While all interviewers have a number of questions that are specific to the position being advertised, there are some more abstract questions that are generally popular. “What Makes You Unique” is one of them and can appear for various roles in job interviews.
It is a very tricky question that has to be answered on-site and therefore often surprises the respondents. Follow our tips below to prepare effectively and provide a successful answer.
What does “What Makes You Unique” mean?
The interview question What Makes You Unique is not an opportunity to admit strange habits or quirks. It’s an opportunity to give the interviewer some insight into how you would be the best candidate for a position, while also proving that you are someone who is on your feet.
“What Makes You Unique” essentially means: “What makes you an exceptionally good candidate?”
To avoid an awkward conversation, be ready to respond to “What Makes You Unique” in an interview. Here are sample answers to make sure you prove to be incredibly valuable business capital.
Why do interviewers ask “What Makes You Unique”
When interviewers ask you to tell them about What Makes You Unique, they are trying to delve a little deeper into your character and personality. You want to find out which skills and qualities you value in yourself – and what is important to you in relation to the position you are applying for.
This question isn’t really about what really makes you unique (the interviewer doesn’t care about your unusual party tricks or eccentric habits). You want to find out what sets you apart from other candidates in terms of the value you can bring to the company.
You can interview a range of candidates with very similar experiences and qualifications. So this question will help them learn more deeply how you are different from everyone else.
Interviewers also use this question to find out how creative a candidate is. Abstract questions like “What Makes You Unique” require candidates to be on their feet, and a good answer shows the interviewer that you have creative skills that are valuable in all types of jobs.
Mistakes to Avoid on What Makes You Unique
Because this question is difficult to answer well, respondents often fall into the trap of talking about what makes them unique. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.
- Excessive Sharing: Interviewers want to know about relevant skills and qualities, so stay professional.
- Be too general: Answers that are boring and don’t include specific examples won’t get you very far. You want to describe something that really sets you apart and how it makes you a valuable addition to the team.
- Hike. Don’t go any further – keep your answer focused, concise, and to the point.
- Lies: In the stressful conditions of an interview, it can be tempting to give an inaccurate answer in order to impress the interviewer. Chances are you’ll be found out, so make sure your answer is honest.
- Talk yourself out of the job: Be aware that you are giving an answer that contradicts what the company is looking for. For example, if you’re applying for a position that requires a lot of independent, focused work, talking about your open-minded personality and ability to speak may not be ideal.
All of the above pitfalls and mistakes can be avoided by thinking about the question before the interview and deciding how to answer it when it comes up.
What does a good answer look like?
There are many qualities that make a good answer to this interview question. Here are some to help you find the answer to “What Makes You Unique”
Keep these issues in mind when you start answering “What Makes You Unique”. Answers in this structure show that you are the best candidate for the position.
Create a good “What Makes You Unique” answer
- Either short or a little long. But it shouldn’t be an ultra-short answer with no explanation, and shouldn’t be extremely long or exaggerated.
- It is difficult to give an honest answer without bragging (e.g., “I’m the happiest person I know” or “I’ve always excelled in my department and been named Employee of the Month”, etc.)
- So take a look at one particularly luminous answer and see how humility can be a little bit of demoting it. For example, “I’m the friendliest person I know” is a good answer.
- But follow with a humorous example: “It may seem like I’m bragging, but believe me, this personality trait has its advantages and disadvantages.” This helps make you appear relatable rather than conceited.
- To tell a story. Give examples of past events that are interesting, relevant, and memorable.
- Include skills and personality traits that are relevant to the position. It is also wise to think about very transferable skills. Or skills that can change and improve over time in a particular position.
- When trying to change industries, think of skills that are shared across the industry. Skills you have experience with and the industry you want to get into.
What does a bad answer look like (How not to answer)
Avoid answers like this at all costs. This is not how you should answer this interview question:
- Answers that are way too short or way too long.
- Any answer that does not contain an example or scenario.
- Answers that contain an example or scenario that is irrelevant, irrelevant, nonsensical, clearly contrived, or inappropriate for the position.
- Answers that are not relevant to the job description.
- “I don’t have any unique qualities.”
- “I am simply better than everyone else.”
- “I can’t prove that, but …”
- “It has nothing to do with this job, but.”
- “I am extremely competitive and ready to take the lead, this position is just a starting point for me. I am so committed. “
- “I’m excellent at [non-interview skills.]”
- “I’m wonderful at [skills that are generally absolutely useless.]”
It’s also worth noting that rehearsing your answer is important. And think about it beforehand to avoid blurting out a very not-so-good answer.
Sample answers to “What Makes You Unique” and why they work
1. “I am a very good communicator and find it easy to get involved with others.”
Consider mentioning a personality trait that you think is a good fit for the company. After reading the job description, make a list of qualities that could make you an exceptional candidate.
Additionally, by including a personality trait in your answer, you can show how good you are for a role that you have little experience in.
For example, when applying for a position as a team leader, it is important that you demonstrate strong communication skills and the ability to connect with a diverse group of people.
2. “I really enjoy learning new things and am always looking for new learning opportunities.”
By mentioning your passion for learning new things, you are showing that you are growth-minded and not afraid of challenges.
Additionally, answering the question this way can remind the interviewer why you are uniquely qualified for the position – while other candidates may have more industry experience; it shows your desire to quickly exceed expectations for the position.
3. “My previous experience in customer service has given me unique technical skills that I can apply to this position.”
If you already have experience in a position that is very different from the one you are applying for, use this as an opportunity to explain how your background is unique.
With such a response, you can allay any concerns the interviewer may have about your lack of experience in the field.
However, it is important that you provide specific examples of how you have taught certain transferable skills through your previous experiences.
4. “Working for a startup gave me the opportunity to understand the specifics of the industry and to take on tasks that I might not have in a larger company. I think this experience gives me a small advantage over other applicants. “
Similar to the answer above, this answer is good if you are trying to switch industries. If you feel that your previous experience could prevent interviewers from considering you exceptionally qualified, this is a great opportunity to prove them wrong.
Think about how your background has enabled you to acquire unique skills that others who have pursued a more linear career path may not have.
For example, if you previously worked at a small startup and now want to move to a large company, it is important to mention how these skills will make you successful in this new role.
5. “I am not afraid of failure. In fact, I think it’s an essential part of the experimental process that leads to success.
This answer shows your interlocutor that you are not afraid to take risks. Of course, you only want to say this when you have a positive example that highlights the importance of failure in the workplace.
You don’t want to sound like you make mistakes all the time, but you will get noticed when you mention how you turned failure into success.
With this answer, you show that you have the ability to remain flexible and open-minded when something doesn’t work the first time, and you know how to use failure as a learning opportunity – a crucial skill in any work environment.
6. “When solving problems, I apply logical and emotional aspects in equal measure.
When deciding how to showcase your unique qualifications, the first thing to think about is how other people in your company approach issues and how you are different.
For example, most people are either logical and use analysis to solve problems, or they are emotional and use creativity. It is rare to find someone who is both. If you really believe that you are combining these two aspects, this is an impressive skill to highlight.
7. “I am exceptionally organized, and at my last company I was able to use this skill to improve our process and increase ROI by 33%.”
Remember, when your interviewee asks “What Makes You Unique”, she is really asking herself: “How do you want to help our company?” At the end of the day, it’s crucial that you trace your answer back to how you are going to solve problems for the company.
In order not to be bragging about, consider a personality trait or skill that got your recent business started. If the results are quantitative, make sure you have the specific numbers to support your claim.
However, it is also appropriate to share qualitative results. Ultimately, providing examples to the interviewer shows that you are results-oriented and not just saying general sentences to answer her question.
What possibilities are there to discover What Makes You Unique creatively?
There are a few things to consider when writing your own answer to What Makes You Unique.
Discover What Makes You Unique
- Look at the job description and highlight the various skill requirements and requirements that you have. Find out how to incorporate these skills into your answer.
- Think of specific examples or events from your past that show your uniqueness. Try to keep these examples professional, but if you can think of a non-professional answer that is relevant to the skill, give it a try.
Tell a story, albeit a fairly short one. If the story is humorous or deep, it will definitely stick with your hiring manager and increase your chances of getting the job.
- Do not use general expressions such as “I am a good worker” or “I am a person”. Expand these answers to find something really unique.
We can tell you now that probably every other candidate has pointed out that he is a hard worker. Stand out from them with an answer that is truly unique and memorable.
- In addition to the skills required for your role, identify relevant personality traits that others may not have. For example, you are applying for a position in development.
- The key skills required are programming, team management and project management. You could mention your interest in code and technical innovation. Or solutions, as well as the willingness to accept the challenge of a new integration.
- This shows your hiring manager as the company grows and its technology expands. That you are ready and willing to learn how to use it and, if necessary, to train your team.
- Make sure you end your answer with a justification of how your particular skills or personality traits will help the company. How it helps the company thrives and grow.
- Think of universal skills and qualities that any company in any industry could benefit from. This is how you get that answer quickly for every interview you go to. A well-rehearsed answer comes out more fluid and natural than a nervous answer that blows you up.
Remember, when you answer the dreaded “What Makes You Unique” question in an interview, you are really answering, “What makes you the best candidate for the job?”
Keep your answers memorable, focused, and keep them relevant. Stand out from the crowd by showing your value to the company.
In summary, here are the key points to keep in mind when interviewing What Makes You Unique:
- Focus on what sets you apart from other candidates in terms of your skills or experience.
- Keep your answer relevant. Use the job description as a starting point to understand what the employer wants and how you can add value.
- Use specific examples to illustrate how you have used your unique skills in the workplace.
- Don’t be fooled by the word “unique” – the interviewer wants to find out what makes you interesting, not completely absurd.
- Practice phrasing your answer so that it sounds fluid and confident.