Interview Question: "What Can You Contribute To the Company?"

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 11 October 2022

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

During an interview, hiring managers often ask questions to assess how you can apply your skills and experience to benefit their organisation. When an interviewer asks about how you can contribute to a company, it's a good opportunity for you to help them get to know your strengths and talents through your own words. Preparing a response in advance can help you feel confident and present yourself and your previous work experience accurately to reflect your future at the company.

In this article, we discuss how to answer the interview question "what can you contribute to the company?" and include sample answers to help you plan your own.

Why do employers ask "What can you contribute to the company?"

Employers often choose to interview a job candidate based on their resume or skills, but the people they hire may also demonstrate an ability to fit into the company culture, get along with other employees and contribute value to the team once they join the organisation. A question like "what can you contribute to this company?" allows an interviewer to learn things like how you see yourself fitting in with the team, your personal approach to working with others, the strength of your work ethic and how you can be an asset in the job to produce quality work.

Along with evaluating your actual answer, an interviewer may also observe how comfortable you feel in delivering your response. They may look for a response that contains specific and measurable prior job successes and details that help them see how your work experience or personality can work in the position. Examples that support your statements are usually more powerful and help employers envision your impact on their team. Thinking about this question and your answer in advance can help you reflect on your career and identify prior responsibilities that show your contributions in previous positions.

Related: How To Prepare for an Interview

How to answer and describe how you may benefit the company

"What can you contribute to this company?" is a question that helps you expand on the facts you list in your CV with examples and specifics. To answer this question in the most meaningful way, consider the following approach:

1. Provide concrete examples from your past

Explain how you can contribute to a new team by describing how you supported success in your former positions. By discussing your accomplishments and discussing how you used your experience and knowledge to promote growth for past employers, you can show the hiring manager that you have a history of being a productive team member. Share specific instances where you made a lasting impact on your team, changed company operations in a positive way or supported the organisation's reputation.

For example, if your resume indicates that you managed a team for ongoing projects, you can describe the nature of one project, explain how many other employees were on your team and describe any specific successes, such as meeting product launch deadlines, internal company awards or sales figures. You might describe your management approach and hiring practices or how you assembled a thriving team of qualified professionals.

Related: Work Experience and Your Career: Definition, Importance and Tips

2. Discuss your skills

Your resume may list your skills, but your interview is an opportunity to expound on how you used those skills to bring value to the company. Consider a few of the primary skills that you want to use in your contributions to a professional environment. When deciding which skills to discuss, think about any unique abilities that distinguish you from other candidates and make you a unique asset to the organisation. Hiring managers often seek applicants who can contribute talents, experience and abilities that they don't already have on their team.

To highlight your skills thoroughly, mention one of your main characteristics, then explain how you applied that ability in your role to produce positive outcomes. Here are a few examples:

  • "One of my roles in human resources was to help facilitate problem-solving between conflicting co-workers, and I developed and trained all employees on a program with conflict resolution techniques. We had a lot of success in resolving some long-standing interpersonal problems."

  • "As a certified IT project manager, I have experience using a range of strategies completing complex updates on a strict schedule. I regularly conducted agile sprint sessions to identify solutions to bugs and release new updates as quickly as possible, resulting in a resolution rate for reported errors of under one week."

  • "One of my unique talents as a graphic designer is communicating with clients to understand their vision and explaining my perspective as a designer. I can help them understand the value of a professional design and negotiate a finished product with limited revisions, saving time for the company and helping the client feel satisfied."

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Demonstrate how your contributions fit the company

A hiring manager may assess if you researched the company where you're interviewing and that you have some knowledge of the company's culture and values, as well as understanding the specific job. Structure your answer to show that you understand how your skills fit the position and that you're able to contribute to the role. Discuss how your potential impact aligns with the company's mission to increase the quality and relevance of your answers.

By explaining that your actions and duties at the business support the organisation's overall purpose, you show the hiring manager that you have longevity and growth potential in the role. For example, if you believe you have excellent customer service skills and you learned that the company takes great pride in its product warranties and 24-hour customer service access, explain how your previous experience trained you to work in similar environments.

Related: What Is Work Culture?

4. Support your answers with data

If your job experience includes statistics and evidence you can cite to demonstrate your past performance, it can be a useful way to show a hiring manager measurable ways you have contributed in past roles. Stats like your sales figures, how you implemented improvements to a process or met deadlines show the specific ways you can benefit your potential employer. Using data in your answer proves that you met previous goals and also shows the exact extent of your success.

For example, you can explain that you updated a filing system and reduced the amount of time you spent on data entry by 10%. If your intervention helped a company earn money or become more efficient, mention the specific amount that you produced or saved to impress the interviewer.

5. Describe actionable goals

Another way to explain your potential contributions is to discuss your vision for your goals if you do start working in the role. Describe a few actionable goals that you want to achieve if the interviewer hires you for the position. Before the interview, review the job description and think about some specific initiatives you want to implement in the position to improve operations and refine the role's workflow. Discuss some of your ideas, how you plan to accomplish them and the results you expect from this project.

Sharing your thoughts for the role during the interview can give the interviewer an idea of your plans for the position, showcase your ambition and indicate that you have the planning and commitment to make a significant impact. Even if you work on different projects in the actual role, starting the discussion in the interview can be a useful way to display your ideas for making an impact.

Related: Career Goals: Definition, How-To and Examples

Example answers

Here are a few sample responses to show different ways you can answer questions about the ways you contribute to an organisation in different roles:

Account manager

Here's a sample answer from an account manager:

"I'm excellent at maintaining relationships with clients, building constant communication and anticipating their needs by connecting them with relevant services. By proactively reaching out to my accounts and asking for feedback about how I can provide better support, I increased client account retention by 15% from the time I entered my most recent role to now.

In this position, i hope to use my interpersonal skills to implement a similar system for tracking and improving account relations. One idea I want to try is creating an automated spreadsheet database that creates alert reminders for communicating with accounts at different phases in the onboarding and renewal process for services."

Salesperson

Here's a sample answer from a sales professional:

"As a salesperson, I pride myself on contributing to a team-oriented environment while still being accountable for my individual success. I interface with my peers to both share my own insights and learn strategies from others to improve my sales techniques. I consistently exceed my sales targets in my current position, so in this role I look forward to being one of the top salespeople to increase profits for the company."

Accountant

Here's a sample answer from an accountant:

"Reviewing and analysing data to improve financial systems is my passion. I'm skilled in project management and developing organisational systems, which makes it easy for me to find inefficiencies to save money. I look forward to finding the best accounting software systems to meet this company's needs using my extensive industry knowledge."

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