How to answer: ‘What can you do better for us than other applicants?’ in a job interview

What can you do better for us than other applicants? One of the toughest questions you can encounter during an interview is the one that is directed at you as a person. This question is more about elaborating or stressing more on your response to ‘what are your strengths?‘. So how do you answer ‘what can you do better for us than other applicants?’. It’s kind of a tricky question, but we will provide you with all the information you need.

When you are asked this question, your interviewers are not expecting that you evaluate the skills of other candidates or that you compare yourself to other candidates. It is a question designed for you to showcase your unique skills and qualities which makes you stand out from other candidates.

Interviewers ask this question so they will gain insight into your skills and capabilities also, to know how you understand your unique assets. This question can come in different forms, such as:

  • ‘What makes you the ideal person for this job?’
  • ‘What can you do for us that others can’t?’
  • ‘Do you have any skills to offer that others probably don’t?’
  • ‘What can you offer us that someone else can’t?’

Learn more about tough interview questions you can expect and how to answer them!

Tips for answering ‘What can you do better for us than other applicants?’

Below we discuss a couple of important steps that you can take into account when you’re preparing for your interview. Being able to explain what you can do better than other candidates is essential to make the right impression during the interview.

Start your response with a disavowal

One can call it modesty; another might call it pretense; either way, it is an impressive start. Start by stating that you do not know the strengths of other candidates and there are chances they also have high qualities, but you know you have the qualities and all it takes to work in that job position. You should, however, end it with a strong assertion that you are the better candidate for the position.

Talk about yourself

Just because you are given the opportunity to explain what makes you better than others, it is doesn’t give you the right to badmouth, criticize, or ridicule others. You should always focus on yourself and your strengths. The fact that you do not know other candidates is enough reason for you to focus on just your own strengths and weaknesses.

Even when asked about other people who are not candidates, you should refrain from speaking negatively of them, when answering questions about what you can do better than other applicants always focus on your own strengths!

Focus on your strengths

You can’t correctly answer this question without specifically describing those unique strengths of yours. It is not enough to list the general skills that every other person has. Everyone has something that makes him or her unique and special. You should first identify and have an understanding of at least one or two of such skills that make you special. Be precise about them.

Since your response is more about convincing your interviewers, it is not enough to just lay claims on some set of qualities. You might as well provide concrete proof and evidence. There is no better way to go about this than to share stories, give explanations and examples of when you have used those skills and strengths of yours to add value and to solve problems in your previous workplaces.

The experience to share does not have to be restricted to your past professional jobs. It could be your experiences during your school days, internships, or even volunteer services. You can do this better using the STAR interview response technique.

Your answer should apply to the company

Make sure you don’t list out strengths that will be irrelevant to the company or to the job position you are applying. As interested as your prospective employee is in knowing your unique assets, strengths, and qualities, he or she would also be interested in knowing how those qualities will be of benefit to the company. This means that your answer should also demonstrate that you perfectly understand the company’s goals and needs and that with your strengths, you can meet their needs.

Describe the values you add to the organization

Every employer is interested in what their company stands to gain from a potential hire: that is basically the point of holding interviews. It would not be wise to state your strengths without stating your value and intended contribution to the company. You share the story of the values you added in your past or current job. Give figures for the ones that are quantifiable to help drive home your points.

In summary:

In short, to give the right answer to questions about what you can do better than other applicants you should:

  • Start with a disavowal stating that you do not know other candidates or skills they may possess
  • Answer the question with confidence
  • Focus on yourself and what you do or what you can do rather than on what your colleagues can’t do
  • Discuss the skill, strengths, and qualities that qualify you for the position
  • Match your strengths with the company’s needs and convince the employer that you are of value to the company

What you should not do or say

  • Don’t ridicule or criticize other candidates even if you know them and feel like they are no match for you.
  • There is usually a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Make sure you don’t cross that line even if you think your status is higher than that of your interviewers, so you don’t give them an impression that you an arrogant fellow.
  • Nervousness can make you stutter. Showing signs of nervousness or anxiety such as sweating profusely or making fidgety movements with your hands can give your interviewers the notion that you are not confident in your strengths and abilities. Therefore, you should practice and prepare before time to avoid such happening.
  • Do not bring up any strength or value that will clash with the company’s culture or value. You can’t say you are very good at working independently when the company is all about group work and team spirit.

A sample answer to ‘what can you do better for us than other applicants?’

‘When I went through the job description for this position, I knew that this would be a perfect match. My commercial skills and management experience perfectly align with what you’re looking for. I’m confident that my experience and abilities will help me successfully perform the project management position.

I have effectively led teams for over five years, and in the last two years, my region earned the region of the year title back to back. Besides my background in successfully leading team projects, my networking skills helped me develop great relationships with clients, developers, and vendors.

My professional experiences, coupled with my good communication skills, work ethic, and friendly attitude, makes me a perfect fit for the job. I have the experience to start contributing to your team from day one. Needless to say, I’m very excited about the prospect of starting in your organization.’

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic