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How To Reply “What Makes You Distinctive?” In An Interview

“What makes you distinctive?” is a query that many interviewers like to make use of. However resulting from its perceived simplicity, many candidates are woefully underprepared once they try to reply it!

what makes you unique

This text will educate you learn how to reply “What makes you distinctive?” in a method that highlights your talents and improves your likelihood of getting the job.

The Cause Interviewers Ask This Query

Like many different character questions, “What makes you distinctive?” is multifaceted. The way you reply to an interview query like this tells the interviewer and hiring supervisor quite a bit about who you might be and what you’ll be able to convey to the desk.

In fact, interviewers ask this query as a result of they genuinely need to know what you suppose units you other than different potential candidates.

The interviewer desires to know the qualities that make you stand out. A number of persons are seemingly up for a similar position you’re making an attempt to get. Not solely that, however many candidates have the identical {qualifications} as you! 

So, what makes you distinctive, and why ought to the corporate select you above everybody else?

Your resume already paints an excellent image of your capabilities. However there are a lot of issues your resume can’t say. The interviewer desires to listen to them! 

It’s your alternative to speak about your gentle expertise and different capabilities that may allow you to do properly on this position. Your response may assist key decision-makers decide should you’re an excellent total match for the corporate tradition.

However that’s not all. “What makes you distinctive?” additionally helps interviewers perceive what you worth most about your self. It’s about determining your important strengths and seeing what’s necessary to you within the office.

Most individuals will reply with the attributes they’re most pleased with or actively engaged on, giving hiring managers helpful perception into your total perspective.

The best way to Reply “What Makes You Distinctive”

Determining learn how to reply “What makes you distinctive?” isn’t as simple because it sounds. That’s the purpose! Character-based questions typically catch job candidates off guard, letting interviewers see the way you deal with strain and modify to the unknown.

There’s no universally right reply. Nonetheless, the important thing to success is to mould your reply across the job and shine your self in the very best gentle potential.

Listed below are just a few suggestions that can assist you do exactly that.

1. Go Over Your Work Historical past and Accomplishments

The most effective method when answering “What makes you distinctive?” is to begin by trying over your work historical past. Take into consideration your accomplishments in earlier jobs and what led you up to now. A little bit of self-reflection goes a good distance in questions like this.

Give attention to the traits and strengths that helped you succeed. One of the best ways to depart an influence is to debate why you reached the extent of success and what expertise you used to get there. 

For instance, say that you simply received an award for making probably the most gross sales or retaining probably the most in depth consumer base at your earlier job. As an alternative of solely speaking about that, point out how particular conditions made a distinction. Possibly you restored misplaced accounts by rapidly addressing an sad consumer’s considerations and regained their belief. And by all means, embrace numbers or percentages – gross sales quota, worth of shoppers saved or enterprise acquired.

Particulars matter. Attempt to level to precise occasions in your work historical past as an example the abilities and attributes you need to spotlight. It’s one factor to say that you simply’re good at one thing, nevertheless it’s one other to point out why.

At all times present examples when potential, and don’t be afraid to dig deep into your work historical past. Your previous is the very best supply of inspiration for a query like this. So, self-assess and inform a narrative that exhibits the interviewer why you’re a must-hire. Bear in mind the STAR interview approach

2. Analysis the Firm

Earlier than you even head into your interview, researching the corporate is paramount. If there’s one piece of recommendation it’s best to comply with, it’s to come back into the interview ready. That you must know as a lot as you’ll be able to concerning the group and the place as potential.

Your analysis will present helpful data to reply questions like this and extra. Plus, it makes you look ready, well-informed, and genuinely curious about getting the job.

Understanding the corporate’s tradition and total mission can information you in the fitting route. Determine what the corporate wants and clarify what makes you distinctive in methods that may assist them. For instance, the group might be trying to develop into new markets or discover a new method to generate extra gross sales.

Regardless of the case, take into consideration how one can contribute to the underside line. Join the dots and decide why you’d be a helpful asset to them. Speak about it and all the time stress the optimistic traits or wanted expertise that may make a distinction within the group.

3. Assume About What the Interviewer is Trying For

One other aim of your analysis right here is to find out what the employer finds helpful. Study the job description carefully and decide the abilities and skills the hiring supervisor desires to see. Do some digging and take a look at what present workers can do. If potential, ship one in every of them an e-mail for some higher perception.

method is to attach your reply with the knowledge you discover. For instance, perhaps the job requires innovation and a recent perspective. In that case, you’ll be able to discuss your distinctive potential to suppose out of the field and supply artistic options to office challenges.

It’s not about mendacity or bending the reality. Your aim is to seek out the job’s most important attributes and present that you’ve them!

4. Join Your Solutions to the Position

As you’d count on, your reply to “What makes you distinctive?” ought to all the time join again to the job at hand. With a query like this, it’s simple to get off-topic and veer into broader discussions. Resist that urge and keep targeted in your final aim: Touchdown the job.

You’re free to dig deep into your previous and even discuss your grander objectives. Nonetheless, all the time discover methods to tie your distinctive traits again to the job. Evaluate your strengths, have a look at the job description, and use your phrases to ascertain that connection.

When you efficiently tie every little thing in, it’s not tough for the interviewer to see why you’d be an excellent match for the job. Use the position as inspiration whereas self-reflecting and discovering methods to tie every little thing neatly into one response.

5. Rehearse

Our final tip is a vital one: Rehearse! Observe makes excellent, and also you’ll need to rehearse your reply to “What makes you distinctive?” just a few instances earlier than the interview.

It’s not essentially a good suggestion to put in writing and memorize a script verbatim. Doing that will make you sound robotic and inauthentic. You continue to need a little bit of openness and flexibility.

