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How to answer the interview question: what makes you better than other candidates?

Updated on Jun 23, 2021 14774 views
How to answer the interview question: what makes you better than other candidates?

The job interview can be nerve-wracking, but you have managed to answer all the recruiter’s questions confidently. Just before the interview ends, the recruiter asks; “what makes you better than other candidates?”

When a recruiter asks you: 'What makes you better than other candidates?”

You may think, “How should I know what makes you better than others, I don’t even know the other candidates. They may be better than me…”

Well, you do not have to beat yourself up!

The recruiter wants to know why they should hire you above other candidates. This is your chance to tell the recruiter why you are the best candidate for the job.

Recruiters usually ask this question during the final stage of the interview. So if a recruiter asks you this question, know that you are one step ahead of landing the job.

To answer this question well, you need to explain why you think you are the best person for the job. In this article, we will walk you through: 

  • Why hiring managers ask this question
  • Strategies for answering the question.
  • Samples answers to the question; what makes you better than other candidates?

 

Why recruiters ask, What makes you better than other candidates?

Contrary to what job seekers think, recruiters do not just ask this question to make you confused. The recruiter asks this question for different reasons like:

a. The recruiter wants to know the skills and qualifications that make you valuable compared to other candidates.  

If thousands of qualified candidates applied for the same position, then what makes you better than others are?

b. They want to know how your competitive advantage benefits the company.

 This is an opportunity for you to let the recruiter know about the exceptional skills that you did not include in your CV. 

c. Recruiters/employers ask this question to evaluate what you value most about yourself.

 This is your time to let the recruiter know what you value most about yourself. Make sure that your unique selling point will benefit the company.

 

Strategies to answer the question “what makes you better than other candidates?”

To impress the recruiter with your answer, you have to focus on the skills, abilities, and strengths that make you the best person for the job.

Instead of struggling to out figure out what makes you better than other job candidates (since you don’t know them). You should rather concentrate on why hiring you would benefit the employer.

Focusing on the skills and abilities that makes you the best person for the job, will let the recruiter know what makes you stand out from other candidates.

These tips will ensure you tell the recruiter what makes you unique:

Consider what the employer finds valuable

Employers want job candidates that bring a solution to their challenges. Every employer looks forward to hiring candidates that will use their skills, abilities, and strength to help the company achieve business goals.

Take some time to carefully read the job description, and look for information about specific objectives that the employer is hoping to see in the new employee. Identify your strength that aligns with the needs of the company.

Look at your previous experiences

To answer this question well, you have to look at your previous experience. Look at the times that you were recognized by your employer. Think about what you did to earn that recognition.

Think about the skills and abilities that helped you achieve success. The success that you achieved would likely be something that other employers want in their new hires.

For example, if as a salesperson you were able to win back the account of an unhappy client. Then your unique selling point may be your ability to point, perceive and solve problems.

Recognize your positive personality traits 

Your personality can suggest whether you would be great with the job. To answer this question, you should consider the strength that your previous employer, family, and friends have mentioned about you.

Recognizing these traits will help you know how you could apply them to excel in your job. For example, people talk about how you pay attention to details. While answering the question, you can talk about how your attention to details prevents you from making mistakes.

Tie your answer to the role you are applying for

When employers ask you: what makes you better than other candidates? Or what unique trait gives you an edge over other candidates?

Don’t get worried about what makes you “unique”. Employers are looking for your skills, abilities, and strengths that would benefit them. Always make sure that what you are sharing with the employer is relevant to the role.

For example, if you are applying for the role of a customer service executive telling the employer about how great you are with basketball will not work (even if it is unique). If you tell the employer that you speak maybe 6 different languages fluently, then that can help you stand out from other job candidates.

 

4 things to avoid when answering what makes you better than other candidates

Here are four things you need to avoid when answering, “what makes you better than other candidates?”

1. Lying: You might be tempted to say more than what you are, but always remember that it pays to be honest both in the short and long term.

Lying may get you the job, but it may not be able to help you sustain the job when the tasks start coming in.

2. Being negative: Don’t try to bad-mouth other candidates to make yourself look good to the employer. Instead of doing that, focus on your unique traits and how it benefits the company.

3. Talking too much: when talking about what makes you better than other candidates, avoid talking too much. Limit your answer to the skills and abilities that are relevant to the role.

4. Irrelevant skills: Avoid talking about the skills and abilities that are not relevant to the role. Focus on the skills that the employer values instead of the ones that are not relevant.

 

How to answer what makes you better than other candidates and examples 

We have talked about strategies to help you answer the interview question “what makes you better than other candidates?”

Now, we are going to look at how to answer, “What makes you better than other candidates” with examples.

When answering this question, you should always remember to talk about the skills and abilities that will be useful to the employer. You can find out the skills and abilities that would be useful to the employer from the job description. (read the job description carefully)

Answering this is more like answering “why should we hire you?”  Concentrate on what makes you the best fit for the job, rather than looking for ways to outdo other candidates.

You can approach this question by starting with a disclaimer like this:

“I don’t know what other candidates are bringing to the table, I am sure there are a lot of talented candidates applying for this job. However, I believe that my unique skills and experiences make me the best person for this position.” 

Then you can go ahead to talk about the skills and abilities that make you the best person for the job. You can also tell the recruiter about your strengths. These are some examples of good strengths that can give you an advantage over other candidates:

  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership experience
  • Customer service
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Computer experience
  • Conflict resolution

What makes you better than other candidates examples

We understand that you may not know exactly what to say when you are asked “what makes you better than other candidates” especially when you are new in the game.

If you are new to job search, you don’t have to worry. Here are a few examples to help you answer the question “what makes you better than other candidates?”

Example 1

“What makes me better than other candidates is my ability to remain positive even when I fail. I take failure as a part of my experience in my career growth journey. In my previous role as a team lead, I tried to make my team members more accountable, but I discovered that my approach slowed down my team members’ productivity.

Instead of getting angry and scrapping the process, the experience allowed me to come up with a better solution that kept my team members productive while they try to be accountable. At the end of the day, my solution increased productivity by 30%.”

 

Example 2

“What makes me better than other candidates is my natural ability to organize things. In my previous role as an administrative executive, I reorganized the office supplies in the cabinet by categories. I ensured I names every supply.

Because the right items were easier to find, the office placed fewer orders on supplies and we saved 15% on office supplies”

 

Example 3

“What makes me better than other candidates is my 4-years of experience in internet Wi-Fi device retail and my problem-solving skills. I naturally don’t let people walk away with their challenges, I do my best to solve them.

In my previous job as a customer service sales representative, I was known for always solving the problems that customers bring to me. The company retained more clients because of my problem-solving abilities. I was eventually awarded for always wanting to help”

 

Example 4

“What makes me better than other candidates is my love for learning and development. I always embrace opportunities that will help me grow and develop my career no matter how difficult.

In my previous job, one of my colleagues was on maternity leave and no one was willing to fill in for her. I decided to help fill in for the role (she wrote for the company’s blog).

Filling in for her made me relate with our online customers differently, and I also learned a lot about writing. I currently assist her on the blog which has brought more traffic to the company's website.

 

Everyone has something unique that makes him or her the best candidate for the job, but how you tell it to your prospective employer matters. Knowing your strength as regards the job that you are applying for will help you answer the question effectively.

 

Note: the secret to acing any job interview is preparation. You can prepare by practising common job interview questions and answers.

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comment box below.

 

 

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