“What is your greatest strength?” seems like a simple interview question. Yet, many candidates struggle to answer it effectively—either because they miss the mark with a cliché or generic response, or they do not know how to give a succinct and compelling answer. Fortunately, both of these mistakes can be avoided with a little bit of interview prep.
Employers will ask “what is your greatest strength?” to identify whether your abilities match up with their requirements. They want to know if you feel confident, you can do the job, and you’d be a great addition to the team. As a result, this question is a great opportunity to show a hiring manager why you’d be a great fit! You just need to know how to properly speak about your greatest strength(s). Let’s get started:
Identify your top strengths
You’ll want to brainstorm some strengths before the interview. You can narrow them down closer to the big day, but aim to come up with at least five strengths that can communicate who you are as a professional and what value you offer. They should be a well-rounded mix of the following:
- Industry expertise and experience
- Education and training
- Technical skills
- Soft skills and essential personality traits
It will be helpful to have this list top of mind, even if you are not explicitly asked “what is your greatest strength?” Naturally weaving these strengths into your responses to other questions is a great way to show why you’re a fit for the role. [Infographic] 2021 Career Outlook: Strategies For Navigating Today’s Job Market
Focus on the role
When answering “what is your greatest strength?” you’ll want to choose a strength that is most relevant to the role. Once you have determined your master list of strengths, take some time to look over the job description and select a strength that will help you most in this position.
The strength(s) you select might depend on a variety of factors. If the role is more technical, for example, you might want to select your proficiency with a specific platform or technology. Or, if the role involves more managerial responsibilities—you might want to highlight your leadership skills.
Back it up with a story
After you tell the employer about your greatest strength, you’ll want to provide at least one example that backs it up. Anyone can say that they are skilled or talented in something, but you will sound much more authentic if you can tell a story that highlights how you’ve utilized this strength in a past role. Helping a prospective employer visualize how you can be successful in a similar capacity is a great way to help secure an offer! Read also: Tell A Story, Land The Job!
If you are asked “what is your greatest strength?” there is a good chance you may be asked about a weakness next. Learn more in our article on How To Answer, “What Is Your Biggest Weakness?” In An Interview.