There are a number of questions you could face at a job interview. But some questions are so common, you should go into a job interview expecting them and having prepared to answer them.
One of the more common interview questions you are likely to face is: “What are your strengths?”
Why interviewers want to know your strengths
If an interviewer is asking you about your strengths, it is likely that he or she is trying to find out (i) if you know your own strengths; (ii) if you are realistic when describing your strengths; and (iii) if you excel in areas relevant to the job you are applying for.
Some common strengths employers often look for include:
You likely excel at several different things and have many hard and soft skills you could share during an interview. So, which of your several strengths should be in your response?
The short answer is that you should reveal the strengths you possess that most align with the position you are applying for.
As you are preparing for your interview, write down a list of your strengths. Then, go back and read the job description. It is likely the job description will identify the ideal characteristics that the employer is looking for in a candidate. Compare your own list of strengths with the job description and see which of your strengths aligns best with the position. Those then become the strengths to mention when the interviewer asks about them.
Also, and this should go without saying, but do not make up strengths just to impress the interviewer. Lying about your skills will catch up to you quickly.
Remember the STAR Method
It is not enough to just list your strengths. There is a particular way to go about describing your strengths when asked about them during your job interview.
Whatever question you are answering, you should rely on the STAR Method.
STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Basically, the method states that when you are answering an interview question you should do the following:
Situation: Start by describing the situation or event that you were in.
Task: After you describe the situation or event, explain the task you had to accomplish.
Action: After you describe the task, outline the specific actions you took to complete that task.
Result: Finish by telling the interviewer the results of the actions you took.
What are your strengths example answer
Here is an example response you can review to better understand how to craft your own.
My work experience has helped me develop strong communication skills. I worked in human resources for more than 5 years and was routinely required to interact with staff and explain company policies. I remember one instance where I was tasked with informing the entire company of a recent policy change in our hiring practices. I put together several emails, a training, and a presentation to ensure everyone understood the changes and had a chance to ask questions. As a result, the implementation of the new policy went very smoothly.
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