While each interviewer will have a set of questions tailored to the position being interviewed for, there are a few more general questions that are frequently asked. “What makes you unique?” is one of these, and it may be asked in interviews for a variety of positions.
It’s a difficult question to answer at the moment, and it frequently throws interviewees off a surprise. Follow our advice below to properly prepare for it and provide a great response.
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Why Interviewers Ask “What Makes You Unique?”
When recruiters ask you to describe what makes you distinctive, they are attempting to gain a better understanding of your character and personality. They want to know what talents and traits you value in yourself – as well as what you believe is essential in regard to the job you’re looking for.
The interviewer isn’t interested in your unusual party tricks or eccentric habits, so this question isn’t really about what makes you truly unique. They want to know what distinguishes you from other candidates in terms of the value you can bring to the company.
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They may be evaluating several candidates with very similar experience and qualifications, thus this question allows them to go deeper into how you stand out from the crowd.
This question is also used by interviewers to determine a candidate’s level of creativity. Abstract questions like “What makes you unique?” force applicants to think on their feet, and a strong answer demonstrates to the interviewer that you have creative talents, which are valuable in many types of employment
Tips To Answer “what Makes You Unique?”
You should respond to inquiries in a way that the employer wants to hear. If they ask about your flaws, you’re not going to respond that you frequently call in ill.
You’ll also come out as dishonest if you try too hard. For example, if you remark, “I have a habit of working too hard.”
The best approach to respond to questions is to consider what you would like to hear if you were the interviewer and then be as honest as possible. These pointers can help you design your responses and stay on course during your job interview:
- Don’t ramble; be concise.
- Try to respond rapidly while not interrupting the interviewer.
- Try to keep your responses work-related and away from your personal life.
- Understand what the firm expects from its staff and speak in their language.
- Maintain as much eye contact as possible.
- Keep an eye out for nonverbal anxiety, such as staring at the ground or trembling legs.
- Pay attention to the question; don’t overthink it.
How To Answer “What Makes You Unique?”
Examine your prior experiences to discover instances when you were exceptionally effective at work or were commended by your employer.
Maybe you addressed a problem with a difficult customer or negotiated a great bargain. Consider what you did in such instances and the qualities you called on to attain success.
Consider appealing personality qualities that friends or relatives have noticed in you. Perhaps you are recognized for your ability to remain cool in a crisis or to resolve disagreements.
Consider how these qualities may help you thrive in your career.
You’re already doing it, which will benefit you when it comes time to interview. Not only should you prepare your responses, but you should also do some research. Read the job description carefully to identify which traits are most important for success in the role.
When you know what the role’s precise objectives will be, you may provide an answer that refers to your ability to manage those objectives without explicitly expressing it. For example, if a job description emphasizes the need for cross-team collaboration, presenting your distinctiveness as an amateur sports league organizer might be ideal.
Make your resume job-specific
Your study should include information about the firm and what they value. You should also research the position.
If you know they’re a tiny firm with employees who wear several hats (figuratively speaking), emphasize how you’re a fantastic multitasker who is eager to work beyond your professional box.
Keep in mind that the interviewer is more interested in how your unique skill or viewpoint can benefit the organization.
Think of praises and compliments you’ve received
Consider the strengths that have served you well in the past, as well as what prior superiors have said about your performance.
You may also exclude the professional aspect and focus solely on the characteristics that others admire in you. If you’re stuck on ideas, don’t be hesitant to ask your friends or relatives.
This is a good technique if you’re not sure what kind of answer the interviewer would enjoy the best and just want to provide an honest and direct description of your individuality.
Make use of examples
What have you done to demonstrate your abilities? For example, if you’ve had the opportunity to interview an A-list celebrity, you may use this to demonstrate how you did something that made you very scared but then taught you that we’re all just humans. You become a more confident interviewer as a result of it.
Examples bring life to those boring, single-adjective responses. Telling the interviewer that you are distinctive because you are artistic and creative does not demonstrate that you possess those qualities in a context that the hiring manager can comprehend.
Even while this is not a behavioral interview question, it is nevertheless beneficial to showcase your skills through examples wherever feasible.
Tie it to your job
Find a method to relate your “special” feature, such as spending a year traveling throughout Europe, to the job you desire.
