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Best Answer:  Play up your skills, there's little difference between hospitality and retail, with the exception of the final product, and some of the skills involved. I'll give you examples in both the resume and cover letter.

For Example:

June 2004 - present
Acme Conventions
Wait Staff Manager
- Responsible for supervision of wait staff serving over 100 guests
- Respond to client concerns in a timely manner
- Ensure timely delivery of meals to client satisfaction
- Increased productivity by 35%
- Increased customer satisfaction by 70%

You get the drift here. Show them numbers. :) I always hate that part, but I definitely noticed a difference when I started including hard numbers.


To Whom It May Concern;

My name is Jane and I'm interested in your retail sales position. While I don't have a lot of retail experience, I am extremely skilled in dealing with customers, ensuring client satisfaction and getting along well with others.

In my current position, I am in charge of a large waitstaff during conventions and other events. I have often worked extensive hours and dealt with dissatisfied or demanding clients all while maintaining composure and a professional demeanor. Nearly all of my clients are satisfied and I have received numerous compliments from co-workers and supervisors.

What led me to apply for your position is that I am truly interested in your product. In my free time, it is a hobby that I study, read industry standard magazines, watch television programs and really just all around enjoy it.


I hope that helps somewhat. Often, in retail, they are looking for people who aren't focused on money making, but enjoy their product and can connect with customers in such a way that enhances the customer experience and the store's sales.

I recently applied for a job working in a Bridal store, and this was the type of approach I used. I had been out of retail for about 5 years, so I didn't look like a stellar sales person on paper. Send me a message if you'd like to see a copy of my cover letter. I'll save everyone else from eternal scrolling. :)

Source(s): Just landed a retail job; have been instrumental in the hiring process in previous retail and office positions; have worked in many retail environments.

jedimorgana · 1 decade ago

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When an interviewer asks you to tell them what you can do that other candidates can’t, they aren’t asking you to evaluate the skills of your fellow candidates. You probably don’t know them. The hiring manager uses this question to figure out some elements of your character. How do you handle awkward situations Are you good under pressure Will you badmouth your peers to make yourself look better during the interview As you answer the question, the interviewer gets a sense of your values and your ability to self-evaluate.

Points to Emphasize

Since the hiring manager isn’t really looking for you to evaluate the other candidates, you want to stay calm, positive and talk about what makes you unique.

  • Focus on what you do, rather than what your peers don’t do.
  • Talk about skills that qualify you for this particular position.
  • Answer with confidence.
  • Start with a disclaimer that you don’t know what the other candidates’ skills are.

Assure the interviewer that you have attributes that will benefit the company.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

There are certain pitfalls that you want to make sure to avoid when you answer this question.

  • Don’t bash your peers. Keep the answer positive.
  • Beware crossing the line from confidence to arrogance.
  • Avoid talking about values that clash with the company’s values. For instance, if the company is all about teamwork, don’t brag about being good at working alone.
  • Be careful not to get nervous when answering this tricky question.
  • Keep your answer polite and void of arrogance, and you will do well.

Sample Answer

Here are what two great answers for this question might look like:

  • I don’t know what skillsets everyone else is bringing to you, but I bring an unmatched level of understanding to the customer service position. I think it’s important to be able to put yourself in the customer’s position. This helps avoid misunderstandings and confrontations. It also helps me provide great customer service, which I know is the backbone to this company.
  • Obviously I can’t speak to the qualifications of everyone else, but I do know that I am organized and persistent. This company values achievements, and I think that my organization and persistence will lead me to reach the goals that are set in place for this position.
  • It’s really important that as you answer this question you keep in mind what the hiring manager is truly looking for. They want to know that you share the same values as the company does. They want to know that you are trustworthy. Answer the question politely and confidently, and they will see just that.

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