How To Answer ‘What Is Your Greatest Strength?’ In A Job Interview
Hiring managers and human resources professionals love asking the basic, standard interview questions. Instead of thinking up interesting, thought-provoking questions, they resort to prosaic questions, like “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” The good news for job hunters is that these questions are relatively easy to answer. Strategies For Answering The "What is your […]
Hiring managers and human resources professionals love asking the basic, standard interview questions. Instead of thinking up interesting, thought-provoking questions, they resort to prosaic questions, like “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” The good news for job hunters is that these questions are relatively easy to answer.
Strategies For Answering
The "What is your greatest strength?" interview question is a cliché at this point. Despite the fact that it's overutilized, you need to play the game. View it as a way to sell yourself by offering examples of how you’ve succeeded under adversity and came through with a big win, such as landing a large client.
Although it seems easy, you can trip up on the answer. Be direct and honest. You don’t want to lie because it will come back to haunt you down the road, once you’re working at the company.
Focus on sharing strengths that specifically relate to the job you're applying for. Don’t interpret the question outside the scope of the hiring process and bring up unrelated personal attributes. Explain how you’ve leveraged your strengths to add value to the company, exceed expectations and made a significant impact.
Align your answers with the skills and experience referenced in the job description. You can share your unique qualities and experiences that set you apart from other candidates. When you tell your story, say it with conviction and enthusiasm.
What To Say
You can point out your strong social and communication skills, ability to get fellow co-workers engaged in a project, and penchant for taking on challenging tasks, exceeding expectations and staying cool under pressure. If you are the creative type, you can showcase your portfolio. A salesperson can politely boast about consistently beating their quota and receiving accolades and rewards. An in-house attorney can discuss how they saved the firm millions by avoiding costly litigation matters. A human resources professional can share the large savings for the company by recruiting top candidates and cutting down on the costs of utilizing third-party recruiters. An accountant can subtly brag about how they discovered ways to save money and cut costs without having to lay off workers.
You can add a more generalized answer by scrutinizing the job description or looking on LinkedIn to see what’s written on the profiles of the people at the company who hold the same or similar jobs to the one you’re applying for. See what commonalities in skills exist.
If you notice that both the LinkedIn profiles and job description call for strong writing skills, attention to detail, the ability to work under tight deadlines, top communication skills and the ability to manage staff, you can talk about these skills. Referencing what the employer is calling for, you can cite specific, tailored answers about your strengths that dovetail with the job requirements.
Article written by: Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family.
Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.