Interview Tips Series 7

How To Answer “What are your strengths?” Job Interview Question?

When interviewing you, the employer wants to learn as much as possible about you, to see if you are qualified for the job he is offering. Of course, there will be more people applying for the job, and more than one of then is going to be qualified as well, so you need to present yourself as the best possible candidate.

The interviewer is going to ask you a lot of questions in order to see whether you are qualified, and you will need to have a good answer to all of them, because every mistake matters. That’s the reason you should prepare yourself before each interview.

Luckily, similar questions appear on all of them, so you can prepare yourself in advance. Many candidates don’t prepare before interviews, so if you are reading this, you are already in the advantage. Today I’m going to teach you how to answer the “What are your strengths?” question.

This is a commonly asked question for all kinds of jobs and positions, and that makes sense.

Employer wants to know what do you bring to the table, and why should he hire you in particular. The interviewer will want to know things like whether you can get along with others, what are your skills and talents, how ambitious you are, and the best traits of your personality.

The problem with this question is that most people think it’s an easy one to answer.

You just have to brag about your skills, right? Not really. If you don’t prepare yourself, you can easily say something wrong and bury your chances of getting the job. I will point out a couple of common mistakes that people do when answering this question. First, lack of self-awareness. To talk about your strengths, you must first know what they are. You should analyze yourself as a person in order to find out what your real strengths and weaknesses are.

This takes time, so you can’t prepare your answer while driving to the interview. Secondly, Modesty. You should never be afraid to talk about your strengths. Many candidates are just too humble, or afraid of looking arrogant.

Of course you don’t want your employer to think you are arrogant or conceived, but you can’t allow yourself to hold back at the interview. I’m sure interviewers can already differentiate mere bragging from a real speech about your strengths, you make sure to mention all of them.

If you prepare the answer beforehand, you will be more confident answering this question. And lastly, choosing irrelevant strengths. While it is true that you need to list as much skills as possible, if they are true for you, those that are irrelevant for the job should be left out. If you are applying for a job in a tech company, for example, they will hardly care that you can jump very high or eat 5 hot dogs under a minute.

So how should you talk about your skills? First of all, as I already said before, you need to prepare yourself. Sit down and make a list of all of your strengths. They could include your previous experience in that kind of industry, your education, your best personality traits and your talents. Then, narrow down your list to the most relevant ones for the job. Think about the job you are applying to, and which of your strengths would help you there.

After that, you should think of some examples to present your strengths in the best way. Just listing one after another won’t get you far.So, what strengths should you choose? First of all, they have to be accurate.

Be yourself in the interview and don’t copy others because their answers worked for them. Pick strengths that you actually posses. The also have to be relevant and specific. Pick strengths that matter for the job.

They have to be specific so they can give an employer the reason to hire you instead of everyone else. Most of the people are going to start by saying that they are very friendly and like to socialize, so you say something else.

Also, as mentioned before, don’t be humble when presenting your skills and strengths. Be confident and realistic.
Of course, it could be hard for you to prepare your answer when you don’t even know what your strengths are. So how to analyze yourself in order to learn your strengths? You can always ask someone who is close to you.

Ask them to tell you honestly about your strengths. Ask more people, and you will notice that some strengths repeat in every one of their answers. You could also take some personality tests, and you maybe even find some strengths you never considered before. i personally recommend “Myers Briggs personality test”, as it is very accurate and useful, which I know from personal experience. Once presenting your strengths, you shouldn’t just list them one after another. Once you pick a strength to talk about, elaborate on why do you think that skill is relevant, how does it help you to the job and how can it be useful for the company.

For example, lets say you are interviewing with the up and coming, fast growing start up Uber, and they ask you this question about your strengths, if you pick “communication skills” as one of your strengths, you could say something like: “I am a team player and will always consult with my colleagues in order to do the job as good as possible.

I also feel very comfortable while presenting my work to my senior executives in the company.” You should give a sentence or two like this for every of your strengths you decide to include in your answer.

For the end, sometimes the interviewer wont ask this question directly. But, there are other similar questions that also basically ask you about your strengths, such as “Why should we hire you?” or “Why are you the best person for this job?” This is the same question as “what are your strengths?”, just asked in a different way. In every interview, you will be asked about your strengths, in one way or the another. Here is a good video you must watch from our partner;

Well, I really hope this short tutorial was useful to you. Thank you for reading and good luck on your interview!