“What makes you the best candidate?” is a lazy question and it also asks the candidate to dance and prance for the interviewer’s amusement — very distasteful.

What you definitely don’t want to do when you’re asked “What makes you the best candidate?” is to start listing your greatest virtues, like “I’m smart, I’m hard-working and I walk old ladies across the street!”

Here are three ways to answer this question without dancing or prancing:

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

Great question! How about if I tell you what I heard you’re looking for, and see whether I’m on the right track or not? That works? Okay, great. Well, it sounds like your Sales Administration department is growing because of the company’s growth and also because there are more metrics and indicators to keep track of.

It sounds like you’ve created this new role to keep your salespeople, sales managers and senior executives equipped with the data they need to make good decisions. I’ve been creating actionable sales reports since 2013 and helping executives use data to inform their business decisions. Are there other important aspects of the job I should address?

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

I can’t speak to the other candidates of course, but my take so far is that you’re very interested in getting someone on the team who knows how to create simple and powerful sales reports and teach managers and salespeople how to use data analysis in their job. Is that in the ballpark?

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

From what I’ve heard so far, it sounds like your managers are really coming up the curve with sales reporting and analytics, and you need someone to take your sales analysis to the next level. I’m excited about creating a suite of report your executives and salespeople can use to make well-informed decisions and stay on top of trends and problems. I’m very comfortable managing databases and generating reports, but also comfortable training managers and salespeople on using sales data in their jobs. What else would you say is important in this role?

Any time you cant turn a question-and-answer interview into a human conversation, do it! You will feel better and the interview will flow more smoothly that way. If you run into a hiring manager who will not go along with your efforts to humanize your interview, that’s a big red flag.

You have my permission to leave as many job interviews as it takes to find the manager who deserves your talents!

Special Thanks to Liz

‘Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace’