Once you have completed preparing your competencies and accomplishments it is important to spend some time on preparing for the question, “What makes you unique?” If you can answer this question well you will be way ahead of the competition. The full question, of course, is “What makes you uniquely qualified for this position?” Or, even more to the point, “Why should we hire you over anyone else?”
Preparing for this critical question involves reviewing your competencies and accomplishments for those key elements that make you the best candidate for the position. It also involves analyzing all you are able to find out about the company, your potential boss, and the position, in order to best tailor your answer to what you perceive to be the needs of the organization as they relate to the opening you are looking to fill.
Also, don’t overlook the “cultural” aspects of the company and the job when describing why you are uniquely qualified. Remember “fit” is a key element in a hiring manager’s decision about the right candidate – so giving evidence that you would fit into the culture easily is a very important element that is often overlooked by candidates.
Suppose, for example, that you wanted to work for an international company and, in response to that question, you said, “I believe my international studies major, ability to speak three languages, and extensive travel abroad make me unique.” Or, suppose you were interviewing for a job in the FBI or CIA where you knew they needed analytical skills, risk-taking skills and a perfectly clean record. Your answer might be, “I believe that my computer science major, my interest in sky diving and the fact that I’m an Eagle Scout make me unique.”
Unlike some other areas of preparation, it is very important that your preparation for this question be done for each company and position – as each are going to be very different!
See the Career Profile “What Makes You Uniquely Qualified?”