Blog

1 August 2017
What are your strengths?

Following on from our blog last week, ‘What is your weakness? How to answer those awkward interview questions’, we are going to look at the positive questions asked about yourself during an interview.

The “what are your strengths” interview question is a staple. You’re going to get this question, and it’s best if you prepare. Most job seekers don’t answer this question well because they make the mistake of thinking that this question is easy. This is a commonly-asked question in job interviews for all levels of positions in all industries. When the dreaded question of weaknesses has been dealt with, now is the time to shine by explaining the strengths in which you possess. The answer of this question should include one of the following:

  • Your greatest strength happens to be a skill you need to do the job.
  • Your greatest strength sets you apart from other candidates.
  • You show off your communication skills when you provide the answer.
  • You have qualities, skills, and/or experience that set you apart from the competition
  • You are someone who will make an excellent addition to the team

Top tip:

Make a list of your skills that match those listed in the job advert. This list can include education or training, soft skills, hard skills, or past work experiences. Narrow your list of skills down to 3 – 5 particularly strong skills. As with all answers, back it up with an example of when you have done this in a previous role to add weight to your answer. This will give you a clear understanding of your suitability to the role.

If you are struggling to think of your strengths, then ask a trusted friend or colleague. They may have noticed something in you that you don’t. Visit past performance reviews to discover your strengths and improvements you have made. Review your CV and pin point strengths from the skills in which you have acquired or qualifications you may have that are suitable for the job role such as degrees.

An example answer is:

“I think one of my greatest strengths is as a problem solver. I have the ability to see a situation from different perspectives and I can get my work done even in the face of difficult obstacles.”

Or

“I am a skilled salesman with over ten years of experience. I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I’ve earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.”

Other examples of how the question may be asked are:

  • What strengths would you bring to our company?
  • What are three strengths that you bring to this position?
  • What are your greatest professional strengths?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment or the project you’re most proud of completing?
  • What would your co-workers say is your strongest area of expertise?

A focused, relevant answer with one or two examples will impress your interviewer. Good luck!

Candidate Hints & Tips