Job Interview Question: How To Answer “What makes you unique?”

image of Job Interview Question: How To Answer “What makes you unique?”

Interviews can be so nerve-wracking that we either butcher the answers to the questions asked by the interviewers or fail to make a good impression because of our lack of confidence. Either way, the end result is usually unpleasant. So, the best way to avoid making any error that may damage our chance of getting selected for the next round is to be thoroughly prepared. 

In this article, let’s prepare ourselves for the next interview by understanding why interviewers ask “What makes you unique?” during a job interview and how to give the best answers.

Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Makes You Unique?” In Interviews

“What makes you unique?” is an innocent question and there is no one right answer. What interviewers really want to know is how well you can sell yourself to convince them what makes you stand out from the other candidates to be selected for the job. In other words, they want to know what you will be able to bring to the table, should you get hired. 

Moreover, this question provides the interviewer with the perfect opportunity to get to know you and your skills better. For instance, maybe you have the right skill sets that the job description entails. The answer you deliver gives them an insight into how creative or unique you are.

Steps To Answer “What Makes You Unique?”

To provide the best answer to “What makes you unique?”, the following steps should be able to help you:

  1. Go Through The Job Description: For every job vacancy, it is the employer’s part to draft a job description that includes everything related to the profile. If you do not have the JD with you, ensure that you ask the person who contacted you for the interview to send it to you. From the roles and responsibilities to the skills required for the vacant profile, go through everything thoroughly. 
  2. Pick A Skill Or Two From The Job Description: Once you have gone through the JD, pinpoint a skill or two mentioned there that you are good at. For instance, the JD may mention that candidates must possess good communication skills, which is their strength. It can be both hard and soft skills. Be it your skills, traits or abilities, ensure that you choose one that is in line with the JD.
  3. Look Back On Past Experiences: Once you know what your strengths are, think back on the times when you were praised or recognised for them. Was there a time when your strengths were able to save the day? No matter the accomplishment, the experience needs to have a positive impact. 
  4. Formulate A Compelling Answer: Your answer cannot be as vague as “I am a determined and hardworking person.” You need to make it compelling and eventful to make it stand out. Combining the three steps above should be able to help you do just that. For instance, maybe there was a time when your excellent communication and interpersonal skills were able to resolve a dispute between your colleagues at your previous workplace. This would make for an interesting response. 
  5. Make It Concise: Ensure that you stick to the points and not spend more than three minutes answering this question. The longer the answer, the more likely you are to derail from the points and waste both the interviewer’s and your time.

Sample Answers: What Makes You Unique?

By following the steps above and looking at the “What makes you unique?” answer examples below, you will find it easier to cook up your own response to this question.

Sample Answer 1

“One unique quality I possess that has helped me this far in my professional and personal life is my gifted interpersonal skills. I have a way with people because I find it easy to understand and connect with them. I assume that this is one of the reasons why I was promoted to a team leader in just two years by my last employer. Whenever there were customer complaints, I was able to put out the fire by empathising and relating with them, no matter their occupation or gender. And as your JD says you are looking for someone with excellent communication, problem-solving, people and leadership skills, I believe that I would be perfect for this job and company.”

Sample Answer 2

“My continued hunger for knowledge is what makes me unique. I am always ready and willing to learn new things. Even when I interned at Company X, my eagerness to learn allowed me to get a grip on the ins and outs of the business quicker than my other fellow interns. As a fresher and a success-driven person, I know that I need to constantly upskill myself to stand out from the crowd, do my job well and climb the ladder of success.”

Sample Answer 3

“What makes me unique is my versatile and creative writing skills. I was only 16 when I won my first award for writing, which was an online creative writing competition. My 3-year-long experience working for an agency that catered to clients from various sectors has very much helped me in polishing my writing skills. Be it fashion or IT or hospitality, I have always had a knack for concocting just the right pieces for clients, no matter the sector. So, I do believe that I will make a great addition to your content team.”

Sample Answer 4

“My extrovert personality is definitely what makes me unique, which is one of the reasons I decided to go into Human Resources. In an office where people of different backgrounds and personalities come together five days a week, there has to be someone who is able to connect with everyone and whom people can approach easily when they have any queries or issues. In my previous company, my extrovert nature allowed people to trust me enough to share their thoughts and concerns with me. I was also able to share my thoughts while still taking into consideration their perspective too. So, yes, my gregariousness is what makes me unique as an HR professional, and a person.”

Sample Answer 5

“I do believe my uniqueness is my SEO skills. While it takes most brands three months to even years to get their blogs to rank well on Google, most of mine only take a month or two to be in the top 10. I read on the  JD that writing and SEO skills were prioritised. I believe that my 3-year-long experience in this field and my unique skill sets will be of much help to your team.”

Conclusion: When answering “What makes you unique?”, ensure that you keep it short and to the point. Also, try to make it as interesting as possible. We hope the above-mentioned sample answers and tips to answer this question, help you in nailing your upcoming job interview.

We will leave you here with our best wishes! 

Good luck!

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