Nonetheless, having a response ready could make all of the distinction. Attempt to concentrate on the important thing factors you need to convey up and discover methods to speak about them comfortably. The extra you apply, the better it’ll be to debate your strengths.

It turns into much less daunting, and that confidence will come off properly throughout your interview.

What to Keep away from Saying

Now that you know the way to type a powerful reply and clarify what makes you distinctive, let’s discuss what you shouldn’t say. There’s no universally right reply, and everybody’s response will differ. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t say one thing that’ll flip the interviewer off and damage your possibilities of getting employed.

Listed below are just a few crimson flags you need to keep away from when answering this query.

Generic and Obscure Solutions

Your first intuition is perhaps to supply a reasonably generic reply. For instance, you would possibly see that the job description says it requires analysis. So, your response is, ” What makes me distinctive is that I’m good at analysis.”

Sounds easy sufficient, proper?

Sadly, brief and boring solutions like that aren’t doing the query justice. It doesn’t inform the interviewer something they need to know. You’ll be able to embrace  your analysis talents in your resume, so it’s a redundant reply as properly.

A generic reply does nothing to point out why you’re a top-notch candidate. That you must go into element and illustrate why it’s best to get the job over others.

Rambling Solutions

Brief solutions aren’t nice, however neither are tremendous lengthy ones! Consider it or not, this widespread mistake typically occurs with out the applicant realizing it.

As we talked about earlier, questions like this could throw folks off. It appears easy, however many are unprepared when it comes.

So what do they do?

They begin talking with no clear message in thoughts. That usually leads to folks speaking in circles till they land on one thing that resembles a decent-sounding reply. It’s the equal of throwing every little thing you’ll be able to on the wall and hoping one thing sticks.

In fact, the interviewer isn’t impressed by these solutions. It’s apparent when somebody is unprepared and begins chatting with fill area.

Overly Private or Irrelevant Particulars

Regardless of the way it sounds, when an interviewer asks what makes you distinctive, they aren’t curious about studying oddball trivia about you or your previous. Regardless of how cool a few of these information would possibly sound, they’re irrelevant to the scenario.

Bear in mind: This can be a job interview. There’s no motive to speak about quirky experiences or subjects that don’t have anything to do with work or your job historical past.

Keep away from these superfluous particulars and follow the top aim. Present clear and concise solutions. You need to sound put-together and ready, so depart the bizarre responses out.

Lies & Falsehoods

At all times follow the information.

It’s tempting to stretch the reality a bit. When caught off guard and eager to look your greatest, you would possibly exaggerate a little bit or say flat-out lies.

Make no mistake: The reality will come out in some unspecified time in the future (that’s why it made our record of essential interview do’s and don’ts). Hiring managers will converse to references, and people tall tales could be mentioned. 

Mendacity will damage your possibilities of getting the job. Nobody desires to rent somebody who lies throughout an interview. In case you lie within the job interview, what’s stopping you from mendacity later?

Be trustworthy and take time to provide you with real solutions. Convey up real-world examples and be truthful about your capabilities.

Bash Different Candidates

Lastly, don’t construction your reply to “What makes you distinctive?” in a method that talks negatively about different job hopefuls. That’s not the aim of this question, and being tremendous damaging about different candidates could make you look petty and unprofessional. 

Give attention to your self as an alternative.

Finest Pattern Solutions

Making a response to this query requires cautious thought and consideration. It’s important to pull out of your previous and mirror in your capabilities. In consequence, each reply is exclusive.

What’s best for you won’t be the proper reply for another person. Whilst you can’t copy a response from another person, you need to use good examples as inspiration.

Instance 1

In our first pattern reply, the applicant offers a concise response that completely highlights the trait they worth most in themselves. The job-seeker is aware of that this place is ever-evolving and understands that the employer desires somebody adaptable and unafraid of challenges. So, the applicant chooses to spotlight their potential to be taught new issues.

“What makes me distinctive is that I’m all the time looking for new alternatives to be taught. I’m not notably wanting to relaxation on my laurels and like pushing my capabilities each time potential. 

In my final job, we adopted a brand new system and software program to handle buyer relations. As a result of it was so new, most of my colleagues had problem adjusting. I took the time to be taught the platform in and out, finally changing into the go-to particular person for questions and help.”

Instance 2

Our subsequent instance focuses on group. Many roles require good time administration and common organizational expertise. On this case, the applicant pulls from their expertise as an administrative assistant to point out how their capabilities immediately benefited their earlier employer.

“I satisfaction myself on my pure organizational expertise. As an administrative assistant, I did every little thing potential to maintain the workplace chaos-free and working easily. I did that by reorganizing information and sustaining a well-organized provide closet.

As a result of provides have been simpler to seek out, we skilled a lot much less waste and decreased extraneous purchases. We saved about 25 p.c on workplace provide orders within the following years.” 

Instance 3

On this last instance, the applicant is making an attempt as an example their impeccable analysis expertise. As an alternative of offering a generic reply, the job-seeker paints an image of how passionate they’re about doing strong analysis.

Not solely does this reply inform a narrative about previous work expertise, nevertheless it additionally highlights how their thoughts works exterior the workplace.

“What makes me distinctive is my potential to use efficient analysis protocols. In my earlier job, I obtained optimistic suggestions on my consistency and thoroughness when engaged on research-heavy initiatives.

However even exterior of labor, I have a tendency to use a research-minded method to every little thing I do. I’m keen about present occasions and infrequently use a methodical method when taking notes about present coverage and authorities modifications.”


Now that you know the way to reply “What makes you distinctive?” it’s all about placing within the acceptable quantity of apply time.

As soon as you consider your reply and rehearse it, you’ll see this query as a chance as an alternative of an impediment.



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