“What are your strengths?” is a very common job interview question. Your response to this question should describe the alignment between the requirements of the job and your specific measurable accomplishments.
Here are the steps to take to ensure you have a great answer to this job interview question.
Job Interview Strategy for Success #1: Be Clear
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to persuasively describe your strengths if you don’t yet know what they are.
If you aren’t yet clear about your strengths, first do some self-assessment, even if your job interview is tomorrow. Here are an article I wrote about how to learn what you are good at doing.
Job Interview Strategy for Success #2: Evaluate the Job
You probably have some strengths that are relevant to the job and others that aren’t as much so. To decide which strengths to emphasize in your job interview, review anything you know about the job and read between the lines about what the employer most values. Usually, you can decipher what is most important by looking at the order of the job requirements and preferences. The most essential criteria are listed first.
When you thoroughly evaluate a job description, you may conclude that the skills the employer needs are not a good fit for the skills you prefer to use. You might still choose to participate in the job interview and you can decline the job offer if you confirm that there isn’t sufficient flexibility about the job to meet your needs. In the long run, unless you are facing a desperate situation where you must land work as soon as possible, it is better to land the right job than the first job offered to you if that first job is the wrong one.
Job Interview Strategy for Success #3: Compile Proof
After you have identified your strengths, it is important to collect examples of measurable accomplishments.
It is a mistake to talk about vague strengths that most people claim, even people who don’t actually have those strengths and lack measurable achievements to prove what they say.
Some of the worst vague examples are, “I’m a hard worker,” and “I’m a people person.” These are not particularly impressive without a lot more added detail and tailored for the job being pursued.
Employers are not convinced by people who say they are hard workers because everyone claims this! To prove that you are indeed a person who is exceptional, describe times you went above and beyond what was required of you.
“I managed three software development product launches that helped my employer attain its revenue goals for the past three years.”
“Patients are routinely surveyed about the quality of my healthcare services and out of 73 completed surveys, clients rated my service as an average of 4.8 out of 5.0.”
“I have developed a reputation for holding an audience’s attention in entertaining but informative ways. As a result, I was invited to deliver five keynote speeches last year.”
“Because I can write white papers on highly technical content, my employer assigned me the task of completing nine white papers last year. They were so pleased with my work, they sent the papers to their entire customer base.”
I hope this helps. Go land that job!