How many times have you been bombarded with the question: Why should we hire you?
Maybe once or maybe multiple times. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but in many cases, your answer to this one question plays a key role in helping you bag the job.
Employers ask this question at almost every interview to check the applicant's analytical and negotiation abilities. Eventually, the person with the best answer gets the job.
But what is the best answer?
Applicants around the world have written blogs and articles, career experts have advised how to handle such situations, but the answer has always remained a mystery.
To shed light on this, The Business Standard reached out to some of the country's top CEOs to explain how they would answer if they were asked the question as an entry-level professional.
"I am digital-minded"
MAHTAB UDDIN AHMED, CEO, ROBI
"My answer would be that I am digital-minded," said Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, the CEO of Robi Axiata Limited. Mahtab became the CEO of Robi Axiata Limited in 2016. Before becoming the CEO, he was Robi's COO and CFO .
"If I were a fresh graduate and an entry-level applicant at Robi now, I would say that I am a digital-minded person and it is my biggest asset," the CEO detailed.
Earlier, Mahtab worked with Unilever for seventeen years.
"Robi is transforming and is always on the lookout for young, energetic and digital-minded people," he said, adding that digital-minded essentially means that the applicant must be tech-friendly.
"Along with being digital-minded, it's also necessary to be a problem-solver," Mahtab said.
He added that there will be thousands of problems every day, but there aren't enough people to solve the problems.
"So, I would put myself forward as a problem-solver and critical thinker. Most importantly, I would say I am a positive-minded person, something that is essential for an entry-level role," he further said.
The Harvard Alumni also said being dedicated and honest towards work is also important in the role, but showcasing the technical knowledge adds an extra point for getting the desired job.
"I will bring diversity, leadership and entrepreneurship"
SHEHZAD MUNIM, MD, BAT
Shehzad Munim - the first Bangladeshi managing director of British American Tobacco (BAT), Bangladesh focused on diversity, leadership and entrepreneur-mindedness.
"I will bring diversity, leadership and entrepreneurship to this organisation," Shehzad Munim answered.
"I have graduated from the country's best business school and besides giving me the degree, the Institute of Business Administration at Dhaka University also trained me to be a next generation leader," he said.
"I grew up in Dhaka, but spent a year in a North Bengal school. I am well-travelled, especially in North Bengal, and I think this has allowed me to meet and be with diverse people. Also, in IBA, each pupil came from a different background and while making assignments, presentations and projects together, I got to interact with almost all of them. This will help me in my field. That is marketing," he said.
Shehzad joined BAT as a territory officer back in 1997. Over the years, he has climbed up the ladder through his professionalism, leadership and skills.
"I would also like to add that for a territory officer's post, leadership skills are a must. I am a good leader," he said, adding that he was the captain of his university's cricket team and led his team during tournaments.
"I believe that my people management skills are extraordinary and it will help me in leading a team," he said confidently.
"I would also like to add that every business needs an entrepreneurship spirit to run successfully. I have the spirit," Shehzad said.
As the conversation came to an end, Shehzad said that every small experience counts, and therefore the candidate must confidently point to all the real work experiences to master the interview like a pro.
Shehzad Munim made it clear that diversity, leadership and entrepreneurship are the key elements for answering this difficult question.
"I am passionate about empowering people"
KSM MINHAJ, CEO, UCCL
IBA alumni and the recently appointed CEO of Unilever Consumer Care Limited, KSM Minhaj, said, "My answer would be that I am passionate about empowering people. "
Minhaj started his career with Unilever in 2006. In the last 14 years, he has held many positions in the organisation.
"I am a strong believer in teamwork and joint effort. I am a people person and a lifelong learner. I hold the mentality to learn and excel together. I believe if someone holds the right attitude and curiosity to learn, the organisation will prepare them to acquire the required skills," Minhaj said.
"During my days at IBA, I made many group projects, which taught me to be a team player. Also, I have been active in sports so I know how to handle a team and win or lose together," he said.
Minhaj went on to say that he chose Unilever because of the organisational values and its drive to create an impact in the community.
Minhaj has always stayed true to himself and researched the company before attending the interview. From his answer, he pointed towards having the right attitude and learning mentality – two key elements that every entry level professional must own.
"I am a hard worker and quick learner"
ADNAN IMTIAZ HALIM, CEO, SHEBA
Adnan Imtiaz Halim, the CEO of Sheba Platform Limited, took a more practical approach. He said, "I would say that I am a hard worker and quick learner. I come from a family where we practice honesty and very high integrity."
Adnan started his career in 2005 before graduating from engineering school.
He said, "I have always strived to create an impact through my work and be a change-maker." His positive attitude and self-motivation helped him ace many interviews over the years .
"I always look for impact and purpose. Who will benefit from my work? What impact will my work have and how will it solve the problems in question? Because if I have no purpose, then everything becomes pointless," he added.
During the conversation, Adnan spoke about his passion and power - to be a changemaker and accepting failures. He also talked about being consistent and disciplined, which are important assets for working at start-ups.
"I want to take the company to the top"
TANVIR A MISHUK, MD, NAGAD
Tanvir A Mishuk, the managing director of mobile financial company Nagad, took a very ambitious approach and tailored his answer with research and data.
"I want to take the company to the top," he said, adding that he will focus on the failures in the current practices and innovate ways to make things better.
"There is always a scope to do better. I want to join the company to fill in all the
lackings and make things better," said the marketing expert.
"I have strong negotiation skills and that is an asset for any marketer," he added .
Mishuk continued, "See, I want to approach the market not as a seller, but as an advertiser. A seller would go and approach people to buy a product, but an advertiser would just point at it in a way that the buyer would pick up the product. "
"I have strong communication skills, a fire to work and most importantly, the drive to achieve the unachievable," Mishuk said. He considers his analytical skills and problem-solving capacities as his biggest assets.
"If you are on the lookout for someone ready to redefine the heights of your entrepreneurial dream with a further extension to it and bring you profit alongside, I am the one you are looking for," Mishuk said.
Mishuk pointed out his extracurricular activities during University days and innovative approach as his assets.
"I want to push the boundaries"
EMRAN HASAN, CEO, SHANTA ASSET
Emran Hasan, the chief executive officer of Shanta Asset Management Limited, said, "I want to push the boundaries and take the company to the next level."
"My strengths include looking forward and a change-maker's attitude for the betterment of the company," he added.
Emran said that businesses are changing and so are the ways people do business. "It's good to know what others are doing but it's not enough. Rather, we need to welcome positive changes to stand out as an exceptional performer. As times change, we also change and our ways to do business also transforms," he continued.
Emran also pointed out that he is a very well-focused person, which is very essential for a professional - especially during the early days of one's career when they are learning a lot of new things.
Emran advised, "To achieve something extraordinary, we need to know our goal and find out exactly where we should focus to reach that goal."
From Emran, newbies can learn that they need to keep growing and evolving because what brought them here, won't take them there.