An important part of being interviewed is understanding what is really being asked. This is not always easy to do. Some questions are not asking what it seems they are. If you recognize what the interviewer is really getting at, you can provide a stronger answer.
One of the most typical questions interviewers ask is, “What makes you stand out among your peers?”
The company is probably interviewing many candidates, and they want to hire someone that will bring something unique to the table. This question is essentially inviting you to prove to them that you meet these desires.
Points to Emphasize
Remember, qualifications are not everything. Hiring managers may choose a less experienced candidate if they stand out in other ways.
- If you have a working experience that is not typical, take this opportunity to highlight it.
- Your qualifications are on your resume. You should incorporate a personal touch that is not on your resume.
- Showing off a little is okay. Put your best foot forward and really drive home what makes you unique.
- It is wise to prepare something before beginning the interview. This is a very common question, so it is very likely you will be asked it at some point.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
The nature of this question makes the common mistakes even more dangerous. If both your competition and you make these mistakes, you will just blend in with the crowd.
- Do not just claim to have more experience. They are looking for something different, not just most of the same thing.
- Do not exaggerate. Stretching the truth is easy to spot and will hurt your chances.
- You need more than just qualities. Being hardworking or passionate is less important than actual personal experience.
- Avoid bragging. You should make yourself as appealing as possible, but once it gets prideful, you have gone too far.
Stay positive when answering. Talk about the advantages you would provide, not the disadvantages your competition would bring.
There will be specifics that are unique to the position you are applying for, but your answer should be similar to this one:
I had an incredible opportunity during my previous position. I was working closely with a veteran in the industry and I was able to hone my skills in ways that are very atypical. I even had some experience doing work that was above my job level. I believe very few professionals that are pursuing this position would be able to bring a skill set as rounded and encompassing as mine to the work.