It is common for hiring managers to ask, “What makes you unique?” during job interviews. An accurate answer to this can help you. In this article, you’ll find incredible answers to this question.
When looking for a job, many of your abilities and personality qualities are likely to overlap with those of other candidates applying for the same position. However, you have certain skills and qualities that no one else has.
Employers may ask the classic interview question, “What makes you unique?” to determine what distinguishes you from other experts in your field.
We will examine some incredible answers to this question and the best way to go around it.
Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Makes You Unique?”
Interviewers typically ask this question in order to assess the competencies and skills that make you a good fit for the position you’re looking for.
1. To Highlight Your Best Skills
“What makes you unique?” truly means “What traits, skills, and experiences distinguish you as the greatest applicant for this job?”
Employers are encouraging you to boast about yourself and your unique traits, as well as tell them what sets you apart from other graduate applicants, by asking this question.
This is your opportunity to list the qualities that distinguish you as the best candidate.
Consider one or two unique characteristics which could include specific abilities, qualifications, volunteer work, or professional experience. Ones that you understand not every candidate will possess.
The person conducting the interview wants to hear why you are the best candidate for the job. Because you’re being interviewed, they already think you’d be a good fit.
It’s your responsibility to convince them that you’re the best and most likely the only candidate for the position. That implies you must distinguish yourself from the other candidates they’ve interviewed.
When hiring managers and recruiters ask questions, they want to know what you can bring to the job and why you’d be a better fit than another candidate.
2. To Assess Your Creativity
Managers often use this interview question to assess your ability to think on your feet.
Coming up with a “one-of-a-kind” response to the question will show them that you can be innovative with why you are the best applicant for the position.
This is a popular question that might be difficult to answer. That is why recruiting managers inquire about it. It’s a question that usually knocks folks off guard.
You know they’ll inquire about your strengths and weaknesses. But did you expect them to ask what makes you special?
3. To See if You’ve Researched the Position.
As an applicant, this is a very important step in your job search.
How much you fully understand the job and the skills will reveal the firm and attributes you choose to discuss in response to the interview question “What makes you unique?”
If your response is utterly irrelevant (for example, in a graduate finance job interview, you talk about your artistic skills).
This will be suggesting to the employer that you know little about the job function and are therefore unlikely to be a good fit.
Essentially, they’re providing you a chance to stand out among the thousands of other professionals who have applied for a certain position.
Employers frequently use this question to assess what you appreciate most about yourself, besides identifying what sets you distinct.
The qualities you emphasize in your response may imply soft skills or crucial attributes that would be helpful in the role you’re interviewing for.
4. To Determine Your Personality
What answer would you offer on the spur of the moment? Is your response a reflection of your personality? Perhaps you’ve come up with a strange quirk or a fascinating activity.
While those qualities are admirable, they are not what the interviewer seeks. This is a character interview question that might reveal not only more about you but also what you value in yourself.
What you find interesting about yourself reveals a lot about how you’ll behave as an employee and colleague.
Rather than trying to compare yourself to others, focus on the qualities that are most crucial for the job. Assess the job description to adapt your response to what the company finds most compelling.
Furthermore, provide a mix of soft skills and hard skills for which you are praised or awarded periodically.
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What Hiring Managers Really Want to Understand
When being asked this question, the hiring manager really wants to understand your unique skills.
When hiring managers talk about your unique quality and skill, they mean skills that aren’t typical among similar candidates.
Then there are soft skills and personality attributes that are something unique but can still profit the organization.
After being presented with this interview question, two distinct characteristics spring to mind. The first is your unwavering commitment to perfection and meeting deadlines.
The next is your outstanding interpersonal abilities. Especially considering you’ll be working with a small group.
Mentioning your people skills and talents if you don’t have a consumer or client base may not be worth it. Your commitment to deadlines may also appear to be more related to the firm and position.
The employer is looking for proof of abilities and soft skills that you may not have listed on your resume or application but that will help you succeed on the job.
They often ask these types of questions to see if you’re a good fit for the position, but they can also see if you’re compatible with the company’s culture.
The hiring manager/ interviewer is looking for evidence that you’re not only qualified for the job, but also for something that goes above and beyond what the other candidates have to offer.
As a result, demonstrating that you’ll be a valuable asset to the firm is a bold and much-needed move.
They will also note how relaxed you appear while answering personal questions such as this one. This shows your capacity to think on your feet and prepare for key workplace talks.
Tips for What Makes You Unique Answer
It can be difficult to consider your response in relation to the other applicants because you don’t know them.
Employers will understand why your features and skills make you well-equipped if you explain why your past makes you a good fit.
Here are five things you can take to assist you in identifying your most significant and unique qualities:1. Complete your homework.
