How To Answer ‘What Makes You Different'?
Being asked what makes you unique is not about sharing your odd habits, but providing more proof that you are the best person for the job.
This question isn’t here to catch you out, but more for an interviewer to see how you can think on your feet.
Let us share with you some guidance on how you can think about this question and have ready if it is asked.
Kimberley Best, Specialist Marketing Recruiter says, “It’s your chance to be honest, but also appreciative that someone else is thinking, ‘how will this person be great for our company?’ Think about the skills you have accumulated. For instance, if you’ve been in customer service you could have gained communication or technical skills that have served you well. It’s not about experience, but talents discovered.”
Imogen Hudson, Recruitment Consultant, highlights that the clues could be in the job description. “What someone is looking for is right in front of you. I’d say tune into the job spec but bring your own spark. If the role has leadership qualities, then you can lean into your relatable nature and the ability to collaborate with others is a talent that has always supported you.”
To many people, it is a difficult question to answer, which is why Lucy Sinclair, Recruitment Consultant, suggests not to play it too safe. “This is your opportunity to stand out. Remember, an employer has probably heard a few mundane examples, so it’s your chance to leave your stamp. Never head into territory that says nothing about you, such as good timekeeping or a hard worker, you have to be more creative. Think about something that you love or a hobby you have a real interest in and combine that with the new role. This is also a way for someone else to know a little bit more about you.”
Shannon Milne, Recruitment Consultant recognises that alignment plays a big part in this question. “This isn’t about thinking of an outlandish answer, no one is looking for that. It’s a way to link you to the job without sounding generic. For instance, you may see that a company is looking for a quick-thinking team member. Say that you have a flexible skillset and a willingness to embrace different areas of the business. You thrive in these situations.”
What could come across as a tricky or uncomfortable interview question is one where you highlight an area about yourself that may not have been shared during the interview.
Being prepared is always going to help, remember it is centred on what you value about yourself and that you can be the best decision a company makes.