You’re one-of-a-kind—and that’s a good thing! Whether you’re the life of every party, always up for an adventure or passionate about helping others, you have something special that no one else in the world has. That’s your “spark.” And knowing it gives you the confidence to embrace your unique qualities and use them to stand out from the crowd.
The reason interviewers ask what makes you unique is to understand your personality, work style and motivations and see if they align with the job’s requirements. The question also helps interviewers evaluate whether you’ll be a cultural fit and can work well with others on their team.
There are a few ways to identify what sets you apart from other candidates, including self-reflection and asking for input from friends and family. However, the most important step is to examine your skills, experiences and commendable traits and find a few that are truly unique to you.
For example, if you’re known for being persistent, don’t just say, “I’m persistent.” Instead, explain how you have applied your persistence to achieve specific results, such as exceeding sales goals or getting a promotion. This way, the interviewer can visualize you in the role and imagine you already succeeding in it.
Another way to identify your unique qualities is to look at the skills in the job description and think about how you’re qualified for them. For example, if the employer wants someone who’s an effective communicator, talk about how you use your communication skills to inspire others to take action and motivate teams.
Lastly, you can also turn to your past performance evaluations and see how you’ve stood out in different roles. For example, have you received praise for being a great listener or your ability to create strong relationships with people? If so, these are skills that may make you a valuable addition to the company’s team.
It’s also important to remember that not all unique qualities are necessarily positive or productive, and some may be things that you don’t control. For instance, if you have a habit of over-analyzing situations and beating yourself up when they don’t go exactly the way you planned, it could be a negative quality that you need to work on.
The point is to recognize what’s special about you and use it to your advantage. When you know what your spark is, you can be unstoppable! Rebecca Jane Stokes is a freelance writer and former senior editor of pop culture at Newsweek and SheKnows. She has a passion for lifestyle, geek news and true crime topics. Her bylines have appeared on Fatherly, Bustle, SheKnows and Jezebel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.