How to Answer 'How Are You Better than the Competition?'

people waiting to be interviewed

Interviews can be daunting, and questions can be unpredictable. It’s important that you prepare for interviews, as the answers you provide will have a significant effect on your chances of landing the position.

Although you cannot fully predict what questions will be asked, there are some common areas that you should focus on. One of the main areas you should concentrate on is how you’re different from the other applicants. What makes you different? How are you better than the competition?

It is not uncommon for interviewers to receive hundreds of applications. If you make it to the interview process, you need to make sure you provide the right answers. The following examples will help you prepare for your next interview regarding your competition.

1. Set yourself apart, highlighting your strengths

When someone asks you about your competition, you’re probably not going to know what they are talking about. The key here is setting yourself apart from other candidates, focusing on your strengths. It is important to mention any assets that may improve your chances of getting a job.

Depending on the position you’re applying for, your answer will differ. Be specific about the skills you can provide. An example of a possible answer would be: 

"I’m not familiar with my direct competition, but I can assure you that I am an excellent fit for the position. I not only have seven years experience, but I have worked as a team leader which taught me valuable skills in terms of effective communication, leadership, and organisation. I have an extremely creative mind which allows me to produce unique ideas. This is what made me so successful as a leader. I feel as though I could bring a lot to the company, both in terms of my ideas and work ethic."

2. Make a list of the top attributes for the ideal candidate

If you focus on the top qualifications and attributes, you will be able to answer this question successfully. Perhaps you’re applying for a job in sales. You will want to be a great communicator, listener, adaptable, extremely organised, and persistent. Now relate this list to your past experience. For example:

"My family owned a business for ten years, which is where I began working. We owned a restaurant, so I became very close with the regular customers. It is important to build a positive relationship with your customers and potential clients. I would sell them on the freshest ingredients, providing them with a visual on what they could expect. Once we sold the business, I began my first sales position.

It is not always about what you have to say, but what your potential client thinks and has to say. I addressed their concerns making them feel more comfortable. As I built contacts, I would make lists regarding my next step. I would colour code contacts regarding the response I received. This helped me organise my thoughts and provided me with my next course of action. Persistence is key, and I have always displayed that crucial skill."

3. Bring unique skills to the table

After you have covered the basic requirements and skills, focus on how you’re truly different. What skills or talents give you an edge over other applicants?

"I spent a summer in Germany, as I already spoke German. From there, I moved to Italy for a year. I am now fluent in English, French, German, and Italian. Speaking multiple languages has allowed me to connect with clients across the world. I travelled a lot when I was younger, so I have been exposed to various cultures and have learnt a lot about the world. This has helped me throughout my career and will allow me to reach clients that others could not."

You do not need to know your competition to obtain the position you desire. Although your competition should motivate you, you should focus on yourself. What is it that makes you different? What makes you stand out? If you focus on what you can bring to the table, you are much more likely to be successful.

See Also: Interview Example Answers of “Thinking Outside the Box”

Have you had any problems answering this question in an interview? Let us know in the comments section…