What Are Your Strengths?

This question prompts you to discuss what you have to offer the company. What are you best at? What skills have you developed in previous positions How do these fit with the job for which you’re interviewing These are questions to consider in planning your answer to this common interview query.

When asking this question, the hiring manager is looking for evidence that you’re the strongest candidate for the position. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate confidence in yourself and convey that others can be confident in you as well.

Points to Emphasize

Throughout your answer, keep the focus on how your skills align with the demands of this position.

  • Be clear and specific.
  • Work information into your answer that provides evidence to back up what you’re saying.

  • Take an honest assessment of your abilities before going into the interview.

  • Make sure you know a great deal about the job and its responsibilities so your answer shows that you’re a great fit.

    The more you personally believe in the strengths you mention, the more convincing your answer will be.

    Mistakes You Should Avoid

    A common misstep is to come across as arrogant or unrealistic.

  • Stay away from absolutes such as “most” or “best” unless they actually apply. If you were named “most valuable employee” or rated top salesperson, say so. Otherwise, avoid these terms.

  • Avoid vague language and clichés. Instead of saying you’re a “strong leader,” list specific leadership skills.

  • Don’t make statements that portray you as overly competitive or cutthroat.

    • Never make self-deprecating remarks.

    The interviewer may go into the conversation looking for reasons not to hire you. Be sure you answer doesn’t unwittingly offer any.

    Sample Answer

    It’s fine to provide an overview of your strengths, but be sure to back it up with evidence. Here’s how a strong answer to this common question might sound:

    My past experience has shown me to be someone who is dedicated to my company’s success, capable of making tough decisions, and committed to working as a member of a team. In my most recent position I managed a department that experienced significant budget cuts. I gathered my staff and together we articulated our most important priorities. I solicited their input to determine how to revise our allocation of funds and resources and increase efficiency. My department was actually more productive in the following quarter in spite of the cuts

    A question like this is predictable in most interviews, so make sure you’re prepared for it.

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