3 Answers To “What Can You Contribute To The Company?”

Interviewers love to ask open-ended questions like this. It gives them the opportunity to make you think creatively and think on your feet. This is a valuable way for them to learn about your experience levels.

Those with a heavy amount of experience will know how to answer this question effectively and with precise detail. But candidates with lesser than experience might have issues answering.

Let’s go through exactly how you can sound like an experienced professional and what you might want to answer with when the interviewer says, “What can you contribute to this company?”

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How To Create The Best Answer

The best answer to this question starts by understanding what department you are part of and what flaws most departments have. For example, if you are part of the marketing department, a frequent flaw is that the marketing department doesn’t get enough assistance from the product or technology departments.

Knowing the frequent management flaws of the department you are part of can help you position yourself in a positive way. Usually by mentioning these flaws and how you might be able to assist with them.

Another example is if you are part of the sales department. A frequent flaw is that the sales department doesn’t bring enough information back to the leadership team. This information is regarding what is and is not selling. That is very useful information for executive leadership. Your positioning to this frequent flaw would be something along the lines of, “Heavily reporting on customer feedback.”

Frequent Flaws You Can Use For Your Answer

To give you a starting point, here are some frequent flaws by department that might help you to determine where to position yourself.

Marketing Departments:

  • Lacking collaboration with other departments.
  • Lacking the ability to control budget.
  • Lacking the ability to attribute conversions with paid advertising.

Sales Departments:

  • Lacking coordination of sales efforts.
  • Lacking creative abilities to produce leads.
  • Lacking reporting.

Product & Engineering Departments:

  • Lacking cross-team communication.
  • Lacking proper delivery times.
  • Lacking inside team communication.

Leadership Departments:

  • Lacking leadership team collaboration.
  • Lacking leadership team communication.
  • Lacking leadership team planning.

While there are many more, this gives you some type of starting point by most environments.

3 Example Answers To “What Can You Bring To The Company?”

Using our idea above to bring up frequent flaws within departments, we can position our own abilities to match that. In this way, we’re hoping that the interviewer resonates with our response and says to themselves, “Yes, this is a problem we have and I appreciate that you can help with it.”

Example one

“I feel like most marketing departments lack the ability to properly attribute their conversions of digital marketing campaigns. I’m fairly skilled at understanding attribution. It’s a passion of mine. This is something I can bring to the company and bring to the team.”

Example two

“Most sales teams lack the ability to collaborate with one another, causing inefficiency in terms of the sales process as a whole. They often step on each other's toes accidentally. I can absolutely help to ensure that this doesn’t occur when I join. I love sales management.”

Example three

“Leadership teams don’t often communicate enough. This is because they're usually too busy trying to push the business forward, rightfully so. One thing I can bring to the table is ensuring that the team meets on a regular basis to collaborate, coordinate and plan efforts. This makes sure that no time is wasted and our efforts are unified.”

How You Can Go Above And Beyond

If you can, use statistics or your previous track record of success to support your answer. This isn’t going to be easy considering you’ll want to answer this question in under 90 seconds. But if you can, bring up a STAR setting. This will makes sure that you don’t rely on the interviewer to trust that the strengths you are bringing to the company are true.

Avoid These Types Of Answers

If you can, avoid answers that seem defensive. Most interviewees feel as though this question is attacking them or testing them. Which isn’t the case. Avoid answers that seem as though you need to defend your abilities. Remember that the interviewer doesn’t entirely know who you are, yet. You’ll need to rely on your verbal communication skills.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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