For some reason this question frightens a lot of people, but in my experience it was always one I looked forward to. It gives you the chance to clearly state your case, just like the closing argument in a trial. Rather than responding to something that perhaps you'd rather not focus on, or even talk about, it gives you the chance to steer the conversation in any direction you wish. That's a golden opportunity.
Below I've given a sample answer for this question, using the example of a store manager, but please remember that it's just an example. Your own ideal answer will come from many things including your work history and achievements, and the topics discussed in the interview you've just sat through. In other words, while it's good to practice and have some idea of how you might answer commonly asked questions, you can't stick to it like glue because what comes up in the actual interview might change how you should answer it.
There's also never just one way to answer a question. Interviewers, and interviewees, are human - not robots. What I might consider to be a strong answer to this question may not be the same for everyone else.
The purpose then is to give you something to think about - an outline or concept that you can keep in mind for your own job interviews. I hope it's helpful.
Before we wrap up I just have one final question. Why should we hire you? We have approximately 10 finalists for this position. What makes you the strongest candidate?
I feel I'm the strongest candidate because I truly believe everything in my career has led me to this point and prepared me for this position.
I'm sure you've received many resumes from highly experienced store managers who claim to be "results-driven" or "results-oriented." I don't make that claim anywhere on my resume because to me all it means is the person thinks about results on a regular basis. I don't just think about it. I produce results.
As you know, I have more than 15 years of progressive leadership experience in big-box stores, and in that time I've been promoted to higher-volume locations and more challenging assignments seven times by two different companies. Why? Because I deliver. Consistently.
You mentioned that this store has been struggling for the last year and needs a new voice. I have turned around three different stores in the last six years, including two that ranked last in the district before I arrived. I reversed sales declines in each location and I led each one to a spot in the top 10% in the region for comp sales.
You highlighted the fact that customer satisfaction has been an ongoing issue in this location. I took over a store that ranked last in the region on customer surveys and I drove it from 85th to 7th overall in just nine months. In fact, I've led every store I've ever managed to a spot in the top 25% company-wide for customer satisfaction.
You explained that payroll and inventory shrink have both been a concern in this store. I've taken over two stores in the same situation and brought both in line within six months. In one case, I drove the payroll percentage to 1st in the district, and in the other store I cut shrink in half from 3.4% to just 1.6%, well below budget.
You also mentioned that the district has struggled to build a leadership bench. In my role as district talent captain with my last employer, I partnered with the regional HR manager to recruit six high-potential assistant store managers from local colleges. I also developed and promoted three new store managers and eight co-managers internally for the district.
I've exceeded expectations in every position and I've been rated at the highest levels on every performance review. I don't just think about results, I deliver. I've done that for every company I've worked for and I am very confident I can do it for you.
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