Perhaps you could describe how you enjoy learning new things and spent a year traveling to immerse yourself in other cultures.
With a little self-reflection, even apparently unconnected interests, hobbies, and activities may be linked to desired professional characteristics.
Consider how those same distinct traits have served you well in both professional and personal situations.
“What Makes You Unique? Sample Answers”
Okay, we’ve attempted to prepare you to come up with your own answer to what makes you special. To be honest, your response should be all about you. That is, after all, the very point of this question. But if you need some inspiration, perhaps these fantastic responses can help you come up with your own spectacular response:
I have spent my whole life as an ardent fly fisherman. It was taught to me by my father, and it taught me the value of attention to detail, patience, and tenacity. When things become tough, I remember to keep my head down and concentrate, just as when I’m fishing or tying a fly. I can usually get through and catch my fish.
I am a triathlon and a marathon runner. I enjoy establishing and accomplishing lofty objectives for myself. These personal struggles have helped me develop in ways I never imagined. And the sense of accomplishment is amazing.
I don’t have a college degree, like the majority of individuals in my position and presumably the majority of people you’re employing. Instead, I rose through the ranks from customer service to management. I’ve learned the ins and outs of every position along the road, which is why I’m such a good manager. I am well-versed in this industry, as are few others.
I’m a foster mom that is presently caring for two beautiful youngsters. In addition, I have two children of my own. I’m usually busy and frequently mediating arguments, but it’s the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done.
I have a degree in archeology but have never worked in the subject after graduating. I know it seems strange, and it is my real love, but making it a profession seemed like taking the fun out of it. Instead, I delve into financial records using my analytical abilities and attention to detail.
When I was younger, I was involved in politics. I was voted mayor of my hometown when I was 18 years old. This made me the state’s youngest mayor, but I realized politics wasn’t for me. I enjoyed dealing with individuals and the electoral process in general. At the time, it was the finest schooling I could have given myself. Now, I like teaching others and sharing my experience so that they, too, may pursue their ambitions, regardless of their age.
I believe that my ability to remain cool in tough situations is what distinguishes me. Time management has always been a crucial component in my career, from my first high school job flipping burgers to my most recent position as an editor for a newspaper. Previous managers have remarked on my ability to maintain a cool head under pressure, which helps my employees and any clients present feel more confident in our ability to complete the project on time.
I’ve been informed that my capacity to converse with anyone from any place is what distinguishes me. I make it a point to meet and get to know my neighbors whenever I move to a new area, whether it’s in Madrid, Buenos Aires, or right here in San Jose. I enjoy being a source of assistance to others around me, and it makes me very happy to assist someone in finding a solution.
Mistakes To Avoid When You Answer “what Makes You Unique?”
Remember that what makes you distinctive is probably not going to lose you the job. But that might happen. Some of the following are things you don’t want to mention in an interview, even if they are what distinguishes you:
Something Really Intimate
You don’t want to get too close to a prospective employer or a recruiting manager. You also don’t want to make anyone feel uneasy. Unless the interviewer asks for additional information, you should keep things on the surface, just as you would when discussing your interests or hobbies outside of work.
Don’t Be Pessimistic
Make your response as upbeat as possible. Even if it is a terrible experience, describe how it made you better or how you overcome it. But, in reality, this is the type of softball inquiry that doesn’t require you to go into detail about your flaws or failures, so take advantage of the chance to highlight your strengths instead.
Skip The Strange Human Trickery
Your strange party trick may come to mind first; immediately dismiss it and move on to something more appropriate for the office. Keep the ridiculous stunts for the company holiday party.
There Should Be No Show And Tell
If your one-of-a-kind response sounds like a child delivering a show-and-tell session, skip it. Remember that all interview responses, including this one, should be kept as short as possible. You just need a few lines to describe what makes you stand out as a candidate.
You must come up with a response to the query. You can’t just say, “Meh, I’m the same as everyone else.” You’re capable of much more, and you’re well aware of it.
Remember that when you answer the dreaded “What makes you unique?” interview question, what you’re actually saying is “What makes you the greatest applicant for this job?” Keep your responses memorable, targeted, and relevant. Make yourself stand out from the crowd by demonstrating your worth to the organization.