* To make the reading smoother, the article is written for males, though relates for both genders. Ladies, please forgive me this time.
In hard pressed times like these, where there are only a handful of jobs and ten times the number of applicants; the fate of securing a job lies in the hands of an interviewer. It is his sheer will that accepts or rejects an individual’s application.
In such circumstances, it is absolutely essential for an individual to be able to ‘stand-out’ from the lot. If he is able to do so, he may get the job.
But it is not as easy as it sounds.
You need to be prepared with a succinct and a self-assured personal statement about yourself, for if you are, you will be able to differentiate from the other candidates. You should be able to convince the interviewer that you are the most appropriate applicant for the job.
For this, you ought to have done your homework well. You ought to know what the interviewer is looking for, about your own strengths and weaknesses and most importantly, the ‘perfect-fit’ between the two.
Let’s consider an example:
What makes you so different/special or unique?
Interviewer: “What makes you unique? How do you stand out in a crowd?”
Interviewee: “I have a knack for languages. As a matter of fact, I know English, Spanish and Italian. Given the fact that the job would require an employee to travel and interact with foreign clients (European and South American); my ability will give me an edge to understand the needs of the client and deliver the service as desired.”
Clearly, the statement of the interviewee has made him stand out in the crowd. He has been able to succinctly communicate to the interviewer that ‘he knows about the job requirements’ and ‘he possesses the right skill set and ability’ to meet the requirements.
Furthermore, if the interviewee can mention a few instances wherein, he has demonstrated his skills and delivered positive outcomes in work environment; he will have a better edge over the rest.
Perhaps, this way the interviewer will realize his qualities (or uniqueness if you want).
So what makes you special, unique and different from other candidates? How does one prepare for such a question?
There are a few simple steps that can help you prepare for an appropriate statement to communicate that you’re ‘different’:
1. Go through the ‘job description’ and the company profile. Try to gauge what could be the ‘key deliverables’ expected from an ideal employee.
2. Make a list of your strengths – The strengths need to include your transferable skills such as: time-management, communication, Interpersonal-relationship skills, negotiation and soft skills. You may however, touch-base upon personal traits such as positive attitude and pro-activeness as well. Further reading – What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
Analyze the strengths with the ‘key skills’ that an interviewer might be looking for, in an applicant. If there are a few ‘skill gaps’ or ‘need gaps’, prepare yourself to answer a query that might focus at the concern.
3. Communicate your motivation level. Employers love motivated employees!! read further at – Why Have You Applied For This Job?
However, there is one more important point to remember. You need to be ‘assertive’ while answering the question for making the interviewer realize that you are the ‘right fit’ for the job, so he will consider you for it.