A common interview question that candidates are asked is:
“What are your USPs?”
It can be daunting to answer this question, particularly if you are not familiar with the term ‘USP’. In this article, we will explain the best way of answering this question so that you can feel confident and ace your interview!
What is a USP?
USP is an acronym that stands for unique selling point or unique selling proposition. This acronym is most commonly utilised in the world of business when it is used to sell products by pointing out what makes the product stand out from competitors on the market.
When describing your USPs to employers you must think about what makes you stand out from the crowd and why you should get the job over other applicants.
What are my USPs?
Initially, it might be difficult to figure out what your unique selling points are. In the UK we are culturally not really used to talking about our strengths in comparison to others, so you may find it tricky to express what your unique selling points are.
However, it is important that you are able to sell yourself to potential employers. With a little preparation, you can learn what your unique talents are and discuss them with ease in an interview setting.
Here is our guide to discovering your USPs:
Look at your past skills and experience - The easiest way to start looking at your USPs is to look at your past skills and experience. Perhaps you have solid experience in a particular field or have honed and developed skills over time that would be hugely valuable to potential employers. Write down a list of all your skills and experience to date to see what makes you unique as an employee applying for a new role.
Think about praise you have received for good work - If you know your skills and experience but don’t know how to differentiate yourself from other applicants it might be useful to think about any praise you have received from employers or colleagues in the past. This tip is especially useful if you are a very modest person who finds it difficult to talk about your strengths!
Soft skills count too - Although concrete examples of your expertise are very attractive to potential employers, remember that soft skills count too. It is totally valid to include soft skills such as being a great people person, having fantastic leadership qualities, or first-class analytical skills.
Think about your hobbies - Your hobbies can provide a clue to your USPs. Perhaps you like to decorate cakes or build models as you are very precise and have an eye for detail. Maybe you have a hobby which you enjoy because it allows you to tap into your creative potential. Hobbies can provide an insight into how your mind works and what makes you a truly unique individual.
Build your skills if required - Once you are familiar with your skillset it might make sense to build on your existing capabilities in order to build stronger USPs. For example, if you have a passion for social media, you may want to build on this skill by gaining certification in advertising functions for social media platforms. This can help to differentiate you from others and gain a competitive advantage.
Examples of USPs
When looking to define your USPs, it can be useful to see how others explain their unique selling points to employers. Here are some examples of UPS of employees in different sectors.
“Seasoned Events Manager with a meticulous eye for detail and experience of organising ten successful large-scale events in the past two years”.
“Passionate Digital Marketing Executive with experience in working with an international firm to increase website traffic by 30%”.
“Award-winning IT Manager with five years of leading an expert team of developers working for a broad range of clients”.
“Dedicated Property Manager with experience of maintaining a listed building and reducing annual outgoings by 20%”.
“HR Officer with first-class people skills and experience of successfully recruiting and onboarding new employees”.
“Compassionate Care Assistant with experience of volunteering with the British Red Cross”.
“Diligent Project Manager with certification in Agile and PRINCE2® methodologies”.
It goes without saying that you should not simply copy these USPs. You are an individual with your own experience to bring to the table! Make sure that your USPs are a unique representation of you.
Once you are completely familiar with your own USPs they will come naturally when you are asked about your unique selling points in an interview. While it can be difficult to talk about your strengths, this is something that can be practised. Soon, you will be able to impress interviewers with your confident demeanour when discussing your strengths.
Thank you for reading our guide to discovering your USPs. As individuals we are all unique, so you should work on developing your USPs to capture the essence of what makes you a great employee.