An interview is the perfect opportunity for prospective employers to get to know you better. While your CV is supposed to project your accomplishments and highlight the professional you are from the outside, the point of an interview is to understand your attributes and the person you are from the inside.
To achieve this objective, almost all interviews feature a question that’s designed to know you better. A popular interview question you may be asked is “what makes you unique?”.
Such a question doesn’t require you to memorize chunks of data or make on-the-spot deductions. Instead, it requires you to be able to talk about yourself in an appealing and coherent way.
“What Makes You Unique” Interview Question And Its Purpose
The purpose of the “what makes you unique” question is to figure out what makes you different from others. After sorting through CVs, presentations and portfolios, recruiters end up shortlisting candidates who are similarly matched in terms of their skills and achievements. At this stage, employers look to identify the X-factor that gives one candidate an edge over others. This edge is often obtained by proving yourself as someone who’s unique in their own way.
The interesting part about a question like “what makes you unique” is that it’s inherently subjective. As an interviewee, you have the freedom to craft an answer that’s unlike any other. But doing so is often less about inspiration and more about preparation.
Tips To Remember
If you want to effectively answer the “what makes you unique” interview question, you may find the following suggestions helpful:
Keep your answer direct and precise
Before the interview, identify two or three areas where you can prove your uniqueness
Try speaking to friends and family beforehand to get an idea of what they think your “what makes you unique” answer can be
Link your unique qualities with the expected roles and responsibilities of the job you’re being interviewed for
Things To Avoid
Sometimes, while answering crucial interview questions, it’s more important to know what not to do. Here’s a list of things you should avoid at all costs while trying to establish your uniqueness:
Try not to sound arrogant or self-indulgent
Stay on course and only talk about what you’ve been asked
Avoid generic statements like “I’m unique because I can work harder than most others”
Steer clear of attributes or skills that have no connection to the job requirements
How You Can Prove Your Uniqueness
Demonstrate what makes you different from others with the help of these following ways:
To convince your interviewer that your skill-set is unique, you don’t have to rattle off all your skills in a single breath. What you need to do is tell them why your skills are rare in the market. You should narrate instances when your skills led to meaningful impact, be it at your previous organizations or even during your student days.
“What makes me unique is my personality” is easier said than proved. Justify this statement by discussing how your personality can make you productive for an organization. Are you someone who can lead or sympathize with others quickly? Do you have an instinct for taking risks or have a great sense of timing? If yes, this is the place to talk about it, without boasting, of course.
Experience doesn’t simply mean working for five years in an industry. Even five days of experience at an internship can teach you something valuable that’s worth remembering for a lifetime. What valuable lessons have you learned in your career or campus that set you apart from the rest? This is the key question you need to answer to show that your experience makes you unique.
Failures are an important learning curve that every organization is aware of. When asked about your uniqueness, don’t shy away from talking about your failures and shortcomings. Far from dimming your profile, they humanize you and make you more relatable. At the same time, make it a point to show how you have grown over time and can be trusted upon to not repeat the same mistakes.
Focusing on what sets you apart, identifying skills and experiences that may not be as common across the board will help you distinguish yourself.
“What Makes You Unique” Sample Answer
The following is an example of a “what makes you unique” sample answer that’s certain to make a mark on the interviewer:
“What makes me unique is my ability to adapt and to change my opinions when the facts change. I’m extremely receptive to situations and understand that to be successful, I must be prepared to work in different scenarios with different kinds of people. My adaptability helped me increase my organization’s ROI by 5 % within two years at my previous job. It also means that I can work across roles and contribute to your organization in a number of ways without losing the tenacity and the vision that are innate to who I am.”
Learn To Master The “What Makes You Unique” Answer
Proving your uniqueness is challenging not only because it requires preparedness but also because it requires identifying what really makes you unique. Harappa’s Ace The Interview course is here to help you do both through a rigorous series of modules that simulate interview questions and provide insightful personal analysis. Through frameworks such as PAM (Purpose, Audience and Message), you’ll not only discover what makes you unique but also find the best possible means to express it.
Explore topics such as General HR Interview Questions, How To Improve Interviewing Skills, How to Answer “What Is Your Dream Job“, “What Is Your Greatest Achievement” & How to Prepare for a Mock Interview from Harappa Diaries and ace your next interview.
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