How To Answer "What Makes You Unique?” in Job Interviews

Many interviewers ask, “What makes you unique?” during a job interview. With our insightful tips, you can successfully answer this question and blow them away!

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What Makes You Unique

Preparing yourself for common interview questions is always a good move before a job interview, and one of the more questions you might get asked is “What makes you unique?” This is a question you need to answer in a way that allows you to stand out and demonstrate why you’re an ideal candidate for the job. Here’s everything you need to know about this interview question.


Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Makes You Unique?”

Recruiters aren’t just making small talk when they ask, “What makes you unique?” They’re trying to gain some insight into who you are as a person and who you’ll be as an employee.

The first thing an interviewer is typically trying to determine is how you’re qualified for the position. This is where keywords and skill sets come in. The hiring manager may be looking for specific management skills, organizational skills and personality traits that lend themselves to the job they described in the job description. When you talk about what makes you unique, they’re trying to see if you have those traits.

A hiring manager is also trying to see what makes you different in a way that will benefit the company. Your unique qualities separate you from all other applicants to this job, and the employer will determine whether your particular talents will help the company and mesh well with other team members. In short, they will get a good idea if you’re the best candidate for the role based on your answer to this question.



How To Brainstorm an Answer for This Question

When you’re trying to answer this question on the fly, it’s easy to fall into the trap of oversharing and giving information about random quirks you have rather than actual beneficial skills you have. This is why it’s a good idea to prepare an answer ahead of time. Use these tips to brainstorm a great answer for this question:

  • Look at the job posting for keywords
  • Determine your biggest achievement that fits the job needs
  • Talk about how you helped your current or previous company in a unique way

Essentially, a good answer to this question showcases how succeeded at a previous company in a specific way. It showcases examples of previous experiences, and it may even display both technical and transferable skills that you can bring to the table as a new hire. It’s the perfect way to show that you really shine.


Making Your Answer to “What Makes You Unique?” Better Than Others

If the hiring manager asks you “What makes you unique?” they’re also going to ask all the other interviewees the same question. You need some way to get in front of the other job seekers with your answer. These tips can make it easier for you to stand out:

  • Reference specific numbers and achievements.
  • Discuss how you helped the company, not how the company helped you.
  • Tailor your answer toward the specific company and job.

Anyone can say, “I’m unique because I take risks” or “I’m unique because I’m a hard worker.” You need to really show positive results you’ve been responsible for thanks to your particular skills.

An example answer to this question could be: “I think my ability to communicate with customers is really unique. At my last job, I was always the person my coworkers would come to if there was a problem with a customer, and I was able to increase customer satisfaction by 24%.” You’re highlighting something you were really good at, more so than your coworkers were, and indicating how you helped the company while doing it, which is what any employer wants.



FAQ: “What Makes You Unique?”

Q: How do I answer this question on a job application?

Sometimes, a job application will ask you this question directly, which means you might only have limited space, such as 150 characters, to answer it. Do the same thing to determine what you want to talk about, but cut it down to the most important things that make you unique. The interviewer can always ask you follow-up questions when you come in for the interview process.

Q: What are some other ways an interviewer might ask this question?

Interviewers don’t always directly ask “What makes you unique?” However, they’ll typically ask something similar that will give you a similar jumping-off point to talk about something that makes you unique. You may see this question posed in any of these ways:
What makes you stand out from other candidates?

  • Tell me something unique about yourself.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What makes you who you are?
  • Tell me something interesting about yourself.
  • Tell me something special about who you are.

If you hear any of these questions, you’ll want to use the interview answers you’ve already outlined for this question.


Q: How can I choose the right achievement to acknowledge for this question?

The right achievement to talk about for this question is an achievement that is both impressive and works within the job requirements. Think about what you’re going to be doing in this job, then think about how your past achievements can showcase your talents for the job. It’s often best to focus on soft skills here, as it’s easier to showcase that soft skill is a unique trait based on how you interact with others.