How to Answer “What Can You Bring to the Team?” (+ Tips and Examples)

Nilda Melissa Diaz by Nilda Melissa Diaz, Career Advice Contributor Last Updated: November 02, 2022Rated 4.5/5 Stars

Employers look for candidates with the right qualifications and skills for their industry. If you’re that candidate, they need to know what sets you apart from other applicants with one question: So, what can you bring to the team?

If you’re not sure how to answer this, we got you. In this guide, we will focus on:

  • Why employees ask this question.
  • How to answer it.
  • Steps to take to find your answer.
  • Examples to inspire your answer.
  • Tips for answering “What can you bring to the team?

Why do potential employers ask, “What can you bring to the team?”

When employers decide to interview you, it means your resume made a good impression. It was effective in providing a snapshot of your career and skills. Yet, they need to know more about you and what you can contribute to the team.

“Just looking at the candidate’s resume won’t actually tell me if they are going to be a good fit. A relevant resume will get you an interview, but it’s not enough to get you the job,” says U.K.-based interview coach Margaret Buj.

“There are other people with similar qualifications to yours, so employers would be looking for someone who not just has relevant experience, but someone who is genuinely excited about the opportunity, someone who can talk about how they’ve made an impact in their previous/current role,” she says about answering, “What will you bring to the team?”

“When employers ask you that question, they want to determine if you possess the right skills and knowledge to be a valuable asset to the company and assimilate into the company culture,” she says.

According to Buj, they are trying to assess:

  • Are you a good match for the business?
  • Would you be a good long-term hire for the business?
  • How much do you know about our company?
  • Are you sufficiently interested in us to have researched us?
  • What do you think are your best skills and attributes?
  • What are your values? How good are your communication and influencing skills?”

How to answer “What can you bring to the team?”

Now that you know why potential employers ask the question let’s discuss how to answer it. To help frame your answer, ask yourself, “What can I bring to the team?” Then consider the following points when preparing your answer.

1. Are you a good match?

You got the interview. The company is interested in learning more about you. But, while the company might look perfect for you on paper, and vice versa, do you really click? You might possess the right hard skills for the position, but so do other candidates. Try an answer that connects with the core of the company.

“I never stop learning. I always seek to improve myself, my career, my hobbies and my life. As a startup company, I know you understand the importance of improving, bettering processes, seeking, accepting and acting on feedback.”

2. What do you think are your best skills and attributes?

Choose your strongest skills, the ones where your expertise resides. Be as specific as possible while keeping the company’s needs in mind. According to Margaret, “You need to also highlight how those attributes will apply to the position you are interviewing for. How you would apply your skills could be part of what makes you different.”

Margaret gives us an example

“My extensive experience in SaaS sales can help me lead the sales team to higher sales and better customer service.”

3. How much do you know about the company?

One of the key elements in a job search is researching the company and industry. Employers want to know if you understand what they do and how they work. Research the company and learn as much as possible. Then, use the knowledge in your answers to what would you bring to the team.

“As an artist and teacher, I can help guide your newest initiative, Art at Recess, that started last year. My experience in gallery exhibitions can streamline the event and even fundraise to fulfill other school commitments.”

4. What qualities do you bring to the team?

When discussing your qualities, bring your soft skills and values center stage through an example from a previous job.

“To help you show your value clearly, you should try to give examples of how you’ve demonstrated the skills an employer is looking for in your past jobs. Showcase your value through a story and use a STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Try to highlight your unique attributes and how they could help the team,” recommends Buj.

For example:

“I am a hard and dedicated worker. When I was with ABC Company, we had issues with   our systems. I would monitor these systems during our calm hours and catch the issue before it was too late.”

5. What skills can you bring to the team?

The interviewer has your skills in your resume. Yet they need to know how you can implement them. Provide examples of how you used the skills in previous positions or during your academic career. Remember to include how you can implement these skills in the workplace through issues you’ve learned about during your company’s research.

“As a customer service representative, I have excellent communication skills. I’ve noticed you serve a sizable Hispanic population, despite not having many Spanish speakers on staff. As a bicultural candidate, I can provide my skills in Spanish too.”

Relevant statistic

According to a survey by G2, the largest software marketplace, 79% of job seekers will consider a company’s mission statement before applying. Connecting your skills to the mission statement can highlight what you bring to the table.

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Answers to “What can you bring to the team” for top jobs

Need inspiration? Here are some example answers for “What can you bring to the team?” for your next job interview.

