What Makes You Stand Out From Other Candidates - Interview Question

What makes you stand out from other candidates? Or what sets you apart from other candidates? These interview questions can be hard to answer for hiring managers.

what makes you stand out from other candidates

Why hiring managers ask this question

When a company posts a job opportunity, there's a strong probability that a slew of eligible applicants will apply. Hiring managers must determine which applicant has the best skillset and attitude to thrive in their firm and on their team.

Keeping this in mind, it's critical that you do all in your power to distinguish yourself in a way that makes you memorable for the correct reasons. The all-too-common interview question, "what sets you apart from other candidates?" is one of your finest chances to highlight your originality.

This essay will explain why interviewers prefer to ask this question and how you should prepare and present your response. We'll also look at sample replies to see how all of our advice is put to use.

Learning more about your qualifications

Interviewers ask "what sets you apart from other candidates?" to learn more about the qualities you value most in yourself, to learn about experiences that make you uniquely suited for the role, and to uncover reasons why selecting you is preferable to employing a similarly qualified individual.

To be clear, this is not a question about the other candidates; it is about you. Your objective is to describe what abilities you'll use to assist the organization achieve its goals in such a way that the hiring manager can easily see you currently functioning in the role.

This question is similar to "tell me about yourself" and "what is your greatest strength," but it requires a somewhat different response. The hiring manager is interested in what you can offer the organization that no one else can.

How to answer, "What makes you stand out from other candidates?"

To create an answer that will impress hiring managers and recruiters, keep the most crucial thing in mind: the employer's interests. That's a suggestion that applies to almost all of the most popular interview questions, so keep it in mind as you prepare your responses.

Preparing for this question in an interview is simple:

  • Examine the job specifications. To discover the job qualifications and duties, thoroughly read the job description.
  • Know your expertise. Knowing the minimal experience level can help you structure your response to incorporate abilities, credentials, and personality attributes that go above and beyond what's required for the position or otherwise complement the job's needs.
  • Make a list of your own credentials. Compare your abilities and qualifications to the job description's criteria. Choose a couple of your abilities that are relevant to the job criteria and use them as the foundation for your answer about what distinguishes you from other candidates.
  • Include relevant skills. These might include professional abilities, areas of specialty, personal characteristics, or other relevant experience. Consider any remarkable former accomplishments or career objectives that demonstrate your dedication to the field.
  • Consider how you can outperform the other applicants. Try to anticipate what other people will say as you gather information and mention your qualifications. Consider what abilities others see as valuable, then consider examples of how you can outperform everyone else in these areas.
  • Don't bring up other candidates. As a reminder, do not bring up the other candidates. Instead, think of them as people with the same fundamental skill set and experience as the job description, but without that X aspect that makes you stand out.
  • Consider what distinguishes you. Consider what makes you particularly qualified for the position. Try to identify one or two attributes or experiences that you have that are distinct from what others may bring to the table, or that are normally more difficult to locate in potential workers.
  • Maintain your focus. When preparing to discuss what distinguishes you from the competition, try to keep your response relevant to the position you're applying for.
  • Look at your professional skills with an objective eye. Consider what abilities are required for the position and explain how your talents and experience make you the greatest fit among all the other scrubs.

Common FAQ's

Questions from job seekers.

How do you stand out from other applicants during the interview process?

Keep focused on the following:

  • Do your homework and know the job.
  • Demonstrate grit.
  • Be memorable in the meeting and interview.
  • Ask how you can help.
  • Ask bold questions.
  • Show you're a user of the product and brand.

Make sure to present yourself in these ways during the hiring process. Make sure each of your interview answers are relevant to the job, the question, and the person you're speaking with.

Are technical skills and organizational skills good to mention?

While these are great skills, they don't make you stand out amongst other applicants or candidates. These are common skills that a manager will hear frequently.

Consider what the manager will hear during their talent acquisition process. How many times will they hear a job candidate mention they're a "very good communicator?" Consider what talents or skills make you an exceptional candidate while being bold and unique.

What makes a person stand out?

Being conscious of who you are as a person is the first step in standing out. It begins with knowing what makes you happy and unhappy, what you love doing and what you don't enjoy, what you are excellent at and what you aren't good at.

what makes you stand out from other candidates

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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