There are many awkward interview questions that are common during the hiring process. “What makes you special?” is certainly one of them. How can you paint yourself in the best possible light, without coming across as arrogant? Here are a few tips for crafting the best response:
Prepare an answer that’s unique to each employer.
Every company, from office staffing agencies to industrial companies or warehouse facilities, is looking for something different in the new employees they bring on board. It’s therefore essential to read through the job description ahead of time, identify ways you can best meet the company’s needs, and come up with specific examples. You need to set yourself apart in a way that shows your background aligns with their specific needs. That means customizing your answer every time.
Think about your past experiences.
If you’re not sure how to best answer this question, think about your experience and biggest accomplishments. These should be times when you made a positive difference for your employer, a customer, or your team. As much as possible, get specific and quantify the results you produced.
For instance, if you’re applying for a sales position and you helped to win a new account, explain how you went about doing that and the impact it made on the company. Segue that into how you’ll be able to put those some savvy sales skills to use and make the same kinds of contributions at the new employer if offered the job.
Don’t forget about soft skills.
Beyond hard, technical skills, there are also many soft skills that are important for successful performance. Be sure to think about which personality traits you have that are a fit for the job and will help you excel in the position. For instance, if the role requires a detail-oriented problem solver, explain a time you caught an error and were able to fix it before it escalated.
Share anything that will make you memorable.
If you have a unique skill or ability, such as you speak a second language or you run marathons every year, then now’s the time to share it. Even if it’s not completely relevant to the job, it can make you stand apart from other candidates, showing that you’re a fast learner or goal-oriented. Use real-life scenarios and examples where you can.
There’s no such thing as a one-of-a-kind candidate. Everyone will have some similarities and overlaps. However, by focusing on your strengths and sharing personal and memorable insight into any unique abilities you have, you can stand out from the rest of the candidates in the running for the same opportunity.