The question, “what makes you unique” is commonly asked during the interview process. It’s recommended that interviewees practice responses for this question as well as others that might be asked of them (more on this below). But I think that the exercise of self-assessment to answer “What makes you unique” is an exercise that shouldn’t be reserved solely for those on the job hunt.
We have many qualities within us that make us unique. How we approach situations, problem solve, learn, apply that knowledge, prioritize tasks and manage our time. All of these and millions of other little things go into who we are and how we behave. Our unique abilities affect every aspect of our lives.
When deciding upon a career for yourself, it’s important to look at your unique skills and capabilities and find a way to gain employment in a field that will let you use them and excel. Whether you possess strong time management skills, have a love of public speaking, are not afraid of failure; tap into what makes you stand out above the crowd and look for career options that could benefit from what you have to offer.
If you struggle to come up with unique capabilities and strengths for yourself, don’t be afraid to ask others. Peers, friends, family members – they can all be a great resource when helping one identify strengths. If, during this period of self-discovery, you identify areas in which you feel you could grow – take the time to do just that! Explore online courses for career training, personal enrichment, webinars, local meet-ups, and more! There are resources and information available to all who take the time to look for them.
If you are looking for a new job, make sure to include examples of your unique skills on your resume and in your interview answers, so that potential employers can see how you might benefit the team on the job. These unique skills are both the things that make you stand apart from others, and that will allow you to find like-minded individuals with which to form an indominable team.
During a job interview, keep in mind that the question, "What makes you unique?" is not the time to share your eccentricities or odd quirks. Professionals advise that this is the time to highlight your unique abilities that will make you the best candidate for the job.
Below are some examples of compelling answers you might give if asked what makes you unique. Make sure you have solid examples of how you’ve done these things in the past!
- I have a gift for bringing people together around a common goal
- I have a knack for motivating those around me
- I am a good communicator
- I remain calm in high-stress situations
- I am an empathetic listener and find that this helps me to relate to other people
- I enjoy learning new things and pick up on new skills easily
- I love learning new things - I am looking for work that will help me learn and grow
- I can perceive when a client or customer is unhappy and can quickly determine a strategy to address their concerns
- I’m not afraid to take calculated risks for the good of a project, if necessary
- I am driven to perform well, and complete tasks assigned to me, no matter how difficult they may be
Seek out experiences that provide the opportunity to add something new to your unique skill set, or that can highlight areas in which you may need to grow. As the saying goes, “You are you, and that is your superpower”.