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What Makes You Different From Others? - Interview Question

What Makes You Different From Others?

What makes you different from others?


In a graduate job interview, employers will look for information to help them decide whether or not they should hire you. "What makes you unique?" It is the perfect way to help them differentiate you from other candidates.

Just like “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, this open-ended question can be difficult to answer; Because you'll need to discuss your best qualities with confidence, being careful not to sound arrogant.

Some other formulas


There are countless different ways to phrase the interview question “What makes you different from others?”, and none of them are easy to answer. Such as:

  • What makes you special?
  • What makes you really unique?
  • What makes you an exceptionally good candidate?

To determine the best approach to answering the question “What makes you different?”, let's look first and foremost at the reasons why employers choose to ask this common interview question.

Why does the interviewer ask you this question?


Employers often include this question to identify skills or qualities that make you more suitable for the job than other candidates you may be interviewing. 

In other words, if dozens of other professionals with nearly identical skill sets also apply for the job, why should they hire you instead?

The second reason why employers ask, "What makes you different?" It is understanding what you value in yourself. The things you emphasize in your answer may also be important strengths that you are constantly improving.


The employer is looking for exceptional strengths or soft skills that you may not have listed on your resume or application but that will help you do your job well.


How to prepare for the answer


Instead of trying to identify an advantage that sets you apart from all other applicants, focus instead on why the employer would benefit from hiring.

Since you don't know the other applicants, it can be difficult to think of your answer in relation to them.

Determining why your background makes you a good fit will let employers know why your traits and qualifications make you well-prepared. For Examples:

  • Consider what your employer might find valuable.
  • Look at your background and previous experiences.
  • Acknowledge your most famous personality trait.
  • Remember: you don't have to be unique.

Examples of answering the question


Sample responses can help you understand how to carefully answer the question “What makes you different from others?” Consider these sample answers to help inspire you to prepare your own answer:

I am a very good communicator and find it easy for me to communicate with other people.

I really enjoy learning new things and I am constantly looking for new learning opportunities. My previous experience in customer service has provided me with unique technical skills that I can apply to this role.

Working at a startup gave me an opportunity to understand the ins and outs of the industry, and take on tasks that I might not have at a bigger company. I think this experience gives me a slight advantage over other applicants.

I am not afraid of failure. In fact, I think it's an essential part of the experimental process that will get you to success. For example when solving problems, I apply both logical and emotional aspects in equal proportions. For example, I trained in SEO and understand how to use analytics to ensure the success of a marketing campaign, but I also majored in design and know how to apply creativity to a project as well.

My natural ability to effectively organize makes me unique. In my previous job as an administrative assistant, I came up with a plan to reorganize my office supply closet by category. Because items were easier to find, we placed fewer orders and saved 30% on office supplies year over year.

What makes me unique is my ability to empathize and connect with people easily. This skill helped me in my previous role as an account executive responsible for mining new accounts. Because I was able to quickly identify and understand my pain points and challenges, I was able to build trust and build relationships - both of which have consistently pushed me beyond my bar.

See: Interview Question “Are You Willing to Relocate?”

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