How to Answer "What Are Your Strengths" in an Interview
“What are your strengths?” is one question that is frequently asked in interviews as employers want to know how you can contribute to the success of their company. You can be prepared to answer this question honestly and with confidence by spending some time before the interview assessing your strengths and comparing them to the company’s desires. Coupled with knowing what not to say, you will be able to give a strong answer and make a good impression.
Identifying Your Strengths
Identify the good communication skills you have.Some people are good at verbal communication skills, while others are better at written communication. Pick which type you are more comfortable with in the workplace so you can be specific in your answer.
- Be even more thorough by detailing things like whether you are good at being persuasive and/or a good negotiator, or if you are particularly comfortable speaking in public.
Recognize the ways that you could be considered dependable.All employers like employees to be dependable, but think about how you demonstrate this quality at work. If you have always had good attendance and always show up on time, specify this. If for you being dependable means that you are highly motivated, or detail-oriented and rarely make mistakes—that counts too.
- The more specific and concrete you can be in your answer, the more impressed your interviewer will be.
Figure out what makes you a good team player.Even if your job primarily requires you to work alone, there may be times that you need to be able to work with others—perhaps your boss. Even if you don’t particularly like these times, it’s best to be prepared with an answer that reflects your ability to do so.
- Perhaps you are good at motivating others or handling difficult people. These qualities still demonstrate how you are able to contribute to your job by helping others.
Analyze your personal strengths.Some strengths may come to mind immediately. If you get stuck, think about your education or training, skills, and past work experiences. Ask yourself questions like: What did you enjoy? What were you good at? What did you receive the most praise for?
- Sometimes there are personal strengths that you may possess that don’t seem relevant to a professional position, but add them to your list anyway. For instance, while being a stay-at-home parent may seem like it would be off-putting for employers, the experience may lend itself well for positions working with children or in caretaking.
Re-visit the qualifications mentioned in the job posting.Compare these qualifications to the strengths you identified about yourself. If any of the strengths you listed about yourself match the qualifications sought by the company, definitely plan to mention those in your interview. But for now, keep working through your whole list to find other potential strengths.
Preparing Your Answers
Add examples for each strength you wrote on your list.Your interviewer and potential employer will want to hear more than just, “I’m good at sales.” Ask yourself, how so? Think about some times in your life when you have demonstrated each of your strengths and write them down.
- This will help you be prepared with a good, solid answer.
- You could say something like, “I‘m a skilled salesman with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I've earned a bonus based on my performance each year since I started with my current employer.”
Analyze how your strengths align with the company's needs.While all strengths are something to be proud of, not all of them lend themselves to certain positions. Think about the company and/or the position you are applying for and which strengths would be helpful—or necessary—to be successful.
- If you are applying for an accounting position, you probably don’t need to mention that you are a team player or are good at writing. Instead, tell them about your bookkeeping experience, attention to detail, and use of 10-key.
- If you are applying for a position working with children, focus on strengths like being creative, empathetic, and enthusiastic.
Pick 3 strengths you have that are relevant to the position.Choose 1 strength that you will primarily focus on. This strength should clearly align with the desires of the company or qualifications for the position. Be prepared with 2 more strengths in case the interviewer asks for more.
- For instance, if you are applying for a teaching position, adaptability would be a good strength to mention. Education and curriculum is always changing; students have different personalities, learning styles, and needs; and schools vary widely in terms of procedures and programs. Being able to adapt is huge in this field. Other strengths could be good time-management or problem-solving skills, and patience.
- If you are comfortable with it, take your answer 1 step further than just listing the strength and giving an example. Tell a short (but awesome) story if you have one.
Prepare to answer a follow up question about your weaknesses.“What are your weaknesses?” can be a tricky question as well. It’s not easy to talk about the things we dislike about ourselves. But thinking this question through and being prepared with an honest, thoughtful answer will make a good impression on the interviewer.
- Pick an answer that won’t automatically disqualify you from the position. For instance, you probably wouldn’t want to say that you are shy if you are applying for a customer service position.
- It’s smart to choose weaknesses that you are actively working on improving. For example, if you are typically unorganized but have invested in a day planner and a calendar app for your phone to help you get organized, mention it.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Stay focused to demonstrate your honesty.It can be tempting to go on and on listing all of the things you are good at—but don’t. This question is not an opportunity for you to brag about yourself. Don’t ramble, don’t brag, and don’t exaggerate.
- Rambling can make you seem nervous and unprepared, bragging will be off putting, and an interviewer will be able to tell if you are exaggerating or just making things up to try and land the the job.
- Craft answers that are concise, relevant, and accurately reflect your qualifications for the position.
- This is where the list you made will come in handy to help keep you focused.
Avoid being too modest.Many people accidentally fall into the trap of being too humble when talking about their strengths. They either aren’t comfortable discussing what they are good at, or are trying too hard to avoid sounding arrogant. The right balance is somewhere in between—aim to sound comfortable and confident.
- Don’t say, “I am probably the most gifted applicant you will encounter. Everyone says that I am extremely intelligent, hard working, and a fabulous communicator.”
- Try saying something like, “I have an extremely strong work ethic. When I'm working on a project, I don't just want to meet deadlines, I want to complete the project well ahead of schedule. I pride myself on being timely and efficient.”
- Use the list you made to help you be prepared to answer without seeming uncomfortable or modest.
Be direct to show you are prepared.Don’t list a bunch of strengths that are either too vague or aren’t relevant to the position. “Good communication skills” won’t cut it. Detail what kind of communication, specifically, are you good at. Also, while something like “being punctual” is a desirable quality to have, it really wouldn’t be considered a strength as it is typically an expectation of all employees in all positions.
- A direct statement might sound something like, “I have extremely strong writing skills. Having worked as a copy editor for 5 years, I have strong attention to detail when it comes to my writing. I have also written for a variety of publications, so I know how to shape my writing style to fit the task and audience.”
- Again, referring to your list will be a huge help in demonstrating that you are prepared.
- There is no single, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. But spending some time figuring out your own strengths and comparing them to the company's needs will help you to be confident and prepared when the question arises.
Video: What Are Your Greatest Strengths? - Top Sample Interview Answers
Holly Willoughby Just Wore the Most Flattering Dress—and Its a Warehouse Gem
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls
Best Diet Tips for Slimming Legs and Thighs
Top home remedies to treat oily scalp
15 Amazing Benefits Of Galangal For Skin, Hair And Health
Manolo Blahnik, Juicy Couture and 16 other brands collaborate with Vetements
Know The Causes And Treatment Of Umbilical Hernia In Hindi
9 Hot New Sex Positions You Should Try This Year
Tag: Industrial Decor Ideas
News Pulse: The New Danger Of Unemployment
How to Deal With the Emotional Impact of Aging Parents
How to Increase Followers on Social Media for Beautician Businesses
What Causes Brain Fog (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)
Gene Study Yields New Clues to Breast Cancer