1. Begin with the Job Description
Examine the talents required and compare them to the skills you already possess. Make careful to incorporate those abilities into the dialogue with examples when you respond to the inquiry.
Makes sure that you only speak about skills that are relevant to the job description and the position you are applying for.
2. Evaluate Yourself
After you’ve reviewed the job description and your associated talents, take some time to think about what makes you stand out from the competition and write down your answers.
Make a list of abilities that you believe are peculiar to you and that would make you a worthwhile addition to the organization but were not specified in the job description.
3. Don’t Focus Only on Yourself
Although it is your interview, the focus is on the firm and how you can assist them. Prepare ahead of time by researching the company and coming up with concrete strategies your unique skills might benefit them.
Although getting the job will help you, it is ultimately about them.
Instead of focusing on a feature that sets you apart from other candidates, consider how employing you might add value to the company. Here are some ways to do that.
‣ Say “I’m motivated to accomplish a project, no matter how difficult,” rather than “I’m an extremely hard worker.”
‣ Rather than expressing “I’m a quick learner,” “I love discovering new things and find it easy to pick up required skills.”
‣ Say, “I actually enjoy achieving and pushing myself,” instead of “I like to go above and beyond.”
‣ “I am looking forward to projects that will allow me to learn and progress.”
4. Make a Past Reference
To back up your replies, cite instances out of your own work background. Simply ensure your statements are brief, to-the-point, and conclusive.
Tell the hiring manager not just what makes you distinctive, but also how you’ve used your uniqueness to help others.
5. Be Different
Yes, this question is about how you’re different, but it’s all too simple to give answers that your interviewer has previously heard before. The truth is, you are a unique person.
Practice how you’d respond to this question ahead of time so your responses sound smooth and assured.
You’re helping to explain how you’re fit for the position by leveraging your unique personality and/or personal attributes to give distinct examples of how you’re distinct from the other job seekers.
How to Answer the “What Makes You Unique” Interview Question
This question is intended to determine what makes you use as a person and at work. Also, explain how those distinctions distinguish you from the other contenders.
You must consider what value you contribute to the organization in this situation. The following guidelines show you how to answer this particular question.
1. Prepare Your Answer
Prepare Your Answer. You’re already doing it, which will benefit you when the job interview finally happens. Prepare not only your replies but also some background research.
Review the job description carefully to evaluate which qualities are most important for success in the position.
When you know what the role’s precise objectives will be, you might give a clear answer that hints at your capacity to handle them without explicitly saying so.
If a job description highlights the importance of cross-team collaboration, portraying your individuality as an amateur soccer league organizer would be ideal.
2. Get Acquainted with the Job Description and the Company
The ‘what makes you distinctive’ question appears to be about you on the surface, but it is concerning you in the position’s perspective and the company.
The more you know about the job description and corporate values, the more equipped you’ll be to choose distinctive qualities that appeal to this employer.
Always conduct research on the organization and read the job description before attending an interview.
The information you gain from this will help you gain a deeper understanding of what the business values, allowing you to build expert responses to a variety of interview questions, not just this one.
Make sure to mention the abilities and/or experiences specified in the job description in your response.
Examine the company’s website, Mission statement, About Us page, and social media pages to get a good idea of the attributes they’re looking for in a candidate.
Most job postings will ask for 50 separate skills, but they can usually be broken down into three to five core skill areas (soft and hard skills).
3. Select Suitable Skills and Characteristics
While you have many outstanding qualities, it’s vital to concentrate on one or two that are most applicable to this job description. That is what the recruiter is looking for.
The company requires someone who can ease pain points for both the firm and the customer accounts.
Because they have limited time, you must censor yourself and just discuss the abilities or personality attributes that will help you succeed in this role.
Employers seek applicants that can contribute a unique viewpoint, skill set, or talent to assist them achieve their business objectives.
Take the time to read the job description thoroughly and seek information about particular objectives the employer hopes the new employee will achieve, then identify the skills you have that match these requirements.
For example, if you’re applying for a team management role and the job description emphasizes the company’s desire to improve cross-departmental communication.
You may stress your ability to bring people together around a similar objective and inspire teamwork.
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4. Include Illustrations
It’s critical to use success stories to construct a portrait of your strengths. That’s why employers frequently conduct behavioral interviews in which they ask questions like “tell me about a time when…” or “give me an example of…”
The recruiting manager is imagining how you could succeed in this position depending on how you employed the abilities required in previous positions.
What have you done to demonstrate your abilities? For example, if you’ve ever had the chance to interview a celebrity, you may use this to show how you did something which made you scared.
