What sets you apart from other applicants best answer

How to answer – What sets you apart from other candidates?

Answering “What sets you apart from other candidates?” can be difficult!
Mainly because you do not know who your competitors are.
Learn how to answer it smartly!

Job interviews tend to become tricky mainly because of a few tough interview questions that can take you by surprise. One such question especially during sales interviews is, “What sets you apart from other candidates?” 

Imagine that you have answered or handled most of the common interview questions during your interview for a business development executive or sales executive position.  You are doing well. You have gained a lot of confidence about the possibility of you getting the desired role with your favorite company. 

And now the interviewer asks you, “What sets you apart from others?”

You probably are thinking,

“Didn’t I just sell myself out there right now?” or “How much more do I need to sell myself to get this job?” 

Why do you feel intimidated when answering, “What sets you apart from other candidates?”

Answering such a question becomes hard for many reasons. You do not know who else is applying for this job and what are their profiles.

You are confused about what you talk about yourself, which will differentiate you from others. You are struggling to understand what can impress the interviewer.

There may be a certain level of insecurity because somehow none of what you have achieved till now is really worthy of making you different from other candidates. 

Calm down. Here is a piece of good news for you! 

Remember, such a question comes at the later stages of an interview.

This means a lot of things about you match what is expected from an ideal candidate for the sales position. You probably have completed 90% of what is desired from the candidate right for the role.

So, you just need to complete the remaining 10% of the journey. 

Simply put, if they ask you this question, you have a high chance of getting hired! 

So buckle up and focus on how you need to prepare for this sales interview question. 

We have put together a small but comprehensive guide, which will help you understand why recruiters ask this specific question. It will make you understand how to prepare an answer.

You will find useful tips while answering it, know mistakes to avoid, and a ton of examples of answers to help you get a head-start. 

Why do Interviewers ask, “What sets you apart from other candidates?

It’s a situation-based question. The interview wants to see with your skills and abilities how you will solve a problem in a certain scenario. They won’t tell you the scenario so it’s up to you to elaborate.

They are also keen to get more insights about you as a person. There may be many things that will now come up on your resume. You may not have mentioned them even during the interview. So, this is where the interviewer is giving you the chance to bring them up!

If this interview question is asked during a sales interview, they are keen to understand your ability to sell!

This question is similar to other behavioral questions. But here you need a different approach with your answer.

Tell them about your clients in past jobs or volunteer work. The hiring manager will have more focus on your descriptive view of the solution.

And if you are aware of your strengths, you know what to say in your answer. This is where it becomes extremely important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

For this, you want to explore this relevant interview question: What are you strengths and weaknesses?

How to Prepare your Answer for “What sets you apart from other candidates?”

Well, it’s time to deliver the most impactful answer to the employers.

As a candidate, you must have a specific talent or a perspective that could enlighten your demeanor and the interviewer will notice just you among the other qualified candidates.

What can you possibly add to this answer that will help you. It is important not repeat what you have already said.

4 Ideas to help prepare your answer on what sets you apart from others

1. Research job description.

You understand the job role and apply for it. For this specific question, tailor your answer with your skills. What and how you can help the company as the applied role with your skills.

Show the interviewer that you have a stronghold on your strength and have a unique approach to a problem.

2. Come up with various predictions of other candidates’ answers.

All candidates will at some point think of the same answers to highlight themselves. So it is a wise step to imagine what others will say in contrast to the job role.

You can do research on them. Then carefully think how you can showcase your differentiation. Then mould your answer to show how different you are from the rest in the list.

3. Try to connect the applied job description with your past role experiences.

This is the best way to highlight yourself. Since you have worked at a company with a similar job role, the hiring manager is likely to notice you.

You can explain to them the role you had done at your last job and how you can handle the applied job role at their company. The relevance in the job roles can help them find the perfect candidate.

“I used to work as a Data Analyst at my last job. I had to work on a heavy schedule and had my hand full on data entry and data analysis. My deep knowledge of excel sheets and making a report monthly for the company sets me apart from the other candidates. Since you are looking for someone who can manage the database of daily work and have a presentation ready to show the team how to manage the data, I think my experience and knowledge will be an advantage for your company.”


[ Important Reading20 Strong Examples of – Tell me about yourself for Fresher Sample Answer ]



4. Humbleness goes a long way

If you are applying for sales, show the interviewer that you want to be a part of their team to help them improve the sales revenue. Do that by emphasizing the skills that will improve their activity and what is only supposed to enhance your impression. Same thing applies for jobs in other fields.

However, it is important to control and maintain your tone and body language in such a way, that you come across as humble and genuine. It is possible that while talking about your strengths or achievements, you may create an impression of being overconfident or arrogant.



Skills that will set you apart in your job interview



Let us understand those skills that can definitely set you apart from other candidates.

For this question, you don’t have to talk about all your skills but only those that are relevant to the job.

Try explaining a scenario where these important skills can be used. You can emphasize how expertly you can handle the situation with those skills that you have mastered over the years.

Key skills that set you apart from others in career and interviews

4 Key Skills that set you apart during interviews as well as your career

1. Being curious

Employers really appreciate an employee’s hunger for more knowledge in the field. Show your enthusiastic nature in learning new things from them.

It is of great benefit for the company to hire employees who will learn further from them and bring more improvement to their work outcome.

A boss with an enthusiastic employee can make a failed project into the most successful project of the year.

Prepare few questions to be asked the interviewer that go beyond a commoners’ knowledge!

This intellectual curiosity can give you insight into the details of the company’s work culture. The interviewer notes this as an excellent skill to be prepared for and take every chance to know the company or perhaps a client.

2. Self-awareness

Many candidates start off strong with their amazing performances in the last job. They talk about their achievements in their job or in college events.

