It is a beauty of creation that no two people in this world are identical. Yes, you are unique, and you certainly can offer something to the the employer which other job applicants cannot.
But how to identify this special value you carry within you? And how to define it properly in an interview, connecting it with the job you try to get? And does it really matter for the employer anyway, the unique skill, trait, attitude, or experience you can offer? And why do they ask this question, or one of the similar alternatives, such as “What can you offer us that other candidates can’t?”
We will try to find the answer together. Before progressing with the analysis, let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question.
7 sample answers to “What can you offer us that someone else cannot?” interview question
- I’ve been working in this field for ten years, and have an insider knowledge of the business operations of one of your main competitors. I know their clients, sales strategies, the way they try to stand out in the market. Certainly I haven’t talked to the other job applicants in person, and they may have their strengths, but I doubt that they can offer such a knowledge of our industry.
- I cannot offer much in terms of experience, because this is my first job application. But I can assure you about one thing: I love this field, and I am as motivated as anyone to make a successful career in banking and finance. What I can offer you is my heart, motivation, and an unceasing effort to grow as a person. With such an attitude I believe I will be a great asset for your team.
- I can offer you a proven track record of excellence and loyalty. Here is a list of my references. You can call each person on the list and see yourself how much I did for the company, how much I sacrificed. Maybe I am not young anymore, and do not have a drive of some 20 years old graduate. But I can assure you that I am here to stay, and I won’t leave your company after a year or two…
* May also interest you: Why shouldn’t we hire you?
- Creative mind and innovative ideas is what I can offer to you. Please have a look at my work portfolio. I do not copy anyone’s work, I do not try to imitate the work of other creators. Gaining my inspiration from everyday life and trying to come up with something innovative, you can be sure that I will help you design advertising campaigns that will help your company stand out.
- I can offer you humility, and everything else that streams out of it. Look, I do not consider myself superior to my competitors in this interview, or to anyone else for that matter. It’s not the stick I measure myself against. Honestly, I do not care much what others can offer. I try to be the best version of myself, and I never cease to work on my skills and abilities–because I am never satisfied, and I always try to improve. I am offering you this attitude to work and life.
- Speaking honestly, I do not think I can answer your question. I try to look for good things in other people, and I am sure that each of the job applicants has something to offer to your company. Someone have more experience than the others, someone has better attitude or communication skills, and so on. It is your task–and certainly not an easy one, to decide what matters the most to you, and choose the winner accordingly. I try my best to answer your questions honestly, so you can get a good grasp of my attitude and way of thinking. But at the end you have to decide whether I am the best applicant for the job, or someone else will win the new contract…
- I can offer you a promise that I will stay with your restaurant for at least a year–if you hire me, of course. I know that you struggle a lot with job hoping at this place, that people cannot handle the workload and leave. But I really prefer job stability, and like everything about your place. As long as you are satisfied with my work, I can assure you that I won’t leave. I’ve been struggling to get a job for a long time because of my young child. When I finally get one, I will do my best to retain it.
Humility can take you a long way in the interviews
At the end of the day your attitude and way of thinking matters the most for the hiring managers. Do not hesitate to praise other job applicants, or even to admit having a weakness, something that makes you an outsider in the interviews (lack of experience, some problem with your communication skills, etc).
When they see that you do not consider yourself perfect, and can actually recognize other people for their qualities, they will immediately feel inclined to hire you, because people like you are the best colleagues. Check sample answers no. 5 and no 6. for an inspiration.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
In some job fields experience can pay big time
Accounting, IT, engineering, design, sales–previous working experience will help you immensely in these job fields, and in many others.
But you should have something to backup your experience. It can be a list of references (check sample answer no. 3), or a portfolio of your best works (check sample answer no. 4). Demonstrating how your previous working experience will help you make their company successful is a guaranteed way to make an impression and to stand out.
* Do not forget to check: What makes you stand out from the rest? 7 sample answers.
For some employers loyalty is more important than anything else
Think about call centers, or average bars and restaurants. Such places are always advertising vacancies, simply because people do not stay long with them. This is incredibly stressful for most owners and managers, because they are constantly understaffed and face a plethora of related problems.
If you apply for a job in a similar place, offer them your loyalty. But you should again have something to backup your claim. Perhaps you are quite old already, and find it hard to get any job. Or you have a young child and most employers ignore you because of it. If this one gives you a chance, you will be grateful and pay back with strong employee loyalty.
At the end of the day you also need money to live. If you finally get a job, you will do whatever you can to retain it. Check sample answer no. 7 as a demonstration of this attitude.
Conclusion, answers to other tricky interview questions
Skilled hiring managers should not ask you “What can you offer us that other candidates can’t?”. They should have an ability to assess your strengths and weaknesses over the course of the interviews, and decide whether you are the right match for the job.
But not all hiring managers are skilled, and some who are may still ask you the question. They try to assess your level of self confidence, and whether you have some humility in you. Think about it for a moment, check the sample answers once again, and pick one that fits you and your situation in the interviews.
When done, do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- What makes you unique?
- What challenges are you looking for in a position?
- What makes you different from other candidates?