Are you better than all the other people applying for the job? This is the question that you’re supposed to answer with your job interview. Most people do not have an answer to this question – in fact, most people try their best to sound like everyone else, telling the interviewer that they’ll be a great employee, that they’ll work hard, that they’ll listen to instructions, and more.
Employers want to know what makes you special. They want to feel like you’re the best person for the role. Some of their questions may, quite literally, be about finding about why you’re special, especially as it relates to creative thinking.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a business problem that you had to solve in a unique or innovative way. What was the outcome?
These types of questions are often very hard to answer. But they are also great questions for setting yourself apart from other applicants. There is no trick here – your goal is to give the hiring manager an example of a time that you solved a problem in a creative way. However, make sure that you’re coming up with an answer to this question that is actually answering it. The answer should:
- Show a Unique Idea/Strategy
- Be Interesting
- Have a Positive Outcome
The hardest part for most applicants is figuring out what answer fits these requirements. But if you can find that answer, you’ll definitely be able to impress the interviewer.
“We needed to find a lot more unique, long term local backlinks to help with our online marketing campaign. Google had started to punish websites that asked for guest posts on local sites or used pay-per-listing strategies. We needed something more interesting and effective.
We wanted to try something new, but it seemed like there were few new ideas left to try. Then one day I was looking at this charity that I was hoping to donate to, and came to a realization. What if our company paid for the costs of hosting their website in full each month, and in exchange we ask for a simple like such as ‘paid for by the contribution of COMPANY NAME’ with a link back to our site.
We’d be helping a local charity and hopefully reducing their expenses, and we’d be getting the backlink we wanted. Win/win. We ended up doing this for over 15 different charities and our search engine presence improved as a result.”
Here you can see a simple idea that was able to have a big impact, and it is a very positive one. It also shows that you believe in doing good deeds, which is a nice little side note for employers. Overall, an effective interview answer.