Accounting Manager
Experts in budgeting and financial reports, accounting managers must also possess excellent communication skills.

“I bring five years of experience in a highly competitive and stressful environment, where I succeeded above and beyond expectations. I will bring that same energy to this non-profit budget, payroll and financial reporting. I’ve been a donor for years and believe in the cause, which will translate to impeccable results.”

Nurse Practitioner
As patient care providers, nurse practitioners must assess and diagnose the patient’s condition and formulate a treatment plan. With their leadership, collaboration skills and commitment to quality and safety, NP have an important role in health care.

“More than my experience and knowledge, I will bring commitment to this hospital. For the past six years, you have seen my work as an RN in this same hospital in a different department. I want to continue connecting with patients and families while providing ethical and honest treatment.”

Teacher
With patience, creativity and flexibility, teachers can reach their students. Their engaging presence and commitment can create a great learning environment.

“I have to say I will bring creativity and cultural competency to this role. I have followed the school’s journey and seen it grow and prosper with the community’s help. I have spearheaded a cultural initiative at my school, which has improved our enrollment numbers.”

Customer Representative
Customer representatives often are the unofficial face and voice of a company. Their communication, attention to detail and conflict-resolving skills

“I have worked in different customer-facing roles while in retail. I bring an insurmountable amount of patience and creative conflict-solving skills. I can de-escalate a situation and find a resolution that benefits all parties, keeping the customer happy.”

Do’s and Don’ts when answering “What can you bring to the team?”

  • Learn about the company before arriving at the interview.
  • Rehearse your answer until you sound confident.
  • Keep it simple and honest.
  • Address company issues that you can approve.
  • Avoid preparing and learning about the company for the interview.
  • Use a long list of adjectives or industry-specific buzzwords.
  • Use a robotic tone and long-winded answers.
  • Use a generic answer that only takes you into consideration.

Tips for answering “What can you bring to the team” effectively

  • Thoroughly research the company. The best way to answer this question is by learning about what the company does and where it is failing. Then, you can combine it with your skills to create a great answer.
  • Use your uniqueness to your advantage. If you speak multiple languages and are meticulous to a fault, let those attributes set you apart.
  • Show your enthusiasm for the company. If you are excited about the opportunity, let it shine through your answers. The excitement combined with your skills and experience could set you apart from the competition.

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Answering “What can you bring to the team?”: Important Takeaways

  1. Research the company when preparing your application and before the interview.
  2. Rehearse your interview answers to avoid sounding rehearsed during your interview.
  3. Use confident and honest answers that connect with the company’s values.
  4. Show your value with examples from previous employment, volunteer work or education.
  5. Always keep in mind how you benefit the company, and use that to answer.

“What can you bring to the team?” FAQ

1.  How can I answer “What do you bring to the team?” if I have no experience?

Interview expert Margaret Buj says:

“If you have no or limited experience, use the research you’ve done about the company to show why you would be a good match. Think about:

  • Your enthusiasm for the profession and the employer and your desire to make an impact.
  • Your personal qualities, such as your drive and willingness to learn.
  • The skills the employer seeks and how you have demonstrated them in the past — your answer should show why you would be competent in the job.
  • Some of your achievements: what skills, values or behaviors do they illustrate? How could you use them for the company’s benefit?
  • The company’s values: do you share them? Have you got evidence that you do? Your values are essential because they will drive your behavior in the workplace.
  • If you’re a new graduate with a technical degree, what up-to-date knowledge can you bring from it?”

2.  How can I answer, “What do I bring to the team?” if I switch careers?

Your skills can be transferred to a new industry and used in a different way that still benefits a new employer. A retail employee moving to the hospitality industry will keep their customer service skills and the ability to work under pressure in a new environment.

According to expert Buj, “If you have work experience, but you’re changing careers, you would also want to explain how your unique skills apply to the position to provide context for the interviewer and show them how you add direct value to the team and the company.”

3. What skills should my resume include to highlight “What do I bring to the team?”?

The best skills to include in a resume are your strongest skills and the skills the employer seeks. Use the job description to tailor this skill section when applying for a new position. It answers the question, “what strengths do you bring to the team?”

The best way to customize or update a resume is by using our Resume Builder, with industry-specific suggestions, step-by-step guidance and expert-designed templates. You’ll be done in minutes.

4. Does a cover letter answer “what can you bring to the team?”

A cover letter expands on your resume. It can address a concern, talk about your skills and why you’re interested in the company. It can start to answer the question, “What values do you bring to the team?” which will help you land an interview.

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