It's as common a question on the lips of science recruitment
professionals as it is among hiring teams in any other sector, and it takes
forms that can easily catch out the ill-prepared interviewee. You may be asked
what makes you the right fit for the position, why you are the best candidate
for the vacancy or what you would bring to the job - whatever, the gist is much
One of the first things that any applicant must realise
about this question is that they really must answer it from the employer's
perspective. It can be easy to effectively only answer why you would like the job - for example, because you have always had
an interest in biochemistry or R&D, need the money or would like to move to
wherever the role is based. These are not answers to the question of why the employer should hire you.
The frank truth is that a hiring manager does not really
care about the benefits to you of getting the job. They're much more concerned about
the risk to their position if they make a poor choice of hire, such as someone
who leaves the organisation prematurely or does not fit in well with their
colleagues or the company philosophy.
They are certainly interested, then, in your ability to do
the job to an exceptional standard, get on well with your colleagues and bring
to bear skills and experiences that make you stand out from the other
The information that
you must give
Therefore, by setting out an answer that clearly details
such factors as your industry experience, relevant past accomplishments, soft
skills, technical skills, education/training and/or awards/certifications, you
are making the hiring manager's professional life much easier.
When you communicate memorably and confidently that you
possess these traits that answer the employer's pain points, whether their
field is chemistry, molecular biology, immunology or something completely
different, they will be more confident to trust you with the role.
With this being only one of potentially many interview
questions, not all of the above parameters necessarily need to be included in
your answer. This question is a golden opportunity to sell yourself for your
dream clinical, biochemistry or pharmacology role. However, such 'selling' is
generally best done with just three or four powerful points - backed up with
easy-to-remember descriptions and/or examples - than with a quickly rifled-off
list of 12 strengths that you are unable to explain further.
The employer should be left in no doubt as to your unique
combination of relevant experience and skills. This question will not be your
only opportunity during the interview to make that clear - which is all the
more reason to provide well-selected highlights rather than the full catalogue
of your credentials.
However, it is so often a memorably convincing answer to
this, or any number of the aforementioned similar questions that separates
those who secure sought-after science jobs from those who don't. Good luck!