HOW TO ANSWER: What Are Your Strengths?
It’s the interviewer’s job to find someone who will perform in the position and get along with the team. With this question, the interviewer seeks to find out if:
• Your strengths align with the company’s needs
• You can do the job and perform like a rock star
• You are the best person for the job — no need to hold out for someone better
• 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
Some people think this is an easy question. This question is basically a prompt for you to brag and “sell” yourself as the best fit for the job. So how could you screw it up? You know yourself, right?
It’s important to take the time to identify your strengths and PRACTICE talking about them in advance. That way, you’ll be ready when you walk into that interview for your dream job. Let’s start by identifying/confirming what your greatest strengths are:
Experience — Experience with a certain software or type of task, expertise in a particular industry, a track record of working with similar products or clients, etc.
Talents — Abilities such as programming in a desired language, writing proposals, selling widgets, litigating cases, organizing events, translating from Mandarin, etc. (the possibilities here are truly endless)
Soft skills — Competencies such as problem solving, influencing, team building, negotiation, managing up, etc.
Education/training — Relevant background on topics critical to the job — including college degrees, certifications, training seminars, mentoring, internships, etc.
If you get stuck trying to develop a list your strengths, try these techniques:
If the interviewer doesn’t think to ask you about your strengths (not every interviewer has been trained to ask the right questions), you’ll have to look for opportunities to bring up the topic.
• Why should we hire you?
• Why are you the best person for the job?
• What makes you a good fit?