Missed the IEUK deadline? Apply to On Demand

Can’t attend IEUK’s live experience or missed the deadline? No worries! You can still participate with On Demand. Access recorded sessions and work samples in your chosen sector, and complete the experience at your own pace over two weeks. Apply by 26th June.

How to answer "What can you bring to the company"

Book open Reading time: 6 mins

One of the most difficult questions in an interview is "What can you bring to the company?"— especially if you're early on in your career. It can be hard to know exactly what you can bring to an organisation other than saying that you'll do the job they hired you for. However, there are better ways to answer this question and show that you will be a great person for them to hire. Let's look at what employers are really asking when they ask this, as well as our "what can you bring to the company?" sample answer selection to get you started.

Understanding the question “What can you bring to the company?”

While it might seem like this question is answered by your CV and cover letter, hiring managers tend to ask this because they want to hear directly from you about what you can offer the company. Plus, they are also really asking other questions, such as:

  • Have you researched the company and know what we're about?
  • How good is your communication?
  • Are you better than the other candidates?
  • Do you have long-term plans with this company?
  • What do you think are your best skills?
  • What values do you hold?

As you can see, there's a lot going on when they ask this relatively short question, so it's important to get your answer right.

Become part of the network that will help you smash your interviews

Ready to become an interview pro? Join the UK's number-one graduate careers network and get exclusive access to jobs, events, networking opportunities, advice and more. 

How to prepare for the interview question “What can you bring to the company?”

Since this is an important question that you'll almost certainly be asked, it's vital to properly prepare your answer. The top steps for preparing your response are:

  • Research the company - A first important step is to research the company's history and look on its website to find out more about it. All of this shows you know where the company is going and can clue you in on what they will expect people to bring to the team. Do they want people with fresh new ideas? Do they focus on customer service? All of this information can help.
  • Find out about the company's social responsibility outreach - This means looking at what the company does that's beneficial to the world around them. Do they focus on a particular type of charity? Do they try to lessen emissions? This can tell you a lot about the company's values.
  • Check the job description - The job advert will mention most of what you'll be doing in your day-to-day working life, so it's important to show what you can bring to your job role. Try to also think beyond this. Think about what you could bring to the company in the long term, and how you can help the company grow by growing your job role.
  • Work out your core beliefs - Once you know what motivates you and what your own goals are, you can more easily see how you and the company will mesh together.
  • Practice talking about yourself confidently - This is a part of the interview where you are really trying to sell yourself, so you need to be confident. That doesn't mean you should be arrogant, but you should be comfortable stating why you are a good choice for the company.

Best sample answers to the “What can you bring to the company?” question

So, now that you've researched your company and know what you can bring to the role, it's time to figure out how to communicate this to the interviewer. This can be hard to figure out, so here are some great examples of what to say. Obviously, these might not be exactly accurate for you and the job role you're applying for, so you'll want to tailor these and make them your own.

Sample answer 1 - Skills

"Throughout my studies, I have become fluent in multiple coding languages such as C++ and Java, meaning I can easily handle the requirements of this role. I have also studied extensively in my own time and have experience working with networking and Kali, which means that I can help on a wide range of projects and come up with solutions that other programmers might not think of."

This is a good answer because it shows that you have abilities and skills above and beyond what they are expecting from candidates for this job role. Plus, it explains why this is a good thing.

Sample answer 2 - Stats and figures

"I know that your company handles multiple different large accounts. In my last role, I helped to lay the groundwork to win us a major contract worth over £2 million, and I handled all the interactions with the client. The clients even said that they were extremely happy with my communication with them. I would bring all these skills to this role and could help you land more accounts."

This answer uses a specific example with statistics to back up what you are saying. It's important to note how it comes back around to what you can bring to the company at the end — it's no good just stating past successes without linking them to your future with a new company.

Sample answer 3 - Long term

"I am always trying to find ways to improve things for my company. In my last testing role, I suggested a new testing procedure to my managers, which helped streamline the process. This saved the company around ten man-hours per week. For a company as big as this, I know revitalisation is important to keep you at the forefront of the market, and I want to be a driving force for that in my team."

This is a great example, as it shows that you have plans to do more than just fulfil your job requirements and nothing else. This shows how you would be beneficial to the company in the longer term.

Sample answer 4 - Training

"I understand you have an extensive range of training opportunities for employees, and I would like to learn what skills are most needed in my team so that I can train further and become a more helpful figure in my department."

It's okay to admit you aren't perfect, but this answer shows that you are willing to improve for your company, and it suggests that you see a long future in this job.

Learn how to ace your interviews with Bright Network Academy

Ready to smash your interviews? Learn from top employers on how to stand out during the interview process. 

What not to answer

Everyone has different skills and competencies that they can bring to a company, so there are very few wrong answers here. However, there are some pitfalls to avoid. Here are the most common mistakes people make when trying to answer "What can you bring to the company?":

  • Being vague - Everyone has something to bring to a company. Yes, everyone. Even if you think you aren't better than other candidates, you need to sell yourself here. Don't be vague, be sure to mention some specific things you know you'd do right.
  • Focusing only on the job description - Yes, you need to say how you'll meet the job specification. However, you don't want to make it seem like you only just meet the criteria. Remember to mention some things that are focused on looking forward towards later growth for the company.
  • Being too arrogant - You are here to sell yourself, but you need to avoid sounding too arrogant. Projects are almost always a joint effort, so don't try to take the glory for your entire team's success (unless it really was all your work, in which case you should explain how). Companies want to know you'll work well with the existing employees, so being a lone wolf can be a negative.

To sum up

"What can you bring to the company?" is a common question in interviews, and it can be intimidating if you haven't prepared enough. It's important to research the company beforehand and think about how you meet what they are looking for, not just now, but in the future as well. Remember that you need to really sell yourself here, so be confident and show specific examples of how you can help them, but avoid being arrogant.

Looking for more interview preparation help? We've got great guidelines on graduate interview questions, including: