When interviewing for a job, it's important that you take every opportunity you can to stand out from the other candidates that have applied for the same position. One of the best ways to do this is to prepare answers to commonly asked questions, like 'What makes you unique?' Keep reading to discover why employers ask, 'What makes you unique?' in an interview, how to provide an effective answer, what you should avoid in your response, and some sample answers.
Interviewers usually ask this question because they’re hoping to evaluate the qualities and skills that make you an ideal candidate for the role you’re applying for. Essentially, they’re giving you an opportunity to distinguish yourself from the countless other professionals that have applied for the same role. Aside from using this question to identify what sets you apart, employers are often trying to evaluate what you value most about yourself. The characteristics that you highlight in your answer could indicate soft skills or critical strengths that would be beneficial in the role you’re interviewing for.
In order to prepare for an interview, it’s vital that you spend some time considering possible questions you’ll be asked and how you should answer them. Follow these steps when preparing a response to the question, ‘What makes you unique?’:
Here are a few things you should avoid in your answer:
You sometimes find this question on an online application, which often means that your response is limited to 150 characters or less. You want to approach this format just as you would if you were answering in-person, just take extra care to ensure that you’re only sharing key information. In other words, refrain from using filler words or rephrasing the question and make sure that you focus on the unique skills that you possess that directly relate to the role you’re applying for.
Here are some sample answers that you can use as a guide when crafting your own response to this common interview question:
I’m an excellent communicator and easily relate to others, regardless of our perceived differences.
I am passionate about learning new things and growing my skill sets, which is why I constantly seek out new development opportunities.
I don’t shy away from failure. Instead, I think it’s a vital part of growth and is an essential feature on the road to success. For example, in my last role, we tried to create more accountability among coworkers but found that we unintentionally slowed down productivity in the process. Instead of scrapping the idea altogether, the experience allowed us to identify the errors in our processes. In the end, we were able to come up with a solution that increased accountability while also boosting productivity by 25%.
What makes me unique is my experience as a teacher and a behavioral therapist. I was able to develop many skills through that role, and it has made me a more effective communicator, manager, and teacher. It also taught me how to remain calm in highly stressful situations. These skills combined have equipped me to become a better leader and customer service representative.