How to stand out in the interview process

You’re in a job interview and it’s going well, and then you get asked the final question: What sets you apart from other candidates? Why should we hire you over others? You think back to your CV and what makes you unique. What should you focus on? How do you answer this question? ManpowerGroup South Africa’s managing director, Lyndy van den Barselaar, suggests that since you have an authentic job interview story to tell that’s different from that of anyone else, you should embrace it when you’re asked what sets you apart.

With South Africa’s unemployment rate at a record high of 27.7%, according to the latest figures released by Statistics South Africa, it’s become more imperative than ever to be able to make a good impression during your interview process. “In today’s competitive job market, job seekers are constantly looking for new ways to make a lasting, positive impression upon their interviewers, and set themselves apart from the other candidates,” says van den Barselaar. She provides the following tips:

Be humble

Your first instinct may be to make it about you, and explain how you’re superior to other candidates in term of skills or experience. The problem is you don’t know the other candidates and what they have to offer. If you oversell yourself in relation to others, you run the risk of looking arrogant.

“We always encourage interviewees to let their true personalities shine through, be humble and showcase how they would successfully fit into a team, and provide a valuable role towards achieving the team’s business objectives,” says van den Barselaar.

Make it about them

Instead of making the question about yourself, perhaps share what you like most about the company and how you see yourself specifically contributing to this.

“Success in a job role is not just about your skills, but about how your skills align with the company’s needs. Emphasise not just that you have these skills, but how you want to use them to meet the goals of the organisation,” she says.

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