Job Interview Question

What makes you unique?

How To Answer Interview Questions Series

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What are hiring managers really asking in the job interview when they ask about what makes you unique?  Well, they don’t want to know about what makes you special on a personal level.  They want to know what makes you unique in relation to the job you’re interviewing for.  Essentially, they’re asking, “Why should we hire you?”  “Why should we choose you over everyone else?”  “What makes you different from the other candidates?”

What makes you unique is your individual blend of education, experiences, skill sets, and personality.  Sometimes it’s not the particular job on your resume that makes you appeal to hiring managers.  Sometimes it’s an aggregate of the different pieces that you’re bringing to the table.  Maybe you have strong communication skills, and experience in the industry, and experience in advertising and that ends up being the mix that attracts that hiring manager to you.

Think about what makes you unique and what makes you valuable, and then think about WHY it makes you valuable.  You can even quantify your answer of how in the past, your blend of experiences has proven valuable to previous employers.

Unique - Copy“Because of my background in X, I was uniquely positioned to take advantage of Y when I worked on ABC project.  I completed it faster and with better results than anyone else in the company.”

“I believe that my education in X combined with my experience in Y work together to give me an especially great advantage when approaching ABC.  I draw on both to solve both every day issues and special challenges.  For example, in X Situation, I took Y action and got Z results.”

“My background in X is different from most people in the field, and that gives me a unique perspective and the ability to see solutions that are more creative and resourceful.  For example, I came up with X solution to solve Y problem, and it worked out beautifully.”  (A few numbers that prove that success would be outstanding to include here.)

If the quality or the success rate of your work is outstanding, that’s valuable to an employer because it saves them time, money, and aggravation.  But you have to think about why it is that you are especially successful and be able to articulate that.

Whatever you say, now is the time to brag.  You must show that your particular blend of education, experiences, skill sets and personality is the solution they need to solve the problems they have.


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