Job interview. Picture: THE SOWETAN/VATHISWA RUSELO
Job interview. Picture: THE SOWETAN/VATHISWA RUSELO

A favourite question in job interviews is: "What makes you stand out from the other candidates?" Lyndy van den Barselaar, MD of recruitment and consulting firm ManpowerGroup South Africa, says job seekers should work on a killer answer to that tricky question. "Job seekers are constantly looking for new ways to make a lasting, positive impression on their interviewers and set themselves apart from other candidates."

She has this advice:

• Don't be arrogant. Instead of singing your own praises, explain how your skills would work well in a team;

• Turn the question around and talk about what you like about the organisation and how your abilities are synergistic;

• Move away from your list of accomplishments and towards your personal story; and

• Don't be afraid to show how much you want the job. Your enthusiasm will set you apart. "Perhaps the organisation has a message or cause that aligns with your beliefs, or a corporate culture you'd like to be a part of. All of these are reasons, beyond the salary and the benefits, that you'd like to take on this role, and your interviewer will appreciate that."