What sets you apart from others candidates? is a question that an interviewer asks to learn about the intangible skills that make you stand out. So, you need to answer the question carefully as it can be a deciding factor on whether to hire you or not.

From the assessment of Wonderlic, it is revealed that 93% of employers rated soft skills as “essential” or “very important” while making hiring decisions. 

The good news is that soft skills are not specific to any field. So, regardless of your field go through this article to find out the soft skills you need to get hired.


1) Optimism

Optimistic people can motivate their team when they are facing tough times. Even when there is a challenge, people with a positive attitude tend to be quick to take on the task than pessimistic people.

According to Forbes, optimistic people are 103% more motivated to do their best at the work. This is enough for HR to consider candidates with a positive attitude.

Moreover, displaying a positive attitude shows how enthusiastic you are about the job and creates a good impression.


2) Team Player

You would be hard-pressed to find a job that doesn’t require you to work with others. Therefore, employers would want a person who can coordinate and work well with a team.

To relay that you are a good team player, share a story about an instance where you joined forces with your team to finish a project that gave desired results.


3) Empathy and Self-awareness

Whether you are working from home or from an office, being empathetic to your team including your boss can go a long way. You must be aware of your actions and how they affect others in your workplace. 

Being self-absorbed doesn’t get you anywhere. So, ask yourself, what sets me apart from others and tune in to your employer’s needs to prepare an appropriate answer.


4) Intellectual Curiosity

Employers don’t want a candidate who is applying for a job just because they found the posting. They want the one who is genuinely interested in the work and the company.

To display that you are passionate about the job, you need to show your intellectual curiosity which starts with your cover letter or resume. 

  • You should do extensive research on the company, its history, and what it does.
  • For the job interview prepare thoughtful questions to ask so you have the opportunity to know more about the company. It can also help you later when you have to decide whether to proceed with the job or not.


5) Willingness to Learn

Willing to learn quote

In this ever-changing world, you will always find something to learn. As the technology gets upgraded so should you. You should be consistent to learn new things to gain knowledge and experience.

Every employer wants an employee who is willing to improve themselves. It is only possible when you are willing to learn. 


6) Work Ethic

Initially, when hired, most employees start with a good work ethic. They are punctual and show up on time, work extra hours, and harder to show their devotion.

However, over time things change and all this gradually disappears. People start arriving late, then leave early, and at times postpone their tasks. Therefore employees prefer a person who can maintain their work ethic.

So, you need to talk about your past experiences to showcase your strong work ethic.

But, when you are saying what sets you apart from other candidates examples, remember not to brag too much. It could become an instant turn-off for your interviewer.


7) Integrity

An article published in BusinessInsider reveals that Warren Buffett looks for three traits in an employee – intelligence, initiative or energy, and integrity. Moreover, integrity is most important because without it an employee can use their skills to work against the company.

Note that integrity is not about taking credit for a project where your team members or a colleague did more than half of the work. It is about valuing your partner’s work. It also displays the quality of a true leader which an employer will definitely remember.


8) Self-confidence

It is easy to lose confidence when you are in the process of searching for jobs. Going through different job postings for which you may or may not be qualified, applying, and not hearing from the employers can make you feel discouraged. 

But remember that there are many jobs for which you are the right fit.

  • Just be persistent and send your cover letter and resume to all potential jobs.
  • Be prepared for rejections and remember that it is just part of the job search process.
  • Before you go for any interview be ready with your answers. For instance, question yourself what sets me apart from other candidates?” and prepare an answer that showcases your skills and experience.

Remember that you are another applicant to a recruiter. Hence, when you doubt yourself and your abilities to do the job, HR will not feel confident to hire you. So, always display confidence when you are in an interview.

Self-confidence quotes


9) Flexibility and Adaptability

Flexibility quote

Things don’t always go as planned. So, you need to be flexible to adjust and adapt to any situation. No one especially employers don’t prefer the ones who keep on complaining about the difficulty of a problem. 

For example, a web developer who listens to the client’s feedback and makes changes accordingly is favored more than the one who is unwilling to follow the request.

Hence, flexibility and adaptability are key skills that an employer desires in a candidate. Also, these skills will bring you one step closer to getting the job.


10) Problem-Solving Mindset

For any kind of business, no two days are the same. Sitting there, doing nothing, and waiting for a solution to appear is not what an employer wants in a candidate. They need a person who can think on their feet. They prefer the ones who take over the situation and look for a solution.

Therefore, showcase your problem-solving skills by describing a situation where you displayed your creative thinking to resolve an issue.


How to Answer The Question – What Sets You Apart From Other Applicants?

1. Research The Job Requirements

Firstly, you need to do is understand your role. So, read the job description thoroughly to identify the job requirements and your responsibilities. It also helps you to understand what they expect from you. 

This should be part of your interview preparation process. Because, if you don’t learn about the company, the recruiter can tell. They will hire the ones that put in much more effort to learn about the job and the company.


2. Consider What Makes You Unique

Once you are done with research, think about “what three characteristics do you think set you apart from other applicants?” If you find more, list them out too. After that, pick the ones that are similar to the job requirements. 

Now, you need to design your answers to better match the company’s needs. For example, you can say:

“I noticed that the organization is searching for a candidate who can perform both data entry and data analysis. One thing that sets me apart from others is my advanced knowledge of Excel. In my previous job, I was responsible for creating multiple pivot tables that helped us to analyze complex data. With this unique advantage, I will be able to contribute more than other applicants.”


3. Stay on Topic

It is always best to keep your responses professional and work-related. Don’t respond to your interviewer with answers like I have a pet lizard or I was born with 6 toes.

Remember that you need to reveal your unique skills that are relevant to the job posting not boast about your capabilities. Crossing the line will only seem rude and arrogant. It will not help you to get the job.


4. Conclude With Confidence

Just saying the answers is not enough to entice the hiring manager. You need to respond with confidence. 

Your confidence stands as evidence that the skills you talked about are real. Otherwise, the interviewer might think that you are just giving fake information to get hired.

Recommended: How to Answer The Question “Why Do You Want to Work Remotely?”


Bottom Line

Nothing comes as perfect the moment you try it. To display your enthusiasm and passion, you need to prepare and practice multiple times. 

For preparation, you can follow this article and check out the intangible skills that will set you apart from other candidates.

When it comes to practicing, you can do it in front of a mirror or record yourself on a mobile and review it. Another method is to ask your family members or friends to get their feedback.

In case you are looking for remote jobs, then visit HomeJobsHub. You can apply for work from home jobs in a variety of fields. All you have to do is sign up and their AI system will notify you whenever a job is posted matching your skills and requirements.