the company and propose practical solutions. Providing a well-thought-out response shows that you’re a quick thinker, but also have a framework for approaching and solving problems.

Assessing initiative and proactivity

Employers seek proactive candidates who take the initiative and go beyond their assigned tasks. This question gives them insights into your ambition level and willingness to take on additional responsibilities. They want to determine if you are someone who can identify opportunities for improvement and take action to drive positive change.

Cultural fit

Company culture plays a significant role in employee satisfaction and overall organizational success. Employers want candidates who will transition smoothly into the role but also mesh well with the existing team. By asking this question, they can assess if your values, work style, and personality align with the company’s culture.

By understanding the underlying motivations for this question, you can modify your response to address the employer’s concerns effectively. The following section will delve into strategies to answer this question confidently and showcase your value to the company.

How to answer this question

Crafting a compelling response to the question, “What ways do you think you can contribute to our company?” requires thoughtful preparation. These strategies will help you answer this question effectively:

  • Research the company

    Before the interview, thoroughly research the company’s values, mission, products or services and recent achievements. Doing this research will help you identify your similarities and feature these in your interview answers.

  • Identify your strengths

    Reflect on your skills, experiences, and achievements that align with the company’s needs. Think about the qualifications you know set you apart from other candidates, whether it’s your technical expertise, leadership experience or superb interpersonal skills.

  • Be specific and relevant

    Provide concrete examples of ways you can contribute to the company. Focus on the skills and qualities most relevant to the role and highlight how they can add value. For instance, if the company emphasizes innovation, mention your ability to generate and implement creative ideas.

  • Connect your contributions to company goals

    Showcase how your contributions can help the company achieve its objectives. Demonstrate your understanding of the company’s challenges and offer solutions or strategies that align with its mission. This demonstrates your commitment to making a tangible impact.

  • Highlight past successes

    Share accomplishments from your previous roles that demonstrate your ability to contribute to a company’s success. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses and provide specific details about the positive outcomes you achieved.

  • Emphasize teamwork and collaboration

    Companies value candidates that work well in a team environment. Highlight your ability to collaborate with colleagues, communicate effectively and add to a harmonious work culture. Employers want to be confident that you bring synergy to the team and foster productive working relationships.

  • Show enthusiasm and passion

    Convey your genuine interest in the company and the role you’re applying for. Share exactly why you’re passionate about this industry and what you want to achieve in your career. A passionate and motivated attitude can leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Practice your response beforehand to ensure you deliver it confidently and concisely. By following these strategies, you can showcase your value to the company and leave a strong impression during the interview. The following section will provide examples of effective answers to inspire your response.

Sample answers by job title

Marketing Manager

“I believe my strong analytical skills and experience in data-driven marketing strategies can significantly contribute to your company. By leveraging my market research and data analysis expertise, I can identify untapped market segments, develop targeted campaigns, and optimize marketing efforts to drive customer acquisition and retention. Additionally, my proficiency in digital marketing platforms and social media advertising can help increase brand visibility and engagement, ultimately enhancing the company’s overall marketing effectiveness.”

Sales Manager

“With my proven track record in exceeding sales targets and building strong client relationships, I am confident I can contribute to your company’s sales growth. Through my consultative approach and persuasive communication skills, I can identify customer needs, tailor solutions to address their pain points, and close deals effectively. Furthermore, my experience in account management and upselling strategies can drive revenue expansion and foster long-term customer loyalty, ensuring a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.”

Project Manager

“As an experienced project manager, I can contribute to your company by successfully leading cross-functional teams and delivering projects timely and staying inside the budget. My leadership abilites and listening skills allow me to mitigate risks and ensure smooth project execution to achieve desired outcomes. Additionally, my expertise in implementing project management methodologies, such as Agile or Six Sigma, can enhance efficiency and productivity, enabling the company to meet its strategic goals more effectively.”

Software Engineer

“With my technical expertise and strong problem-solving skills, I’m confident I can contribute significantly to you team. As an expert in various programming languages and software development frameworks, I can design and develop applications that satisfy your wide range of users. I’m also adept at collaborating with multiple teams and professionals. I have a track record of contributing to efficient code reviews, and implementing best practices to ensure high-quality software deliverables. My commitment to staying updated with emerging technologies will enable me to drive innovation and help the company stay ahead in a rapidly evolving tech landscape.”

These examples demonstrate how candidates can tailor their responses to showcase their relevant skills, experiences, and contributions for different job roles. Remember to customize your answers based on the specific requirements and goals of the company and position you are applying for.

Mistakes to avoid

While preparing for this question, it is equally essential to be aware of candidates’ common mistakes when responding. Avoiding these pitfalls will help you deliver a more effective and impactful answer. Here are some mistakes you should avoid:

Vague or generic responses: Providing vague or generic answers can give the impression that you have yet to think much into your response. Avoid using clichéd phrases or general statements that could apply to any job. Instead, be specific and provide concrete examples highlighting your unique skills and experiences.

Overemphasis on personal goals: While showcasing your aspirations and career development is essential, be cautious about focusing on something other than what the company can do for you. Strike a balance by demonstrating how your goals align with the company’s objectives and how your contributions can drive its success.

Lack of research: Failing to research the company thoroughly can lead to generic answers and missed opportunities. Avoid making this mistake by familiarizing yourself with the company’s industry, values, recent news, and competitors. Incorporate this knowledge into your response to demonstrate your genuine interest and understanding of the organization.

Neglecting to highlight transferable skills: Even if you don’t possess direct experience in the industry or job role, emphasize transferable skills that can still make a valuable contribution. For example, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and leadership are valuable skills to have for every job. You should emphasize them to showcase your potential impact.

Disregarding the company’s culture: Cultural fit is crucial for long-term success within an organization. Failing to align your response with the company’s values, work environment, and team dynamics can raise concerns about your compatibility. Incorporate elements of the company’s culture into your answer to demonstrate how you will contribute positively to the team and its dynamics.

Overpromising or exaggerating: While showcasing your strengths and achievements is vital, avoid overpromising or exaggerating your abilities. Be truthful about your skills and experiences and provide examples demonstrating your capabilities. Honesty and authenticity are essential for building trust with the interviewer.

Lack of confidence: Delivering your response with confidence and enthusiasm is crucial. Avoid speaking hesitantly or uncertainly, as it can undermine the impact of your answer. Projecting confidence and belief in your abilities will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can present a well-prepared and compelling response that showcases your value to the company. The following section will conclude the article and summarize the key points discussed.

In conclusion, understanding the purpose behind the interview question, “What ways do you think you can contribute to our company?” is crucial for job search success. By recognizing why employers ask this question and implementing effective strategies in your response, you can differentiate yourself as a candidate who genuinely aligns with the company’s goals and can make a significant impact.

While you embark on your job search journey, remember the importance of continuously updating your resume to showcase your most relevant skills and experiences. If you need help crafting a professional and impactful resume, use our Resume Builder, which offers templates and pre-written content to help you stand out from the competition. Best of luck in your interviews and making meaningful contributions to your future employer’s success!

 

About the Author

CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez CPRW, Career Advice Expert

Gabriela Hernandez is one of LiveCareer's resident writers. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Journalism. Throughout her career, she has tackled copywriting, blog articles, journalistic writing, academic writing, resume writing, and even prose and verse.

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