You can also add that this ultimately taught you that we’re all just people. It improved your interviewing skills
Examples bring life to those flat, one-word answers. Telling the recruiter that you’re distinctive because you’re artistic and creative isn’t enough to demonstrate that you possess those qualities in a framework that the hiring manager can comprehend. While it isn’t a behavioral interview question, it is still beneficial to use examples to demonstrate your skills.
5. Just be Yourself
It is enticing to say what you believe the hiring manager wants to hear, but employers will notice if you embellish, and you will lose credibility. You won’t have any positive examples to back up your claims, either.
To stand out, it’s crucial to be genuine and not feel compelled to boast that you understand six languages, can juggle, and were a kid TV star. You are not required to give them an answer they haven’t ever heard before.
What matters is your personal background in acquiring these common skills.
6. Request Feedback
Getting feedback from others on your particular qualities can be beneficial, particularly if you suffer from self-evaluation.
You might also ask them to describe a period when you demonstrated a certain strength, providing you with a specific example to use in your response.
You might also use social or performance appraisals from previous employment to shape your answer, in addition to receiving comments from others.
7. Boring Isn’t so Bad
If you believe you aren’t intriguing enough, keep in mind that the inquiry isn’t about how fascinating you are. That’s a fantastic solution if you hurry home each night to concentrate on a hobby.
It demonstrates to the company that you are meticulous, enthusiastic, and dedicated to completing jobs.
Finally, the hiring process is about selecting the candidate who most satisfies the hiring manager with their excitement and ability to perform the job.
Don’t overthink this popular interview question; your achievements and experiences will be much more important during the interview.
Incredible Answers to “What Makes You Unique?”
Long-Form Interview Answers
“I have a strong enthusiasm concerning the world surrounding me, which I share with my pupils, and I encourage them to be enthusiastic about learning something new, particularly in science.
For example, I created a weather unit in which I expressed my fascination with various sorts of clouds and the connection involving cloud types and weather systems.
Several of my kids were so moved by all this that they requested if we might have a weather club after class.”
Tip: This response emphasizes two important qualities for long-term success in a teaching position: curiosity and excitement.
Employers become thrilled about the idea of hiring you when you share anecdotes that reflect your enthusiasm for teaching. Always mention any extracurricular activities you’ve planned to demonstrate your commitment.
“My capacity to engage with prospects on a social level from the start, making them feel at ease and exposing all of their pressing demands around my product, sets me apart from many other salesmen.
After that, I can pitch my product in a conversational manner, based on their requirements.
This ability stems in part from my ability to “warm-up” customers with small talk, as well as my real interest in current sports and news issues.”
Tip: This response displays the candidate’s ability to influence clients through strong interpersonal skills.
Individuals are more inclined to purchase an item if they can connect with the salesman pitching it, which is highly regarded in the sales profession.
“I am extraordinarily organized and skilled at designing processes, which aids me in staying on top of work and organizing events.
My bosses have always appreciated my organizing abilities and relied on me to keep the team on track.
Last year, for example, we held a conference for consumers to enlighten them on our new line of products, which I organized. I was pleased with the feedback it received.”
Tip: This response demonstrates that the job candidate is not only well-organized when it comes to modest chores but also has a history of success arranging high-stakes events.
Employers love hearing specific examples of candidates who have been evaluated and have met or exceeded their goals.
One-Liner Interview Answers
“I am an excellent communicator who finds it simple to relate to others.”
Tip: Perhaps mention a personality attribute that you believe is a good match for the company. After reviewing the job description, make a list of qualities that would make you an outstanding candidate.
Furthermore, integrating a personality attribute in your response allows you to demonstrate how you’re a better match for a position in which you’ve never worked before.
If you’re seeking a team leader position, for example, you’ll need to show that you have good communication skills and the ability to interact with a broad set of individuals.
You can correlate your personality to the components of a great leader if you tell the interviewer, “I am a very good communicator and find it easy to relate to other people.”
When you consider that 86 percent of employees see lack of teamwork as a major cause of workplace failures, it’s easy to see why.
“My previous customer service experience has given me tactical skills which I can use in this work.”
You can go further to explain that,
“My previous expertise in customer support equipped me with technical abilities and a wide level of knowledge of how our service operates,
As a marketer, I’ll be able to apply this knowledge to guarantee that every campaign we run meets the demands of our customers.”
Tip: If you’ve worked in a position, that’s very completely separate from the one you’re applying for, you can use this as a chance to illustrate how your past qualifies you.
With a response like this, you can allay any fears the interviewer may have about your lack of expertise in the sector.
It’s vital, though, that you give particular instances of how the previous work experience in your last job has given you transferable skills.
It’s also worth noting that previous work experience is becoming less valuable to recruiters when evaluating prospects. Indeed, between 2017 and 2021, that percentage fell from 92 percent to 62 percent.
So it’s fine if you don’t think your previous work experience completely aligns with the position you’re asking for, provided you can articulate that your skills will enable you to succeed.
