How To Answer “What Makes You Stand Out From Others?”

In a job interview you might stumble on the interview question: “What makes you stand out from others?

Other similar questions are: “What sets you apart from other candidates?”,Why should we hire you?“, “What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?” OR “What makes you unique?”

Underneath you can find the perfect example answer and interview tips.

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Why do interviewers ask this interview question? In some cases, it’s difficult to choose between candidates with similar qualifications. The answer to this question forces candidates to provide a unique answer which helps interviewers differentiate candidates from each other. 

Example Answer (Experienced)

“Well, as I understand it, you are looking for someone with 5+ years of working experience using WordPress and WooCommerce. Besides my proficiency using the open-source CMS and plugin, I’m actually an active contributor to the WordPress community and attended several WordCamps. 

As part of WordPress’s core team, which is on a voluntary basis, I regularly write some basic code, fix bugs and answer questions on the support forums using Slack. My username is [Name] and I’ve answered more than 100 questions since [Year]. I think that my experience and affinity makes me stand out from other peers.”

Example Answer (No Experience)

“What I do to separate myself from others is to show commitment to achieving goals via the process of productive and efficient teamwork. For example, In my last year at [University XYZ], I was responsible for a project management team with 5 different personalities and a tight deadline. 

It was my task to ideate, plan and manage work with my peers, so I suggested using Slack and Trello to streamline processes. Despite one team member’s illness, we managed to pull it off and complete the project before the deadline and received the highest grade of the year.”

Interview Question Tips

  • Don’t talk negatively about your peers, that’ll make you appear as someone that is unpleasant and unkind to work with. Also, don’t brag or be too modest.
  • Don’t use generic phrases like “I’m a hard worker“, “I’m a perfectionist” or “I’m a people-person“, unless you can substantiate your answer with a unique story.
  • Do focus on the characteristics and attributes that are relevant to the position and refer to a previous situation that proves you actually obtain the necessary qualifications
  • Do refer to prior achievements or results and explain which transferable skills  could help their company achieve similar results