What the interviewer also wants to know about you is your activities aside from work. They are pretty much aware of your skills in the previous questions they had asked.

How you describe your learnings about yourself using examples from your personal and professional life can make you stand apart. Self-awareness is a rare entity!

Having self-awareness is one of the points many candidates forget to mention or perhaps avoid.

3. Self-confidence

There are people who “have” self confidence and there are others who are busy “showing” it!

You want to showcase yourself as the first kind.

Illustrate a situation where you possibly had failed to do a task but your self-confidence didn’t let you down.

A candidate with self-confidence is actually a handy delegate. Your boss doesn’t expect you to be perfect in everything.

With your answer, you can easily differentiate yourself by showing that you have self-confidence and not just trying to show it off.

4. Being a continuous Learner

Every boss wants their subordinates to learn more about their work culture and bring more success to their firm.

In your answer, talk about your ability to learn quickly. Talk about, how quickly you adapt to new changes and get to work instantly.

With the enthusiasm to learn, the hiring manager sees you as a trainable fresher who can be taught new things that will help you excel in the job.

Remember – the Ability to learn fast can be the biggest differentiator in the modern fast-evolving workplace! What used to take 20 years to happen in the past, happens in less than 3 years there day. So, your agility in learning something and applying it is central to your success!



5 Tips For Answering “What Sets You Apart?”

Pretty sure you must have worked on your ideas by now. Now let’s jump into some points that you must consider while answering. This is very important to avoid mistakes.

1.   Must tailor an example for your strengths and weaknesses. Gather all your volunteer and academic team projects you can think of and draw the story in them.

2. If you mention being a part of a project, make sure you know the ins and outs of the project. This is a very important factor to note for the interviewer and you. You will come across as genuine and credible. Describe the project, progress, and positive outcome.

3. Keep your answer to the point. Cut out any excessive details added initially. You don’t want to look like a person who just came with anything that popped into your head.

Short answers are good when mentioning your skills with a story.

4. Focus on helping the interviewer imagine, how good you will be at the job if hired!

It is about the way you address your work as a worthy asset for their company. Repeating, you basically sell yourself. The interviewer wants someone who can benefit the company.

5. Understand the job description thoroughly. As discussed above, you should mention only the skills that are relevant to the job description. But surprisingly, most candidates never bother to understand what the job entails well. You can easily avoid this common mistake. This helps you to stay focused on the job role.

6. Overall, focus on your winning personality. The more naturally you speak, the more convincing you sound. Stay confident even if you have no big differentiation to showcase. Interviewers ultimately want people with a winners mindset and confidence!



Example Answers For What sets you apart from other candidates?

Try to make your answer sound convincing with nothing fancy added to it but effectiveness in it. Think of using only the qualifications that best fit the role.

# 1

“I’ve had two years of experience as a photo editor at ABC company. I checked all the requirements for this job role. I can use Adobe Photoshop and have won three awards as the best photo editor at my last job. What sets me apart from others is my ability to lead. I have been a team leader for a very huge project at my last job and it was on short notice for us to present the final look of a project. Many don’t understand the efforts in putting each detail to a product is important. I can build an entire model from scratch and give details to even a mini product. I think this skill will be very beneficial to your company who constantly works on the digital side.”

# 2

“It is mentioned in the job description that you are looking for someone who can manage projects and have excellent communication skills. I have a background in Product management in a startup. I used to manage all the programs and talk to the clients face to face. So I think I will be a fit role at your company and would be of great advantage to speed up the work with the knowledge in this area and adapt to your management faster than other candidates.”

# 3

“I see that your company is looking for someone who can manage your website and can create reports daily. This is my best ability that sets me apart from others that I am a fast typer and I have a bachelor’s degree in technology. I used to work as a front-end developer and also did part-time as data entry. I think it is very close to what you can ask for in an employee. With my skill to work on your website, I can manage it along with making reports of the activities.”

Remember to show your unique skills and the ones that are a potential help to the company. The more devotion you show in helping the company and tending to their needs, the more chance you have for getting the position.



Related Reading: 16+ Powerful sample answers for – Why should we hire you?



6 Mistakes to Avoid While Answering “What Sets Me Apart”

1. Don’t be shy to brag about yourself but don’t stretch it too much! Stay to the point and give them a clear answer.

2. Don’t be lazy or sound lazy in your response! Do thorough research on the job role you’ve applied for. You cannot share relevant experiences if you don’t know the job description.

3. Don’t avoid preparation. It sounds so obvious, and still so few actually take the effort. Everybody has something unique that makes them different from others. Think of it before coming. That is why it is always advisable to read the job description before applying.

4. Do not talk ill about other candidates. You should not take their names but phrasing certain words gives away your motive.

5. Avoid adding negativity to your answer. Criticizing your previous workplace or colleagues is considered very bad behavior. The interviewer will not hesitate to reject you for dissing your work just because you left. Remember, you being a part of your last job is why you will have more chances of getting a bigger role.

6. Do not give short answers that end abruptly. Detailing is important when describing your experience . You need to tell the hiring manager what makes you unique with a well-structured answer.

Similar Interview Questions

Here are some questions the interviewers may ask instead of “What sets you apart?” but it means the same.

1. “Why should we hire you?”

2. “What is unique about you?”

3. “Why do you think we will hire you?”

4. “Why do you think you are the best fit for this role?”

These questions sound intimidating but always have the idea and motive behind asking those quotations.

The interviewer will notice your confidence in not being intimidated but the fearless answer that you have done your assignment well and have come prepared.



Check out the “Fresher Interview Questions” section if you want to truly set yourself apart from other candidates, in your next interviews!

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