Recruiters and hiring managers often receive hundreds of applications per job. If you are lucky enough to land an interview, make some effort to conduct research on the opportunity. You don't need to be an expert, but you do need to be knowledgeable on the company before your interview.
Start by searching the company website and take special note of any recent news articles, events or contributions they have made to the community. Identify their mission and values so that you can be clear on what they stand for.
"Your company mission of excellent customer service and loyalty really jumps out to me. It is probably why you are the longest standing business of all your competitors. I also love that you are working to make your office green by recycling and minimizing energy costs."
"I have researched your organization a great deal and see that you recently earned the 'XYZ Award' for industry innovation. You had a lot of competition when it comes to winning this award so it tells me that your team is incredibly dedicated and focused."
"I did some internet research before coming in today. I saw that you are expanding existing business into South America. Expansion is a good sign."
Sales answer example
"I have been looking for a high-growth startup for quite a while and GHI is exactly what I've been searching for: you value your people and have an awesome culture centered around achievement, growth, and accountability, and you are disrupting an industry that needs some shaking up and you have science that is allowing that disruption. Honestly, the energy in here is contagious, which only make me even more excited about the opportunity."
Retail answer example
"I know that, without a doubt, you are the industry leader, both in thought leadership as well as sales. Not to mention footprint. I know that this is my dream job in my dream company, and I have been working my entire career up to this point to get me ready to take the next step with your organization. I love that you heavily educate, train, and promote from within, and that your average tenure of full-time employees is over a decade. That is something to really be proud of, and something I value in my next employer."
Teacher answer example
"I know that your district is a leading district in the state both for test scores, as well as one of the best places to work. I live in the community and send my kids to these schools, so I know first hand how great the district is. I grew up here and I like to think that I am a great representation of all the good teaching that goes on in the district, too- ha!"
Marketing answer example
"I know that you are totally shaking up a commodity that is so beloved worldwide but barely consumed in the US, and you're working to make it accessible, understandable, and affordable, which I think is so great. The three pronged tagline really hits your value prop home and resonates with me as a millennial consumer of tea. As I mentioned, I've been a customer for a few years now, and so I believe I have an additional something to add now if I were brought onto the marketing effort."