What makes you stand out from the other candidates? 5 Answers

When you apply for a new job, it’s likely that you won’t be the only one. Unfortunately, job searching is a competition; you must constantly compete with others in order to win the ‘prize.’ In this case, the job in question. Employers want to know if they are hiring the right person for the job, and it all comes down to skills and what you can bring to the company. Employers want someone who can bring something new to the table, which is why they ask you this question. It can be phrased as ‘What distinguishes you from other candidates who have applied for this role?’ or ‘What makes you unique?’ Whatever way the interviewer phrase it, we have some tips on how to prepare for and respond to this common interview question.

Why do employers like to ask this question?

This question requires more than just listing your skills; there will be many candidates with the same skill set as you. This question focuses on what you value about yourself and how your personal experiences have helped you prepare for a role like the one you’re interviewing for.

This question is about you, not the other candidates. The wording of the question can sometimes make you nervous and cause you to doubt yourself. However, you will never meet the other candidates, so you are better off not overthinking it and focusing on yourself. Discuss what you are good at, what you can bring, and focus on the positives. It can be difficult to sell yourself, but employers want more than just your skills. So show some self-assurance and explain why you are the ideal candidate.

What steps do you take to prepare for this question?

The key to answering any interview question is to prepare ahead of time. Make sure you understand the job description and the company as a whole. This will help you understand what they value as a company and will make the conversation feel more natural. You won’t have to memorize an answer this way, and it will make you feel more at ease.

Read the job description – Always go over the key skills they’re looking for. They give you a template of what they expect from someone, so why not take advantage of it? Connect the skills described in the specification to your own personal skills and experience.

Back up your claims – When you mention a skill or something about yourself, make sure you explain why. The key to answering these questions is to use more than one word and to leave room for discussion. If you love their brand, explain why. If you say you’re highly motivated, explain why and how you got to where you are now.

What is valuable to you – It is important to highlight skills that you believe are valuable to the employer, but it is also important to discuss skills that you value in yourself. If you are honest and open about your personality and experience, the interview will feel less stressful. You will be spending a lot of time at work, so make sure you will be valued there.

What is your unique selling point? – Everyone has something that makes them stand out. Find and exploit your unique selling point. Do you have specialized work experience? Do you have any suggestions for the company or the role? Discuss this, as well as anything else you believe is important about your personality.

Highlighting Potential Skills

The beauty of popular interview questions, unless they are extremely specific, is that there is no correct or incorrect answer. Everything will be tailored to you, and the employer will value your input. When considering which skills to highlight, consider why you want the role as much as the skills listed on the job description. Some well-known examples are:

  • Organizational abilities
  • incredibly driven
  • I like the brand’s / company’s agenda.
  • Your experience – you may have extensive experience in this field.
  • Your enthusiasm for the industry

You also don’t have to make it difficult. You will almost certainly say something that another candidate has already said, but the important thing to remember is to explain yourself. You don’t have to be unique; all you have to do is want the role and be the one they’re looking for.

Answer examples

You believe in what the company stands for – “What distinguishes me from the other candidates applying for this position is the dedication I already have for the company.” I had wanted to work for this company for a long time, and when a position that suited me became available, I knew I had to apply. I’ve been researching this company and how you work as a team, and I believe I’d be a good fit here. My desire and motivation to work for this company while also expanding my knowledge and experience distinguishes me from the competition.”

Workplace motivation – “I would say my motivation to do well at work. I am very committed to my own professional development and will always give it my all every day at work. I believe that you get what you put into a job, and I’m ready to work for a reputable company in a role that I enjoy, ensuring my advancement here.”

Your experience – “My years of experience in this field of work set me apart.” Despite my many years of experience, there is always something new to learn. I take my time with my work, learn from it, and am determined to become a better person as a result of it. I have firsthand knowledge of the issues confronting the industry today, and I have ideas for how I can assist this company in resolving those issues.”

Athina Iliadis is a Human Resources Professional with over 25 years’ experience in corporate environments working for companies such as Pearson, LexisNexis, Hershey, and Reckitt. In her current role as a consultant working with clients around the world, she coaches managers and employees on HR issues, supports leaders in their business, produces content about careers, interviews, and job opportunities. She is fluent in English, French and Greek, and she holds a BBA with a major in HR from Université du Québec à Montréal. Find her on LinkedIn and at athinailiadis.com

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