How Does Your Company Differ From Its Competitor?

Depending on the type of position you are applying to, you can expect certain questions about your career and industry knowledge when you go into a professional interview. For instance, the hiring manager might ask you, “How does your company differ from its competitor” At this point, the interviewer doesn’t want you to be unnecessarily complimentary to your last company. Instead, he or she wants to see if you have a realistic view of the market and if your analysis and opinion would do well with the company. You’ve probably stated your job and responsibilities, but if you haven’t, start your response with a very brief summary of your duties.

Points to Emphasize

The hiring manager wants to see if you can identify what makes a company effective, so showcase this knowledge in your response. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Concentrate on the overall structure and methods of your company.
  • Emphasize your relevant industry knowledge.
  • Focus on what you’ve learned about the industry.
  • Highlight your willingness to meet new challenges.

Always try to be as positive as possible. You want to show poise and professionalism in your analysis as well as your industry prowess.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

You may think your last company’s methods were effective or unproductive. Regardless, prevent yourself from appearing disapproving. Look over these tips and keep them in mind as you think over your response.

    • Avoid giving an answer that is general enough to apply to any enterprise.
    • Do not go into too much detail or reveal confidential information.
    • Avoid any responses that make you appear uninformed.
    • Do not highlight the negatives of your past company’s practices.

Be confident and very clear in your answer. Allow yourself as much time as you need to effectively answer the question, but aim for a succinct response.

Sample Answer

Here is an example of a good answer to the question of how your current or past company differs from others:

I would say my last bank was focused more on a balance of giving back to the community and remaining an effective financial institution. My last supervisor use to call it “banking with a conscious.” That’s the main reason why I chose to apply with this company. I wanted to continue working in such a positive and challenging work environment.

Remember, you don’t want to praise your last company to the point of making your potential employer look ineffective. Focus more on your industry knowledge and if you can, circle back to your enthusiasm for the working with a new enterprise.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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