What Makes You Unique answers

7 Smart Answers to “What Makes You Unique?” (and Land Your Dream Job!)

6 min read 12,975 views
Posted by Aarna Tiwari Apr 01, 2024

Standing out in a crowded job market requires more than just a strong resume. When that coveted interview invitation arrives, be prepared to confidently answer the question that can make or break your chances: “What makes you unique?”

This seemingly simple question delves deeper than skills and experience. It’s your opportunity to showcase what sets you apart from other qualified candidates. We’ll also explore how to tailor your answer to the specific position and company.

Understanding the ‘What Makes You Unique?’ Question

Before diving into specific answers, let’s dissect the interviewer’s intent. They’re not looking for generic responses like “I’m a hard worker.” They want to understand:

  • Your Skills and Abilities: Do you possess a unique skill set relevant to the role?
  • Your Experience: Have you had experiences that shaped your approach to work?
  • Your Personality: What are your strengths and how will they benefit the team?
  • Your Motivation: What drives you and how will you contribute to the company culture?

By crafting a well-rounded answer that addresses these aspects, you demonstrate your value proposition as a candidate.

7 Smart Answers to ‘What Makes You Unique?’

Now, let’s explore 7 effective ways to answer “What Makes You Unique?” Remember to tailor your response to the specific job description and company.

1. Highlight a Powerful Skillset Combination:

Many jobs require a blend of hard skills and soft skills. Identify a unique combination you possess that’s directly relevant to the position.

Example: “I have a strong background in data analysis (hard skills) combined with excellent communication skills (soft skills). This allows me to translate complex data into clear and actionable insights for stakeholders, ensuring everyone’s on the same page.”

2. Showcase Your Passion and Drive:

Genuine enthusiasm goes a long way. Demonstrate your passion for the industry or the specific company’s mission.

Example: “I’ve been following [Company Name]’s work for years and admire your commitment to sustainability. My background in environmental science, coupled with my passion for eco-friendly practices, makes me a perfect fit for your team.”

3. Emphasize Your Adaptability and Growth Mindset:

The ability to learn and adapt is crucial in today’s dynamic workplace. Share an experience where you embraced change or acquired a new skill quickly.

Example: “In my previous role, the company implemented a new software program. I went above and beyond to learn it quickly, even attending online tutorials outside of work hours. This not only improved my efficiency but also helped me train my colleagues.”

4. Focus on Problem-Solving Skills and Innovation:

Employers value candidates who can identify and solve problems creatively. Share an experience where you tackled a challenge and implemented a successful solution.

Example: “During a busy sales season, we encountered a bottleneck in the order processing system. I analyzed the workflow and devised a streamlined strategy that reduced processing time by 20%. This not only improved customer satisfaction but also freed up staff for other tasks.”

5. Leverage Your Unique Background and Experiences:

Your life experiences, hobbies, or volunteer work can shape valuable skills. Connect a seemingly unrelated experience to the desired position.

Example: “My background in competitive athletics has instilled in me a strong work ethic and the ability to thrive under pressure. These skills translate perfectly to a fast-paced environment like yours, where deadlines and high performance are expected.”

6. Express Your Strong Communication Skills:

Effective communication is essential in any workplace. Highlight a specific instance where your communication skills led to a positive outcome.

Example: “In my previous team project, I facilitated communication between different departments, ensuring everyone was informed and aligned with the goals. This clear communication resulted in successful project completion on time and within budget.”

7. Quantify Your Achievements with Numbers:

Back up your claims with data whenever possible. Quantifiable achievements showcase your impact and value.

Example: “During my internship, I implemented a new social media strategy that increased brand awareness by 30% and generated a 25% lead increase. This experience demonstrates my ability to develop and execute effective marketing campaigns.”

Tips to Answer ‘What Makes You Different from Others’

Now that we understand the significance of ‘What makes you unique?’, let’s explore some effective tips to prepare for it:

  • Carefully read the job description. What particular qualities and skills is the employer searching for in a candidate? Make a list of the skills and characteristics you possess that are compatible with the job description.
  • Consider your own achievements and experience. What have you accomplished that sets you apart from others? What do you feel strongly about? What do you excel at?
  • Plan your response. Practice your response aloud once you’ve decided what you want to say. You’ll feel more confident as a result while you’re in the interview.

Don’t just memorize a generic answer. Research the company and the specific position. Tailor your answer to highlight skills and experiences directly relevant to their needs. By following these steps, you can craft a winning answer to “What makes you unique?” and confidently take a step closer to landing your dream job!

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FAQs on What Makes You Unique From Others

What makes a person unique in an interview?

In an interview, a person stands out because of their particular mix of abilities, experiences, and personality traits. By showcasing their accomplishments, problem-solving skills, and enthusiasm for the position, they may stand out from the competition.

How to identify my unique strengths for job interviews?

Reflection on oneself and input from others are necessary to identify one’s distinctive abilities. Examine your prior successes, abilities, and commendable traits. When answering interview questions, concentrate on your qualities that fit the job specifications.

Why do interviewers ask, ‘What makes you uniquely qualified for this position?

Interviewers use this question to test a candidate’s self-awareness and their understanding of how their unique skills may benefit the business. Possessing distinctive qualifications demonstrates a possible culture fit and demonstrates the candidate’s potential contribution to the company.

How to answer, ‘What sets you apart from other candidates?

Focus on highlighting special abilities, accomplishments, and experiences that relate to the job description while responding to this question. Use concrete instances of how you have outperformed others in similar circumstances to emphasize your prospective worth to the organization.

How can I show my uniqueness in an interview?

In an interview, there are a few things you may do to stand out. To start with, make sure you look presentable and acceptable for the interview. Second, talk clearly and with assurance. Third, be ready to talk about your skills, past experiences, and personality. Be genuine and let your distinct individuality stand out.

What are some bad answers to “What Makes You Unique?”

Avoid generic responses like “I’m a hard worker” or “I’m a team player.” Everyone says that! Focus on specifics and achievements.

Can I use a weakness as my unique quality?

Yes, but tread carefully. Frame a weakness as something you’re actively improving on. For example, “I can be a bit detail-oriented, but I’m working on delegating tasks more effectively.”

Is it okay to be a little braggy in my answer?

Confidence is good, but arrogance is not. Focus on your accomplishments while remaining humble and professional.

What if I don’t have any work experience?

Highlight relevant skills from volunteer work, extracurricular activities, or academic projects.

How can I tailor my answer to the specific job?

Research the company and position. Use keywords from the job description and showcase skills directly relevant to their needs.

Should I tell a funny story in my answer?

Humor can be risky. Use it sparingly and ensure it lands well. Focus on a relevant anecdote that showcases a positive quality.

What if I get nervous and forget my answer?

Take a deep breath and politely ask for a moment to collect your thoughts. Briefly rephrase your answer or mention an additional quality you possess.

Is it okay to be honest and say I haven’t figured out what makes me unique yet?

Honesty is important but frame it positively. Express your desire to learn and grow within the company, highlighting your eagerness to contribute.

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