King and Windsor – Bilingual Talent Recruitment

How to Answer, “What is your greatest strength?”

When interviewers ask “what is your greatest strength?”, there are a couple of things they’re looking to hear. There are also a few things they really do not want to hear.

It may be a bit uncomfortable to talk positively about yourself and to pinpoint what you believe is your greatest strength, but don’t worry, there is a reason for being asked this. Interviewers want to know if your skills align with the needs of the company, and your answer highlights if you would be the strongest candidate for the job.

So, how do you answer it? Here are some tips that will impress the interviewer.

1. Choose One Strength

It’s going to be a lot easier to give a clear, concise interview answer (which is always a good thing!) if you just pick one strength.

So choose one thing, keep your answer brief, and focus on making that one point and describing that one key strength of yours.

If you aren’t sure what strength to choose, keep reading. I’ll cover that in the next steps.

2. Know what you’re going to say ahead of time

Do not just go in and “wing it.” Even preparing a half-decent answer will be better than making it up on the spot.

You’re going to gain a big advantage by doing this right now. So make sure you know what strength you’ll talk about ahead of time.

3. Choose a Strength that Relates to Their Job

When answering, “What is your greatest strength?” it’s best to pick something that will help you succeed in their job. This makes it more likely the interviewer will offer you the position.

So think about what strengths of yours will help you most in this job you’ve applied for.

Look at the job description, figure out what the job requires or what’s most important to the company.

Think about whether the job is highly technical or not. Is leadership involved or will you be working as an individual? Will you be interacting with customers or not? Does the job use creativity or logic more?

You need to be looking at the job description and asking yourself those questions BEFORE choosing which strengths you want to share.

Because the whole idea is to share a strength that will make the company think you’re a valuable candidate and someone they should hire for their job.

4. Explain Why This Strength Will Help You Succeed in Their Job

After sharing your strength, point out exactly how this will help you succeed in their job. For example, you could say:

“My greatest strength is attention to detail. I’ve always been detail-oriented in my work, and it’s something I enjoy. I saw on your job description that this role involves a lot of detail-oriented work, which is one reason I applied.”

5. Give specific proof

After you tell them what your greatest strength is and why it will help you in their job, try to back it up with some proof. How?

By telling a story or giving an example of how you’ve used this strength in the past – to help a previous employer.

Giving a detailed example is significantly more powerful than just saying you’re good at something. So talk about how you used this strength to achieve a specific result.

Using the example answer above, you might continue and say:

“In my last job, I was frequently required to manage 8-10 client projects at a time, and often had 75 different tasks going on in those different projects. Being detail-oriented allowed me to deliver 100% of my projects on time to our clients. In fact, I finished 45% of my assigned projects ahead of schedule.”

The key piece to remember here is: It’s always good to be detail-oriented and specific when answering questions about your strengths. Your answer (and past work) will seem much more impressive to the interviewer when you get specific and name real results and numbers like the example answer above.

Here’s the answer you’d get if you combine the pieces from the answer above…

Sample Answer 1:

“My greatest strength is attention to detail. I’ve always been detail-oriented in my work, and it’s something I enjoy. I saw in your job description that this role involves a lot of detail-oriented work, which is one reason I applied. For instance, in my last job, I was frequently required to manage 8-10 client projects at a time and often had 75 different tasks going on in those different projects. Being detail-oriented allowed me to deliver 100% of my projects on time to our clients. In fact, I finished 45% of my assigned projects ahead of schedule.”

And here’s another example using a different professional detail:

Sample Answer 2:

“My greatest professional strength is the ability to handle pressure and work under a tight deadline. I think that would help me succeed in this position because of the large number of clients and deadlines I’d be working with here. For instance, in my last position, I handled difficult projects on short notice for a number of our top clients like Coca Cola and Microsoft. I completed 100% of the projects I was assigned and this resulted in us winning $2 million in additional business from these clients.”

Always remember, the number one thing a hiring manager wants to know is how your skills and abilities can help their company be more successful. What can you do for THEM?

So the question of “what are your greatest professional strengths?” isn’t just a chance to brag, it’s a chance to prove you can help the company. And that’s what will get you hired!