The Question You Need to Be Able to Answer for Them |

In this video, I talk about the most important question you need to prepare for  . . . and you’ll never be asked it!

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I promised you a question that is really the most important question you need to be prepared to answer and you are never really going to be asked it. . . And I’ll prove my case in a second.

The question really is, “In a world of infinite choices and alternatives, why should you be chosen? Why should you be the one that they make the offer to and want to hire?”

Infinite possibilities? Have you ever gotten on a job board and search for something like yourself? Okay. You haven’t. Go to for a second. Pretend you are going to be searching for skill like yours specifically in your area. See how many people you turn up. There are a lot and if you don't want to use indeed, firm's are buying the LinkedIn database using LinkedIn Recruiter and they are searching their brains out to find people fill jobs.

Third-party recruiters are doing the same thing. But the employers are actually the one doing the hiring and that's the question that they have -- why should they choose you versus maybe that next person we haven't looked at yet? Why should we choose you?

You can start off (I have a video about this) but you can start off with your opening questions. For example, I always encourage people to start off the interview, the first call that you get, the first in-person interview you get, before they ask their first question, you thank them profusely for making time. Then, continue by saying, “I spoke with Jeff Altman (or I recall the ad) but I want to get your take on the role. Could you tell me about the job as you see it and what I can do to help?”

In this way, they define the role for you, instead of you sit passively there asking questions. Then, from there, once they start with “tell me about yourself,” here's the follow-up answer I want you to give. It's pretty traditional.

“I’ve been in the field there for X number of years. For the last few years, I’ve been working for so-and-so where I’ve been responsible for . . . “ You’ll will start to notice what they're doing is hearing the confirmation that caused you two get the interview and you are regurgitating a certain number of facts for them that they already know.

Then, you continue on, “but what makes me different than the other 27 people that you have already probably really spoken to, who have said much the same thing… or, you can say, “I'm sure you heard a lot of very talented people say similar things. But what makes me different is . . . “Now, you are in there selling personal qualities of yourself.

I don’t want you talking about being a team player. I'd rather have you talk about professional attributes that you have that tie in with what you have been told.

So, for example, they told a problem that they have in that answer to tell me about yourself or just in defining what the job is for you in answering that question earlier on. When you going into, “tell me about yourself, you can talk about what you've done that's been similar to what they need to have done.

So, you might say, “I know a lot of people will say similar things but what makes me different is in my current organization (or in my previous one) I dealt with a similar problem. I can’t say “identical” because I don't know all the nuances of your situation. But this wouldn’t be a new experience for me. This is something that I’ve attacked before and done it successfully. As a matter of fact, if we get to the point and I expect we will, where you want to check references, you will hear my references talk glowingly about what I did for the organization.”

So remember, you are always answering the question in a world of infinite choices or almost infinite choices, why should they choose you?


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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