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

This is one of those questions that aren’t too difficult to interpret. “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?” bluntly asks you to distinguish yourself from other potential hires. While it’s fairly clear, that doesn’t make it simple to answer successfully. Plan a strategy for addressing this question that shines the spotlight on your strengths and separates you from the pack.

Although the question might seem to imply that the interviewer is asking you to be critical of others, this isn’t the case. This question is about what makes you the best choice among the field of qualified applicants.

Points to Emphasize

Your response should definitely focus on your strengths, but from the perspective of how they will serve the company and its customers.

  • Talk about any special certifications or unique qualifications you have.
  • Keep the focus on you in reference to the typical applicant rather than comparing yourself to anyone specific.
  • If your proficiencies are typical for your industry, emphasize how you utilize them in remarkable ways, how your personal qualities are exceptional, or how your combination of skills makes you stand out.
  • Discuss your interpersonal strengths and what you would add to a team.

This question is an opportunity to sell yourself and your ability to thrive in this job.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

Answers to this question can go downhill quickly if you’re not prepared.

  • Be careful not to appear arrogant. Focus on facts, not just on your perception of yourself.
  • Don’t put anyone else down in order go build yourself up. Discuss why you’re ahead of others in your field, not why they’re behind you.
  • Set your modesty aside. You can speak confidently about what makes you a front-runner without sounding egotistical.
  • Avoid rambling. Keep your answer focused, packed with useful information, and appropriately brief.

Hiring managers have a professional reputation to protect. They do this by finding the best possible candidates for each position; it’s up to you to show that you fit that description.

Sample Answer

Spend time preparing for this common question, and your answer may sound something like this:

I have a sales background, customer service experience, and IT skills. This combination makes me an especially valuable IT manager. I understand the needs of the sales staff and customers and how to create, manage, and maintain systems that support the overall functioning of the company. Because I have this global perspective, I am better able to anticipate and take steps to solve systemic, interdepartmental challenges or avoid them entirely.

This question is pivotal – don’t tell yourself that you’re confident enough to wing it! Prepare an ideal response and get feedback on it from a trusted and knowledgeable source.

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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