What Can You Do For Us That Other Candidates Can’t?

When an interviewer asks you to tell them what you can do that other candidates can’t, they aren’t asking you to evaluate the skills of your fellow candidates. You probably don’t know them. The hiring manager uses this question to figure out some elements of your character. How do you handle awkward situations Are you good under pressure Will you badmouth your peers to make yourself look better during the interview As you answer the question, the interviewer gets a sense of your values and your ability to self-evaluate.

Points to Emphasize

Since the hiring manager isn’t really looking for you to evaluate the other candidates, you want to stay calm, positive and talk about what makes you unique.

  • Focus on what you do, rather than what your peers don’t do.

  • Talk about skills that qualify you for this particular position.

    • Answer with confidence.
  • Start with a disclaimer that you don’t know what the other candidates’ skills are.

    Assure the interviewer that you have attributes that will benefit the company.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    There are certain pitfalls that you want to make sure to avoid when you answer this question.

    • Don’t bash your peers. Keep the answer positive.
  • Beware crossing the line from confidence to arrogance.

  • Avoid talking about values that clash with the company’s values. For instance, if the company is all about teamwork, don’t brag about being good at working alone.

  • Be careful not to get nervous when answering this tricky question.

    Keep your answer polite and void of arrogance, and you will do well.

    Sample Answer

    Here are what two great answers for this question might look like:

  • I don’t know what skillsets everyone else is bringing to you, but I bring an unmatched level of understanding to the customer service position. I think it’s important to be able to put yourself in the customer’s position. This helps avoid misunderstandings and confrontations. It also helps me provide great customer service, which I know is the backbone to this company.

  • Obviously I can’t speak to the qualifications of everyone else, but I do know that I am organized and persistent. This company values achievements, and I think that my organization and persistence will lead me to reach the goals that are set in place for this position.

    It’s really important that as you answer this question you keep in mind what the hiring manager is truly looking for. They want to know that you share the same values as the company does. They want to know that you are trustworthy. Answer the question politely and confidently, and they will see just that.

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