Tell Me About The Difference Between Good And Exceptional.

When you get asked what you think the difference is between good and exceptional, the interviewer is trying to understand what you find important. The way you answer this question will also tell the interviewer if you think you are exceptional, or if you strive for this high level of work.

A hiring manager is trying to figure out if you will benefit their company, and when they ask this question they want to get an idea of the work you will be doing.

Points to Emphasize

When talking about the difference between good and exceptional, there are certain points you want to make sure the interviewer hears. Here is what you should focus on:

  • Talk about some qualities that you think are good in an employee like hard work, promptness and reliability.
  • Explain how being exceptional means you are a step above that meaning you have the passion, creativity and wherewithal to stand out and make a difference.
  • Make it clear that you think good is the minimum level that an employee should be at.
  • Tell the hiring manager a story about how you were exceptional.

Keep the anecdotes positive.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

Avoid these common traps to make sure that you give a good answer that will make the interviewer confident in your abilities.

  • Do not put down good employees.
  • Try not to brag about how exceptional you are.
  • Avoid sounding like you are at the highest level achievable.
  • Don’t mince over the answer. Give a good list of differences.

Honestly answer the hiring manger’s question without bragging to show them that you are a capable, exceptional employee.

Sample Answer

Here is a good answer to the question about the difference between being good and exceptional.

I think that a good worker will meet deadlines, accomplish all of their work well, work well with others and overall be above reproach. An exceptional employee will show high levels of dedication, resourcefulness, team building and will be commendable. A good worker is nothing to complain about, but an exceptional worker is something to be proud of.

An exceptional worker will always strive to better themselves. There’s always higher mountains to climb. I think that’s a really important part of being exceptional; realizing that you’re not ever done. There’s always more you can do to make yourself better and make your product better. I’m really excited to get an opportunity to work at a company that feels the same way I do. I think I will really get pushed to become more and more exceptional.

Keep your answer positive to show that you are a good candidate for the job.

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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