Talking about your greatest strength or things that you’re good at should be a breeze. Unfortunately, you can’t just spew off a list of qualities and think you’re done at job interviews. Interviewers ask a question and expect a specific type of response that may make or break the interview. Mock interview software helps you prepare for this question and so much more.
Hiring managers like to discuss a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses to see if you are a good fit for the jobs they need to fill.
An interviewer wants to know your greatest weakness, and this should show that you are honest and aware of your limitations but are actively working to grow. Your responses should set you apart from the other candidates. It shows that you’re serious about problem-solving and will work through challenges by using your strengths.
On the other hand, the strength question an interview asks convinces your potential employer that you are not only qualified for the job but will excel at it. Job seekers need all the advantages they can get, and great examples to show they are worthy of being hired.
How to Answer
Review the Job Description
During your job search, you likely skimmed through the job requirements to see if this is something you should apply for. Now, it’s time to comb through that description box, and think about your list of strengths, and how to answer the questions with real-world examples.
List the Skills or Qualifications
Write down all the criteria that the company is looking for. This list may include education, experience, soft skills, and hard skills. Be detailed oriented, and consider example answers that may work. A good answer should let the interviewer know you are ready to join their team, and back up the information on your resume.
Be sure to keep the skills relevant to the job requirements, and use topical examples. We don’t want to hear about how you’re fantastic at public speaking for an engineering position.
When answering the question about your greatest strength, you need to prove that you are the strongest candidate for the job. For each item on your list, reflect on how you demonstrated that skill in the past by answering using the STAR method for each example answer.
Sharing an example or an anecdote of how you used your strengths is vital for nailing this part with a hiring manager. Whenever possible, answer with quantifiable information that supports your story, such as statistics and after-action reports from your career. You can also make a reference to jobs on your resume.
While humility is an attractive quality, this question is not the time to shrink back and be unassertive when talking about your skills by using examples. On the other hand, no one wants a team member who is overly boastful or arrogant. Be passionate and confident about who you are but stick to the facts. Let your work and experience on past jobs speak for itself.
Here are some potential answers you can use to frame your own response and show your strengths:
I have a number of strengths. But, if I had to highlight my greatest strength, I would say my work ethic. My previous employers would agree that I am driven and I work until I get the job done
For example, my team had a project that turned out to be a more substantial undertaking than we estimated. This required working extra hours and doing more than what is simply required.
I was able to finish the project by the deadline. Although we were pressed for time, the quality of the work was not compromised. My client was very impressed.
I have excellent communication skills. With ten years of customer service experience, I know how to communicate with difficult people and handle challenging situations effectively.
For instance, a customer was once very upset with our product that had malfunctioned. I knew that it was essential first to remain calm and listen to the client express himself. Although I could not give him the solution that he wanted, I was able to diffuse the situation.
By the end of the conversation, the customer and the company reached a compromise. Although the product he received was defective, the person was satisfied with my customer service.
I am a capable multi-tasker with great attention to detail. I have been an administrative assistant for five years. My first manager at ABC Company gradually and consistently gave me more and more responsibilities.
She gave me a phenomenal recommendation. When I started working at XYZ Company, I was fully prepared and jumped right in. From the first day, I was managing meetings, scheduling appointments, and preparing statistical reports.
I am very proud of my writing skills. Writing a comprehensive report requires more than excellent grammar skills. I can sift through a lot of information and data to give my clients what they need to know.
My previous employer was very satisfied with my work. I wrote a financial report for a client’s business. Both the client and my boss were ecstatic with my summary, analysis, and ideas for implementation. My boss then continued to give me higher profile clients to write for.