Brief Interview Answers
“When I’m solving difficulties, I use both intellect and emotion in equal measure. For example, I’m skilled in SEO and know how to use data to ensure a successful marketing campaign, but I also specialized in design and can contribute creativity to a project.”
Tip: If you’re having trouble selecting how to illustrate your unique qualifications, consider how others at your firm tackle difficulties and how you vary.
For example, most individuals are either analytical and solve problems using analytics, or emotive and solve problems using creativity.
It’s uncommon to find a person who could do both. It’s an impressive talent to emphasize if you actually believe you can combine these two qualities.
“Having to work at a startup allowed me to learn the ins and outs of the sector while also allowing me to take on responsibilities that I would not have had at a larger corporation. This experience, I believe, provides me a tiny advantage over other applicants.”
Tip: If you think your former experience may dissuade interviewers from perceiving you as unusually qualified, here is an ideal opportunity to convince them incorrectly.
Examine how your history has enabled you to build unique talents that others who pursued a more conventional career path might not have.
For example, if they formerly employed you at a startup company and now wish to go to a major firm, it’s a difficult transition. It’s critical that you explain how those talents will help you succeed in this new career.
“Current events and policies pique my curiosity unexpectedly. For example, I’m the only individual I know who read the complete Mueller Report simply for fun and took notes on the most critical portions. In addition, I am particularly systematic in my work approach, and I have received favorable feedback on my ability to consistently apply research methodologies to a study.”
Tip: This response demonstrates a desire for research and study outside of work, which shows to the recruiter that you actually enjoy this field.
The answer additionally emphasizes your distinct approach to research as well as the favorable feedback you’ve gotten.
“I’ve always enjoyed fly fishing and have done so my entire life. It was passed down to me through my father, and I learned the value of care and attention, patience, and tenacity. When things get tough, I put my head down and concentrate like I do when fishing or tying flies. I can usually get through and catch my fish.”
Tip: This response effectively conveys the interviewee’s personality. It portrays a stable, well-adjusted individual with solid family connections. Then it exhibits several features that may be critical for the job.
“I’m a social creature. Individuals are instinctively drawn to me in social situations, and I thrive in them. This is where I feel at ease.”
Tip: If the applicant were seeking a job as a nighttime janitor, a simple phrase might not mean much, but it means a lot to a prospective customer service agent or party planner.
Good Answers to Unique Interview Questions
You know your answer is good when it involves the following
‣ Either short or a little longer. However, it should not be a very brief response with no explanation, nor should it be exceptionally long or over-explained.
It’s difficult to avoid sounding like you’re bragging when you give an honest answer. So, if you get a really great response, think about how you may tone it down a notch for modesty’s sake.
This makes you appear approachable rather than arrogant.
- Be sure to tell a story. Raise examples of fascinating, important, and unforgettable historical occurrences.
- Include relevant skills and personality attributes. It’s also a good idea to consider abilities that are easily transferable. Or skills that may evolve and enhance during your stay in a given position.
If you’re attempting to change careers, consider abilities that are transferable across industries. Skills you’ve had before and the industry you’re attempting to enter into.
When answering the question, “What makes you unique?” consider these factors. Answering in this format demonstrates that you are the most qualified candidate for the position.
Unfortunately, there are a few blunders to avoid when responding to this question.
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Bad Answers to Unique Interview Questions
You should avoid the following when answering the “what makes you unique?” question.
- Exaggerating the truth. It may be enticing to make up for someone that you are in the situation, especially if confronted with a much more personal inquiry, but sticking to the facts is much preferable.
- Excessive sharing. The hiring manager may be interested in learning about your unique qualities, however, this is only in the context of the job. Keep your very personal information private.
Remember, they’re more interested in how your distinct skills will benefit the company than in the fact that you devote your weekends to wearing your dog dresses and recreating key historical battles.
- Responding in a general way. Yes, you are amazing but you have to be more specific about what makes you amazing or what you are amazing at.
“I’m amazing at researching,” for example, does not provide the interviewer with enough material to work with and does not demonstrate that you are a superior researcher.
- Being pessimistic. This isn’t a time for you to slam the other job applicants who are seeking the position.
Use this opportunity to explain to the hiring manager why you’re better than all the other failures in the waiting room and why you’re the greatest thing to come through the door.
It will not only make you appear petty and shallow, but it will also cost you points. When you do this, the only talent you’re displaying is really how big a troublemaker you are. Nobody wants to work with a jerk.
- Rambling and Being Repetitive. While it’s vital to offer a few examples of what distinguishes you and makes you special, keep it short. You don’t want the recruiter to think your distinguishing feature is “talking excessively.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are common interview questions and answers from job seekers.
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