Interview Question

What is Your Greatest Strength?

The strength interview question and how to answer it.

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. Interviewers ask this question and expect a specific type of response that may make or break the interview.

Hiring managers like to discuss a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses to see if you are a good fit for the position. Your greatest weakness should show that you are honest and aware of your limitations but are actively working to grow. It shows that you’re serious about problem-solving and will work through challenges.

On the other hand, the strength question convinces your potential employer that you are not only qualified for the job but will excel at it.

Answer

How to Answer

Review the Job Description

During your job search, you likely skimmed through the job description to see if this is something you should apply for. Now, it’s time to comb through that job description box.

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 sure to keep the skills relevant to the job description. We don’t want to hear about how you’re fantastic at public speaking for an engineering position.

Prove It

When answering the job interview 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.

Sharing an example or an anecdote of how you used this skill is vital for nailing this interview question. Whenever possible, answer the question with quantifiable information that supports your story, such as statistics and after-action reports.

While humility is an attractive quality, this question is not the time to shrink back and be unassertive. 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 speak for itself.

Choose the Top 3

While your interviewer may only want to hear about one of your strengths, it’s crucial to prepare at least three interview answers. You never know if your anecdote or skill will already be discussed in another interview question. Always have multiple responses ready and eliminate them as the interview progresses.

Sample Answers

Here are some sample answers you can use to frame your own response:

  • “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 customers 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 customer 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.”

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