Being interviewed is a tricky challenge. You may not realize how complicated some questions really are. Recognizing what is really being asked is a great way to strengthen your answers.
The question, “What special skills or knowledge have you gained to help in this job is actually an excellent opportunity. It may seem like they are just asking how you are qualified, but you need to keep in mind that they likely have many candidates lined up. The interviewer is essentially asking how you are different than any other candidate they may speak with for the position. You should take that opportunity to really stand out.
Points to Emphasize
There is no one correct answer to this question, but there are many ways the way you answer could further strengthen your answer.
- Be unique. The whole point of this question is to see what unique benefit you will bring to the table. Answer in a way no one else will.
- You can highlight an experience that does not belong on your resume. This may be the only chance you get to mention your unusual or non-occupational qualifications.
- Be personal. A personal experience or story that emphasizes how well-suited you are to the position could be very effective.
- It is okay to show off a little. Put your best foot forward and get a little bold.
Your answer should also incorporate aspects from the specific job you are applying for. How will you be qualified for this specific job?
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Do not mistake the opportunity this question provides for a free ticket to say anything you want. Avoid these pitfalls to ensure your answer is appropriate.
- Do not brag. Showing off a little is okay, but it should not sound prideful.
- Never exaggerate. Your experiences should speak for themselves without stretching the truth. Interviewers will likely recognize exaggeration.
- Do not just list the qualifications on your resume. That is a wasted opportunity. After all, the interviewer has already read it.
- Avoid typical answers. If you answer in the same way any other candidate answers, you will just blend in with the crowd.
While you should use specifics from your experiences that apply to the job you are applying for specifically, you can use this example answer as a guide for your own.
You can see from my resume that I have several years of experience, but that does not reflect the skills I gained in communication when I was interning. I plan to apply those unmatched communication skills to this position.